March Madness Leads CBS to Thursday Victory

Friday, March 26, 2010
Prime-Time Metered Market Thursday Ratings:
Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not

On the Air This Weekend:
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TV Tidbits:
Notes of Interest
TV Trivia Time:

The Nanny Named Fran

March Madness Leads CBS to Victory
Thursday 3/25/10


CBS    7.2/12
ABC   6.6/11
NBC   4.5/ 7
Fox     3.4/ 5
CW     2.2/ 4

-Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Thursday, March 26, 2009):

CBS: + 1, NBC: – 6, ABC: – 7, CW: – 8, Fox: -65

-Yesterday’s Winners:

2010 NCAA Basketball: Semi-Finals – Day 1 (CBS), Grey’s Anatomy (ABC), The Office (NBC)

-Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats):
Community (NBC), Parks and Recreation (NBC)
-Ratings Breakdown:

Ongoing March Madness kept CBS in the Thursday overnight winners circle, with the Regional Semi-Finals in Salt Lake City and Syracuse at an estimated 7.2 rating/11 share for the prime-time (8-11 p.m.) portion. Comparably, this was virtually identical to the 7.1/12 for the Regional Semi-Finals on March 26, 2009. Here is the half-hour breakdown:


2010 NCAA Basketball: Regional Semi-Finals – Day 1

8:00 p.m.: 6.2/11 (#1)
8:30 p.m.: 7.4/14 (#1)
9:00 p.m.: 8.2/13 (#2)
9:30 p.m.: 7.1/11 (#2)
10:00 p.m.: 7.2/12 (#1)
10:30 p.m.: 7.0/12 (#1)

Keep in mind, of course, that results for any live sporting event are always approximate. In the event you missed yesterday’s PI, regularly scheduled 9-11 p.m. CBS occupants CSI and The Mentalist will flip time periods effective next week. 


Second-place ABC opened the evening with on the-fence FlashForward at a second-place 4.8/ 8 in the overnights at 8 p.m. Comparably, this was eight percent below the 5.2/ 8 one week earlier in the 8 p.m. hour (which only translated into a 1.9 rating among adults 18-49). Considering CBS’ normally competing Survivor was absent last night, this is not a positive performance. 


ABC moved into the overnight winner’s circle at 9 p.m. care of veteran Grey’s Anatomy (#1: 8.6/14), followed by spin-off Private Practice at a second-place 6.5/11 at 10 p.m. Comparably, retention for Private Practice out of the second-half of Grey’s Anatomy (8.8/14 at 9:30 p.m.) was a so-so 74 percent.


NBC has a typical Thursday with its combination of Community (#4: 3.8/ 6), Parks and Recreation (#4: 3.4/ 5), which I personally doubt will ever catch on, demo friendly The Office (#3: 5.5/ 8), always soft 30 Rock (#3: 4.3/ 7) and recent entry The Marriage Ref (#3: 4.9/ 8). The Office makes the list of winners, of course, for the double-digit growth out of Parks and Recreation and the ongoing strength (and potential time period dominance) among adults 18-49. The good news for The Marriage Ref, meanwhile, was growth out of 30 Rock of 14 percent. Unfortunately, though, creator Jerry Seinfeld was back on camera. 


Fox populated this final Thursday in March with repeats of Bones (#3: 4.3/ 7) and Fringe (#4: 2.7/ 4). And The CW capped it off with freshman success The Vampire Diaries (#5: 2.5/ 4) and compatible Supernatural (#5: 2.0/ 3), which will both be back next season. If The CW really wants to make an impact, why not move Supernatural to Friday at 9 p.m. out of former lead-in Smallville and find something new out of The Vampire Diaries?

Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)

Ratings Box:

-More Dominance for NBC in Late Night:

Based on the Live Plus Same Day ratings for the atypical week of March 15, NBC’s combination of The Tonight Show With Jay Leno and The Late Show with Jimmy Fallon led the late night troops. I refer to the week as atypical because CBS’ The Late Show With David Letterman and The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson (which aired in repeats) were delayed on Thursday and Friday due to March Madness and were excluded from the weekly averages.