Idol Ignited Fox Wins Wednesday; Competing Nets Still on the Map


Thursday, January 14, 2010


Prime-Time Metered Market Wednesday Ratings:
Idol Ignited Fox Wins; Competing Nets Close to Recent Levels


TCA Winter Press Tour 2010:

TV Tidbits:
Notes of Interest  

On the Air Tonight:

Prime-Time Programming Options


TV Trivia Time:

Good Evvvvvening


Prime-Time Metered Market Wednesday Ratings:
Idol Ignited Fox Wins; Competing Nets Close to Recent Levels

Wednesday 1/13/10


Fox 13.9/21
CBS   7.7/12
NBC 4.5/ 7
ABC 4.3/ 7
CW    0.6/ 1

-Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Wednesday, January 14, 2009):
ABC: +26, CBS and NBC: +10 each, Fox: -17, CW: -33

-Yesterday’s Winners:

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


-Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats)

The Jay Leno Show (NBC), Ugly Betty (ABC)


-Ratings Breakdown:

Fox led the midweek troops, with a first-place overnight Wednesday finish care of ongoing juggernaut American Idol. To my knowledge, no show in the history of television has ever been this dominant in its ninth season. But once Simon Cowell leaves next spring, Fox should take the high road, end Idol and use Cowell’s upcoming The X-Factor as its replacement. Ellen DeGeneres will suffice as Paula Abdul’s replacement, but no one can replace Simon. As planned, however, The X-Factor will air in the fall and there will be a replacement for Simon on American Idol.


CBS finished a solid second care of crime dramas Criminal Minds and CSI: NY, followed by NBC, ABC and another night of repeats on The CW. A 90-minute edition of American Idol averaged a very dominant 16.7 rating/25 share in the overnights from 8-9:30 p.m. Comparably, this was virtually identical to the 16.8/26 it averaged on the year-ago evening. 


Take a look at the results by half-hour:


American Idol (Fox)

8:00 p.m.: 15.2/23

8:30 p.m.: 17.3/26

9:00 p.m.: 17.7/26


A repeat of The Simpsons followed with a third-place 5.3/ 8 at 9:30 p.m. Given the platform, Fox could do better than a repeat out of Idol.


Speaking of American Idol, based on the final nationals, season nine of Idol opened with a mammoth 29.94 million viewers in the Tuesday 8-10 p.m. block – on par one year earlier. Regardless, competing CBS powerhouse NCIS, the most-watched scripted series on television, held up with 20.85 million viewers, followed by spin-off NCIS: Los Angeles at 15.60 million. Also on the map was another two-hour edition of NBC’s The Biggest Loser at 8.11 million. Needless to say, there is no better platform than network television.


Despite facing American Idol, CBS lost no steam with its second-place combination of The New Adventures of Old Christine (4.7/ 7), Gary Unmarried (4.3/ 6) and Criminal Minds (9.8/15) from 8-10 p.m. The Eye net moved into the overnight winners circle at 10 p.m. care of CSI: NY at a 9.0/15. In other words, life continues on CBS Wednesday despite the return of American Idol. NBC and ABC also fared close to recent levels against Idol.


NBC opened with medical drama Mercy at a fourth-place 4.0/ 6 at 8 p.m., followed by Law & Order: SVU (#4: 5.4/ 7) and flop The Jay Leno Show (#2: 4.0/ 7) from 9-11 p.m. ABC aired a repeat of Modern Family at 8 p.m. (#4: 3.8/ 6), followed by The Middle (#3: 4.1/ 6), the regularly scheduled edition of Modern Family (#2: 5.6/ 8), Cougar Town (#4, 5.2/ 8), which held 93 percent of the lead-in, and week two of relocated Ugly Betty (#3: 3.7/ 6 at 10 p.m.), which based on the ratings should really conclude this spring. As reported earlier this week, The Middle, Modern Family and Cougar Town have all been renewed for next season. As always, the growth for Modern Family out of The Middle (37 percent last night) and continued success among adults 18-49 lands it on the winner’s circle. Move over 30 Rock, Modern Family is poised for great success at The Emmys next September. 


