March Madness Leads CBS to More Victory

Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Fox Wins; Solid Showing for ABC

National Ratings in Prime-Time:

Week of March 22, 2010
Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not

On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options 

TV Tidbits:
Notes of Interest
TV Trivia Time:
Supporting Friends
Prime-Time Metered Market Tuesday Ratings:
Fox Wins; Solid Showing for ABC
Tuesday 3/30/10


Fox   14.2/21
ABC   7.5/12
CBS    6.6/10
NBC   4.9/ 8
CW    1.0/ 2

-Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Tuesday, March 31, 2009):

ABC: +39, Fox: +28, NBC: -14, CBS and CW: -33 each

-Yesterday’s Winners:

American Idol (Fox), Dancing With the Stars (ABC), Lost (ABC)


-Honorable Mention:

NCIS R (CBS), NCIS: Los Angeles R (CBS)

 -Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats):
90210 (CW), Melrose Place (CW)
-Ratings Breakdown:

It was an easy overnight Tuesday victory for Fox, with the two-hour edition of American Idol at a rock-solid 14.2 rating/21 share from 8-10 p.m. Comparably, this was nine percent above the 90-minute edition on the year-ago evening (13.0/20 on March 31, 2009). Take a look at the half-hour breakdown:


American Idol (Fox)

8:00 p.m.: 12.7/20 (#1)

8:30 p.m.: 13.6/21 (#1)

9:00 p.m.: 15.2/23 (#1)

9:30 p.m.: 15.2/22 (#1)


As for the bottom three tonight, my predictions are awful Didi Benami; overrated Siobhan Magnus, who needs to stop screaming; and perennial cellar-dweller Tim Urban. My pick to bid adieu: Didi Benami.


Over at ABC, the live Dancing With the Stars results show finished a comfortable second in the overnights, with a 10.5/16 from 8-9 p.m. Hero Buzz Aldrin remaining in the competition was no surprise. The sentimental vote carried him through. But Pamela Anderson and Shannen Doherty in the bottom two and Shannen the first to depart were clearly shockers. I guess Shannen’s bad girl past finally caught up with her. Stop smiling, Tori!


Next on ABC was demo friendly Lost at a second-place 7.1/11 in the overnights at 9 p.m., followed by the return of V at a second-place 5.1/ 9 at 10 p.m. Comparably, retention for V out of the 9:30 p.m. portion of Lost (6.8/10) was an acceptable 75 percent. While ratings for V were far from extraordinary, it was an improvement from recent occupant The Forgotten (which I am sure you have forgotten by now!).


CBS, which finished an atypical third overall, aired repeats of NCIS (#3: 7.2/11), spin-off NCIS: Los Angeles (#3: 6.8/10) and The Good Wife (#1: 5.7/ 9). NBC had nothing unusual to report with its combination of The Biggest Loser (5.0/ 8 from 8-10 p.m.) and Parenthood (#3: 4.6/ 8 at 10 p.m.). And The CW was completely out of the competitive mix with its line-up of already renewed 90210 (#5: 1.2/ 2) and waiting-to-be-axed Melrose Place (#5: 0.9/ 1). 


As for The Biggest Loser, from a ratings perspective it is not one of the better seasons. But there was still growth in the overnights by half-hour as follows:


The Biggest Loser (NBC)

8:00 p.m.: 4.6/ 7 (#4)

8:30 p.m.: 4.7/ 7 (#4)

9:00 p.m.: 5.1/ 8 (#4)

9:30 p.m.: 5.6/ 8 (#4)


Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)


National Ratings in Prime-Time:

Week of March 22, 2010

With two more nights of ongoing March Madness in the mix (Thursday and Friday), plus the opening hours on Saturday and Sunday, CBS dominated this final full week in March in households, total viewers, adults 18-49 and adults 25-54. The home of American Idol, Fox, finished first among adults 18-34. Comparably, CBS was close to one year earlier (which also included NCAA Basketball), while Fox dipped by margins of 13 to 21 percent in the five surveyed categories. 


Here is a tracking for the two full nights of NCAA Basketball:


2010 NCAA Basketball: Regional Semi-Finals – Day 1 – Thursday 8 p.m.

Viewers: 11.32 million (#14), A18-49: 4.3/14 (#7)