Mixed Results for New Fox and CW Wednesday Line-Ups

Thursday, September 10, 2009
Prime-Time Metered Market Wednesday Ratings:
National Ratings in Prime-Time:

Week of August 31, 2009

Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not

On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options 

TV Tidbits:
Notes of Interest
TV Trivia Time:

Remember Thurgood Stubbs?

Mixed Results for New Fox and CW Midweek Skeds
Wednesday 9/09/09


NBC 5.5/ 9
CBS   4.4/ 7

Fox   4.0/ 6

ABC 3.8/ 6
CW    2.5/ 4

-Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Wednesday, September 10, 2008):

ABC: +15, CW: – 4, CBS: – 8, NBC: -18, Fox: -20
-Yesterday’s Winners:
America’s Got Talent (NBC)
-Losing Steam:
America’s Next Top Model (CW)

So You Think You Can Dance (Fox), Primetime: Crime (ABC)

-Ratings Breakdown:

NBC led the overnight troops on this atypical Wednesday, beating second-place CBS by an average 25 percent. Third overall was Fox, followed by ABC and The CW.


President Obama was back in primetime addressing the country, and totaling an approximate 13.2 rating/25 share in the metered markets on the Big 3 networks from 8-9 p.m. Here are the estimated overnight results by network:


8-9 p.m.: President Obama Address to a Joint Session of Congress

NBC: 5.5 rating/10 share
ABC: 4.7/ 8
CBS: 3.0/ 7

As a reminder, overnight results for any live event are always approximate.


In an all original night, the season-premiere of the first fall edition of Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance did not impress, with a fourth-place 3.6/ 6 in the 8 p.m. hour. As a benchmark, the initial Wednesday 8 p.m. airing of So You Think You Can Dance in the most recent season scored a considerably stronger 5.0/ 8 in the time period on May 27, 2009. As I have feared all along, the lack of time between seasons may not be beneficial for the dance/competition. 


Fox had better news at 9 p.m. care of the series-premiere of Glee at a third-place 4.5/ 7 in the overnights at 9 p.m. — 25 percent above the second-half of lead-in So You Think You Can Dance (3.6/ 6 at 8:30 p.m.). While not spectacular, any growth is a positive. Although I refer to Glee as a series-premiere, keep in mind that it did preview out of American Idol on Tuesday, May 19.


Also in season-premiere news, a two-hour edition of deteriorating America’s Next Top Model on The CW averaged a 2.5/ 4 in the overnights from 8-10 p.m., with the half-hour breakdown as follows:

America’s Next Top Model (CW)
8:00 p.m.: 2.2/ 4 (#5)
8:30 p.m.: 2.4/ 4 (#5)
9:00 p.m.: 2.7/ 4 (#5)
9:30 p.m.: 2.9/ 5 (#5)

One year earlier, America’s Next Top Model opened with a 3.3/ 5 in the overnights on Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2008, which makes this a loss of 24 percent. Top Model, in fact, was 46 percent below overnight season-premiere levels from just three years ago on The CW. Take a look:

America’s Next Top Model – Fall Season Premiere Overnights
2009: 2.5/ 4
2008: 3.3/ 5
2007: 3.9/ 7
2006: 4.6/ 7

Elsewhere, results from 9-11 p.m. on ABC, CBS and NBC were approximate due to President Obama’s lead-in speech. With that in mind, a one-hour edition of America’s Got Talent on NBC was first in the 9 p.m. hour, with a 6.0/ 9. Also occupying the time period was a repeat of CBS’ Criminal Minds (#2: 4.7/ 7) and Wipeout on ABC (#4: 3.6/ 6).


At 10 p.m., a repeat of CBS’ CSI: NY finished first in the overnights, with a 4.6/ 7. Second was a repeat of NBC’s Law & Order: SVU (4.3/ 7), followed by summer ABC newsmagazine Primetime: Crime at a weak 3.0/ 5.


Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)


National Ratings in Prime-Time:

Week of August 31, 2009


Three networks shared dominance for the holiday week of August 31. CBS was first in households, total viewers and adults 25-54, and it finished at levels close to one year earlier. ABC won the race among adults 18-49, with growth of 4 to 33 percent in the five surveyed categories. And Fox was No. 1 among adults 18-34, but the network slid by as much as 50 in among adults 25-54.  The sharp erosion for Fox was a result of airing original episodes of Prison Break, Bones, Kitchen Nightmares and Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? during the year-ago week. Last-place The CW also lost considerable steam by starting the 2008-09 season that week. As I say every week, growing MyNetworkTV continues to benefit by the arrival of Friday Night Smackdown! 


In season-premiere news, Alabama vs. Virginia Tech on ABC’s Saturday Night Football kicked-off with a respectable 7.08 million viewers (#15 overall) and a 2.7 rating/10 share among adults 18-49 (tied for #3) on Sept. 5. Consider this a solid performance on a traditionally low HUT level night. 


In the specials department, CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock opened the week for ABC with 7.39 million viewers (#12) and a 2.0 rating/6 share among adults 18-49 in the Monday 8-11 p.m. block. Comparably, that built from the year-ago telecast (Viewers: 4.89 million; A18-49: 1.4/ 3 on Sept. 8, 2008) by 2.50 million viewers and 43 percent in the demo. CBS aired a half-hour fall preview in the Wednesday 8:30 p.m. half-hour (focusing on upcoming Accidentally on Purpose, NCIS: Los Angeles, The Good Wife and Three Rivers), and it tanked with just 3.46 million viewers (#58) and a 0.9/ 3 in the demo (#59t). So much for early promotion. 


Here are the final national ratings for the week of August 31, 2009 (with percent change versus the comparable year-ago week in parentheses), followed by the summer series scorecard, and the top 20 rated programs of the week.  


CBS: 3.9 rating/7 share (+11), NBC: 3.7/ 7 (-36), ABC: 2.9/ 5 (+ 4), Fox: 2.4/ 4 (-45), MNTV: 0.9/ 2 (+12), CW: 0.7/ 1 (-67)


-Total Viewers:

CBS: 5.93 million (+11), NBC: 5.70 (-38), ABC: 4.66 (+13), Fox: 3.83 (-47), MNTV: 1.44 (+25), CW: 990,000 (-69)


-Adults 18-49:

ABC: 1.5 rating/5 share (+15), CBS: 1.4/ 5 (- 7), Fox: 1.4/ 5 (-48), NBC: 1.4/ 4 (-55), MNTV: 0.5/ 2 (+25), CW: 0.4/ 1 (-71)


-Adults 25-54:

CBS: 1.9/ 6 (no change), NBC: 1.8/ 5 (-50), ABC: 1.7/ 5 (+13), Fox: 1.5/ 5 (-50), MNTV: 0.5/ 2 (+25), CW: 0.4/ 1 (-71)


-Adults 18-34:
Fox: 1.3/ 5 (-46), ABC: 1.2/ 4 (+33), NBC: 1.0/ 4 (-62), CBS: 0.9/ 3 (no change), MNTV: 0.5/ 2 (+67), CW: 0.4/ 1 (-77)


Summer Series Scorecard (In Order of Total Viewers):

America’s Got Talent (NBC) – Tuesday 9 p.m. 

Viewers: 12.81 million (#1), A18-49: 3.2/ 9 (#2)

America’s Got Talent (NBC) – Wednesday 9 p.m. 

Viewers: 12.39 million (#2), A18-49: 2.7/ 8 (#3t)


Big Brother – (CBS) – Tuesday 9 p.m.

Viewers: 7.79 million (#7), A18-49: 2.6/ 7 (#7)


Hell’s Kitchen (Fox) – Tuesday 8 p.m. 

Viewers: 7.63 million (#9), A18-49: 3.4/12 (#1)


Wipeout (ABC) – Wednesday 8 p.m. 

Viewers: 7.62 million (#10), A18-49: 2.7/ 9 (#3t)


Big Brother – (CBS) – Thursday 8 p.m. 

Viewers: 6.81 million (#19), A18-49: 2.3/ 8 (9)


Big Brother – (CBS) – Sunday 8 p.m.

Viewers: 5.99 million (#24t), A18-49: 1.9/ 7 (#12t)


Crash Course (ABC) – Wednesday 9 p.m.