Last, and very least, were repeats of The CW’s One Tree Hill (0.8/ 1) and Gossip Girl (0.5/ 1). As always, serialized dramas never repeat well.


Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)


TCA Winter Press Tour 2010:



Okay, it’s not broadcast or cable. No shows hosts are pissed off. And no dayparts were unnecessarily destroyed a la you know what network. But PBS is still a valid part of the broadcast landscape and there were some announcements. 


PBS recently launched PBS Newshour, while revamping The Night Business Report with more of an emphasis on insight, analysis and context. This coming May will be the introduction of a cross-platform public affairs project called Need to Know, which will report on five different beats: the economy, energy and the environment, health, security and culture. Each correspondent will respond online from these beats throughout the week.  


“Our tent pole philosophy is really an attempt to try to identify a series of programs throughout the year that we put resources behind for promotion,” said Paula Kerger, President of PBS. “We don’t have the
resources to invest heavily in advertising and promotion, and so by aggregating our resources around a limited number of programs throughout the year, we hopefully not only will shine a bright light on those
programs but also, through a halo effect, promote some of the other work we’re doing throughout the year.”

Online, a new integrated PBS news site will debut later this year, while an online PBS Arts Showcase will launch in April, featuring a broadband video channel and several interactive features as a compliment to the current programming.


At PBS Kids, the manta remains for media to be used to serve kids and not to sell to them. To-date, 88 million videos streams have been tallied for the new PBS preschool video player, and upcoming project Lifeboat to Mars, a new, interactive educational game on, has been confirmed. 


“We really looked very hard at our children’s work in trying to put programs into the schedule that were curriculum-based,” said Kerger. “Now, the children’s programming also needs to be entertaining because kids control the remote, and if we don’t make programs that are engaging and fun, they’re not going to watch it.


As to the future of PBS programming:


“We are constantly looking for programs that we hope will inspire people to become donors to our local stations, and so it’s a continuing journey,” noted Kerger.   “I’m always looking for ideas. I look for them


Note to all wannabe series creators: here is your opportunity. Never underestimate the value of public broadcasting. 


TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest  

-Conan O’Brien Update:

Well, I don’t have a real update. But according to the latest Rasmussen Reports survey, 31 percent of all Americans think NBC’s actions toward Conan have been unfair, while 33 percent disagree. The remaining 36 percent are not sure. The high level of uncertainty is not unusual considering 54 percent of the adults polled said they rarely or never watch late-night talk shows. But when the die-hard late night viewers were asked about NBC’s behavior, 49 percent think the troubled Peacock net has been unfair. 


If Leno moves back into The Tonight Show hosting chair, 17 percent of the adults polled said they are more likely to watch (versus 23 percent who are less likely to watch and 59 percent who feel the move will make no impact on their viewing decisions). For more on The Rasmussen Reports, visit http://


-Lifetime Announces Army Wives Return:

Lifetime Television drama Army Wives, cable’s top-rated original scripted drama among women 18-49, will return for a fourth season on Sunday, April 11 at 10 p.m. Eighteen new episodes are scheduled. 

-TV Land Announces New Scripted Sitcom Pilot:

Cable net TV Land is hoping to launch it first original scripted sitcom with a half-hour called Hot in Cleveland, with Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves and Wendie Mallick as three best friends who rediscover themselves after their plane unexpectedly lands in Cleveland. Ageless Betty White, a Mr. TV favorite, has been cast as a recurring guest star.

-New Syndicated Programming in Fall 2010:

Okay folks…the NATPE listing of new syndicated programming for fall 2010 is being handed over to my editor tomorrow. So, if anything is missing on the following list (or there is any news on clearances), please email me pronto at


-Nate Berkus (Sony Pictures Television) – this lifestyle driven hour is hosted by interior designer Nate Berkus, a frequent guest on Oprah.  No confirmed clearances at press time. 

