Fox’s Idol Juggernaut Continues

Thursday, February 5, 2009
Prime-Time Metered Market Wednesday Ratings:
Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not

On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options 


Remembering David Waldon

TV Tidbits:
Notes of Interest
TV Trivia Time:

A Fine TV Tune

Hefty Victory for the Home of American Idol
Wednesday 2/04/09


Fox   11.3/18
CBS    5.3/ 9
ABC   4.5/ 7
NBC   4.4/ 7

CW    0.8/ 1


-Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2008):
ABC: + 2, Fox: -10, CBS: -15, NBC: -28, CW: -43


Note: The fast affiliate results for Wednesday will be posted at PIFeedback by 12 p.m. ET (if there are no further delays). Go to the website, click on Ratings Box (the first category), then Last Night’s Results, and Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2009.   

-Yesterday’s Winners:

American Idol (Fox), Lie to Me (Fox), Law & Order (NBC)

-Down But Far From Out:
Lost (ABC)

-Yesterday’s Losers (Excluding Repeats):

Knight Rider (NBC), Katie Couric: All Access Grammy Special (CBS), Life (NBC), Life on Mars (ABC)

-Ratings Breakdown:

Fox, of course, got over the Wednesday “hump” in winning fashion care of old faithful American Idol, which was just chock full of silly drama last night. In the distant No. 2 spot in the overnights was CBS, followed by ABC, NBC and miniscule the CW. 


American Idol kicked-off the evening with a hefty 14.5 rating/23 share from 8-9 p.m. Compared to one year earlier (15.2/24 on Feb. 6, 2008), that was a decline of just five percent. Comparably, in fact, American Idol beat the four competing networks combined by 10 percent in the overnights. Take a look:

-Wednesday 8 p.m.
American Idol (Fox): 14.5/23
Criminal Minds R (CBS): 6.0/10
Lost R (ABC): 3.2/ 5
Knight Rider (NBC): 3.1/ 5
Privileged R (CW): 0.9/ 2

Fox remained in the overnight winner’s circle at 9 p.m., with recently introduced drama Lie to Me at an 8.0/13. As good as that sounds, keep in mind that retention out of the second half of lead-in American Idol (15.6/24 at 8:30 p.m.) was just 51 percent. But the dominance still qualifies it as a “winner.” Let’s see how it stacks up opposite ABC’s Lost in the demo. 


Second in the overnights from 9-10 p.m. was Lost (6.3/10), which is down year-to-year but still a draw among adults 18-49. Next was CBS’ Katie Couric: All Access Grammy Special at a 4.9/ 8, followed by NBC’s Life (4.0/ 6), which could be facing eventual death, and a repeat of 90210 on the CW (0.9/ 1). Although CBS is trying to morph Katie Couric into its own version of Barbara Walters, let’s be honest: outside of her more established morning personality there is just something missing. 


NBC moved into the overnight winner’s circle at 10 p.m. care of granddaddy Law & Order (6.1/11), which built from lead-in Life by a hefty 52 percent. Keep in mind that CBS’ competing CSI: NY (5.2/ 8) was a repeat. Third was ABC’s relocated Life on Mars (4.0/ 7), which dipped by a considerable 37 percent from lead-in Lost. Needless to say, Life on Mars is just not working. 

Source: Nielsen Media Research data

Ratings Box:

What’s Hot/What’s Not
-Soft Results for NBC’s Revamped Monday:

Based on the final national ratings for Monday, Feb. 2, the return of NBC’s Chuck, Heroes and Medium

were all particularly disappointing given the mass promotion on Super Bowl XLIII just one night earlier. Overall, the network finished fourth for the evening in both total viewers (8.52 million) and adults 18-49 (3.3/ 8). Here were the individual program results:

8:00 p.m. Chuck (Return)

Viewers: 8.45 million (#4), A18-49: 3.0/ 7 (#4)

9:00 p.m. Heroes (Return)

Viewers: 8.55 million (#4), A18-49: 4.0/ 9 (#3)


8:00 p.m. Medium (Season Premiere)

Viewers: 8.56 million (#2), A18-49: 2.9/ 7 (#3)