THE PROGRAMMING INSIDER
Friday, March 18, 2011
Prime-Time Metered Market Thursday Ratings:
Fox Rules, Lackluster Basketball on CBS
What’s Hot/What’s Not
On the Air This Weekend:
Prime-Time Programming Options
Notes of Interest
TV Trivia Time:
Note: The overnight data now includes DVR playback until 3 a.m. local time. One year earlier it was based on Live data only. All times are ET/PT.
-Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Thursday, March 18, 2010):
American Idol (Fox), Bones (Fox)
NCAA Basketball Tournament (CBS), Community (NBC), Perfect Couples (NBC), Parks and Recreation (NBC), Outsourced (NBC)
Minus CBS’ regularly scheduled programming in the mix, it was an easy victory for the home of American Idol, Fox, which more than doubled No. 2 ABC in the overnights. Third overall was basketball on CBS, followed by struggling NBC and another night of repeats on The CW.
The live American Idol Results Show beat the four competing networks combined, with a 13.5 rating/22 share in the overnights from 8-9 p.m. As a benchmark, a repeat of Bones on the year-ago evening averaged a 4.4/ 7 on March 18, 2010. Thanks to the ample lead-in support, Bones at 9 p.m. was above-average at a dominant 7.8/13. But retention out of the 8:30 p.m. portion of American Idol (14.3/23) was lacking at 55 percent.
Second-place ABC opened with an original episode of Wipeout (#2: 4.3/ 7 at 8 p.m.), followed by a 9 p.m. installment of Private Practice (#2: 5.0/ 8) and a repeat of Off the Map (#3: 2.8/ 5). Private Practice lost some steam minus the normal lead-in support from Grey’s Anatomy, but it did manage to build from the 8:30 p.m. portion of Wipeout (4.3/ 7) by 16 percent.
CBS pre-empted The Big Bang Theory, Rules of Engagement, CSI and The Mentalist for The NCAA Basketball Tournament. BYU vs. Wofford was featured in a second-round game in Denver from 7-8:30 p.m., and Gonzaga vs. St. John’s in a second-round game also in Denver from 9:30-11 p.m. Keeping in mind that results for any live sporting event are approximate, this first night of basketball was a bust at an estimated 3.7/ 6 in the overnights from 8-11 p.m. (Results in the 7 p.m. hour were not available). One year earlier, the NCAA tournament was considerably stronger at a 6.7/11 on March 18, 2010.
Here is the half-hour breakdown:
NCAA Basketball (CBS)
10:00 p.m.: 3.6/ 6 (#1)
10:30 p.m.: 3.2/ 5 (#1)
NBC just handed out renewals for sitcoms Community, The Office and Parks and Recreation (see TV Tidbits below). Yet, its three-hour sitcom block continues to struggle as follows:
10:00 p.m. – 30 Rock: 3.2/ 5 (#2)
10:30 p.m. – Outsourced: 2.7/ 5 (#2t)
While the strength on NBC lies in the demos, of course, let’s be honest: there won’t be much to report with overnights this low.
Last were repeats of The Vampire Diaries (0.9/ 2) and Nikita (1.0/ 2) on The CW.
What’s Hot/What’s Not
-Record Comedy Central Roast of Donald Trump:
The Comedy Central Roast of Donald Trump finished as the cable net’s most-watched roast to-date, with 3.5 million viewers in the Tuesday 10:30 p.m. half-hour on March 15. Comparably, that finished first in the time period in all of cable and it lifted Comedy Central to its most-watched Tuesday ever. Results among adults 18-49 (2.21 rating), persons 18-34, men 18-34 (4.27) and men 18-24 (5.50) were also No. 1 on cable.
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