-Steve and Chris (Program Partners) – A combination of old episodes from the Canadian series and new installments, the hosts are Steven Sabados and Chris Hyndman.  No confirmed clearances at press time. 


-America’s Court with Judge Ross (Entertainment Studios) – two half-hours cleared in a one-hour block. No confirmed clearances at press time. 

-Judge Bryan Superior Court (All Media Partners): Texas litigator Brian Loncar presides over this half-hour of court. No confirmed clearances at press time. 

-Judge Heck (Trifecta) – presided over by Missouri Federal Judge Anthony “Tony” Heckemeyer. No confirmed clearances at press time.

-Judge Karen’s Court (Litton Entertainment) – Former judge Karen Mill-Francis is back at the urging of the Sinclair station group. A firm “go” following the confirmation on WPIX in New York. 

-Swift Justice (CBS Television Distribution) – outspoken Nancy Grace presides. A firm “go” for 2010-11.


Tooned In (Trifecta) – focus on pop culture with animated hosts. No confirmed clearances at press time.


American Dad (Twentieth Television)

Curb Your Enthusiasm (Warner Bros.)

Entourage (Warner Bros.)

How I Met Your Mother (Twentieth)

Meet the Browns (Debmar Mercury)

The New Adventures of Old Christine (Warner Bros.)


Brothers & Sisters (Disney-ABC)

The Closer (Warner Bros.)
Criminal Minds (CBS)

Heartland (Genesis International)

Stargate: Universe (MGM)
Ugly Betty (Disney-ABC)

Additional off-network entries, all non-scripted, include Cash Cab (MGM), Dog Whisperer (Twentieth), Real Housewives (NBC Universal) and True Hollywood Stories (Debmar-Mercury).  


On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options

Thursday 1/14/10
 8:00 p.m. Grey’s Anatomy (R)
 9:00 p.m. Grey’s Anatomy

10:00 p.m. Private Practice  

 8:00 p.m. The Mentalist (R)
 9:00 p.m. CSI

10:00 p.m. The Mentalist

 8:00 p.m. Community
 8:30 p.m. Parks and Recreation
 9:00 p.m. 30 Rock
 9:30 p.m. 30 Rock

10:00 p.m. The Jay Leno Show

 8:00 p.m. Bones
 9:30 p.m. Fringe
 8:00 p.m. The Vampire Diaries (R)
 9:00 p.m. Supernatural (R)

TV Trivia Time:

Good Evvvvvening


Which one of the following Alfred Hitchcock films spun-off into a regularly scheduled TV series?

North by Northwest
none of them did

The answer to yesterday’s question…


Classic family drama The Waltons is currently the focus of a commercial for which one of the following companies?


Is:  b) Geico, which always manages to come up with some very creative commercials.


-Current kudos goes to:
Steve Albright, Laurie Bergman, Barbara Berman, Matthew Berriman, Betty Bishop, Gerry Bixenspan, Barbara Bloomfield, Michael Bobble, Larry Collins (3x), Tom Condosta, Audrey Davis, Sue Doron, Tom Durr, Bob Eisenstaedt, Phyllis Epstein, John Ferlazzo, Arleen Fong, Maureen Goldman, Scott Hamula, Michelle Harrington, Barb Hemberger, Sherrie Hentschel, Michael Holland, Bob Ingersoll, Tony Intelesano, David Jackino, Kevin Jones, Deb Kainer, Mary Kalnin, Mary Kinoshita, Irene Kirschner, Synda Kollman, Steve Kurtzer, Tom Lawrenson (2x), Michael Lehman, Rick Locke, Anne Moynihan, Michael Murphy, Maggie Nye, Tad O’Rourke, Gordon Purcell, Natalie Ramsay, Arthur Reinsetin, Joye Riddle, Bruce Robinson, Joe Rubi, Paul Rule, Ron Salmon, Maxine Schulman, Kim Smith, Michelle Stanton, Ronnie Tallant