Fox’s Idol Juggernaut Continues

Thursday, March 4, 2010
Prime-Time Metered Market Wednesday Ratings:

Idol Juggernaut Continues; SVU Lifts the 10 p.m. Hour on NBC

Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not

On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options 

TV Tidbits:
Notes of Interest
TV Trivia Time:

Life Before Charlie’s Angels


Prime-Time Metered Market Wednesday Ratings:
Idol Juggernaut Continues; SVU Lifts the 10 p.m. Hour on NBC

Wednesday 3/03/10


Fox   15.1/23
CBS    7.1/11
NBC   5.3/ 8
ABC   4.3/ 7
CW    0.6/ 1

-Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Wednesday, March 4, 2009):
Fox: +57, NBC: +51, CBS: +22, ABC: -2, CW: -80

-Yesterday’s Winners:

American Idol (Fox), Criminal Minds (CBS), CSI: NY (CBS)

-Notable Improvement From The Jay Leno Show:
Law & Order: SVU (NBC)
-Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats):

Mercy (NBC), The New Adventures of Old Christine (CBS), Gary Unmarried (CBS), Cougar Town (ABC), An Oprah Winfrey Oscar Special (ABC)

-Ratings Breakdown:

Fox got over the hump in significant winning fashion, with another two-hour Wednesday installment of American Idol at a 15.1 rating/23 share in the overnights from 8-10 p.m. Compared to a one-hour edition of Idol on the year-ago evening (12.9/21 on March 4, 2009), this was an unprecedented improvement of 17 percent. I refer to this as unprecedented because I have no knowledge of a veteran series picking up steam in its ninth season. Here is the half-hour breakdown:

American Idol (Fox)
8:00 p.m.: 14.3/22 (#1)
8:30 p.m.: 15.5/23 (#1)
9:00 p.m.: 15.4/23 (#1)
9:30 p.m.: 15.3/23 (#1)

My picks for the next two females to bid adieu tonight: Haeley Vaughn and Didi Benami. My prediction on the male side: John Park and Jermaine Sellers. We shall see!


Second-place CBS opened the evening with on-the-fence Wednesday sitcoms The New Adventures of Old Christine (#2: 4.2/ 7) and Gary Unmarried (#4: 3.9/ 6) from 8-9 p.m., followed by Criminal Minds (#2: 9.1/14) and CSI: NY (#1: 8.0/14) from 9-11 p.m. While American Idol has took its toll on Old Christine and Gary Unmarried, which closes the season on March 17, keep in mind that most shows do. 

The CBS crime dramas faced a two-hour installment of NBC’s relocated Law & Order: SVU, which averaged a 5.9/ 9 in the overnights from 9-11 p.m., building by half-hour as follows:


Law & Order: SVU (NBC)
9:00 p.m.: 5.1/ 8 (#4)

9:30 p.m.: 5.6/ 8 (#3)
10:00 p.m.: 6.4/10 (#2)
10:30 p.m.: 6.5/11 (#2)

Comparably, the 10-11 p.m. portion of SVU is a notable improvement over former occupant The Jay Leno Show. Beginning next week, SVU airs in its new Wednesday 10 p.m. time period out of a repeat of the crime drama.


Earlier in the evening on NBC was medical drama Mercy at a lackluster 4.1/ 6 (#3t) from 8-9 p.m.


Over at ABC, Modern Family remains the standout sitcom, with a 6.1/ 9 in the overnights at 9 p.m. (#3) an improvement of a hefty 45 percent out of lead-in The Middle (#2: 4.2/ 6 at 8:30 p.m.). While the ratings for The Middle are nothing to crow about, personally speaking this show gets better every week. ABC may want to reconsider renewing Cougar Town, meanwhile, which dipped to a fourth-place 4.0/ 6 at 9:30 p.m. Comparably, retention out of lead-in Modern Family was just 66 percent. Earlier in the evening on the alphabet net was a repeat of Modern Family at a fourth-place 4.0/ 6 at 8 p.m. At 10 p.m., normally unstoppable Oprah Winfrey took a backseat to CSI: NY and Law & Order: SVU, with The Oprah Winfrey Oscar Special at an uneventful 3.9/ 6 in the overnights.


In the distant No. 5 spot was The CW as a result of repeats of Life Unexpected (0.8/ 1) and Gossip Girl (0.4/ 1), which heads back to its former Monday 9 p.m. time period on March 8. To the masses emailing me to see if there will be a second season of Life Unexpected, my personal guess is The CW will be patient. Stay tuned.