Viewers: 4.46 million (#39), A18-49: 1.7/ 5 (#18t)


More to Love (Fox) – Tuesday 9 p.m.

Viewers: 3.81 million (#53), A18-49: 1.8/ 5 (#15t)


Primetime: The Outsiders (ABC) – Tuesday 10 p.m.

Viewers: 3.68 million (#54), A18-49: 1.2/ 4 (#39t)


Shark Tank (ABC) – Sunday 9 p.m.

Viewers: 3.35 million (#60), A18-49: 1.1/ 3 (#44t)


Shaq Vs. (ABC) – Tuesday 9 p.m.

Viewers: 3.29 million (#61), A18-49: 1.3/ 4 (#34t)


There Goes the Neighborhood (CBS) – Sunday 9 p.m.

Viewers: 2.91 million (#65), A18-49: 0.8/ 3 (#64t)

 Defying Gravity (ABC) – Sunday 10 p.m.

Viewers: 2.00 million (#79), A18-49: 0.6/ 2 (#74t)


Top 20 Rankings


-Total Viewers:

America’s Got Talent – Tuesday (NBC): 12.81 million, America’s Got Talent – Wednesday (NBC): 12.39, NCIS R (CBS): 10.10, Two and a Half Men R (CBS): 8.46, The Big Bang Theory R (CBS): 8.34, CSI: Miami R (CBS): 7.89, Big Brother – Tuesday (CBS): 7.79, The Mentalist R (CBS): 7.73, Hell’s Kitchen (Fox): 7.73, Wipeout (ABC): 7.62, NCIS R (CBS, Tues. 10 p.m.): 7.41, CMA Music Festival (ABC): 7.39, Criminal Minds R (CBS): 7.30, Dateline – Friday (NBC): 7.12, Saturday Night Football (ABC, season premiere: Alabama vs. Virginia Tech): 7.08, 60 Minutes R (CBS): 7.05, Primetime: Crime (ABC): 6.96, Big Brother – Thursday (CBS): 6.81, CSI R (CBS): 6.80


-Adults 18-49:

Hell’s Kitchen (Fox): 3.4 rating/12 share, America’s Got Talent – Tuesday (NBC): 3.2/ 9, Saturday Night Football (ABC, season premiere: Alabama vs. Virginia Tech): 2.7/10, Wipeout (ABC): 2.7/ 9, The Big Bang Theory R (CBS): 2.7/ 7, America’s Got Talent – Wednesday (NBC): 2.7/ 8, Big Brother – Tuesday (CBS): 2.6/ 7, Two and a Half Men R (CBS): 2.4/ 7, Big Brother – Thursday (CBS): 2.3/ 8, Primetime: Crime (ABC): 2.1/ 6, CMA Music Festival (ABC): 2.0/ 6, Big Brother – Sunday (CBS): 1.9/ 7, So You Think You Can Dance: 15 Best Performances Ever (Fox): 1.9/ 6, CSI: Miami R (CBS): 1.9/ 5, Dateline (NBC), Glee R (Fox) and More to Love (Fox): 1.8/ 5 each, NCIS R (CBS): 1.7/ 6, Crash Course (ABC), Criminal Minds R (CBS), The Mentalist R (CBS, Thurs. 10 p.m.) and Law & Order: SVU R (NBC): 1.7/ 5 each


Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)


Ratings Box:

What’s Hot/What’s Not
-Soft Start for The CW’s 90210 and Melrose Place:

According to The CW, 90210 opened season two on Sept. 8 with its largest audience (2.6 million) since January 6, 2009, and best performance in the Tuesday 8 p.m. hour among women 18-34 (2.6 rating/8 share), adults 18-34 (1.7/ 6) and adults 18-49 (1.3/ 4) since February. But the revival of the classic 1990s serial debuted one year earlier with a considerably beefier 4.65 million viewers and a 2.6/ 7 among adults 18-49 on Sept. 2, 2008. Lead-out Melrose Place, also a revival, fit well out of 90210 with retention of 96 percent in women 18-34, 88 percent in adults 18-34, and 100 percent in both adults 18-49 (1.3/ 3) and women 18-49 (1.8/ 5). But its overall performance was only similar to former failed occupant Privileged in the year-ago time period.

-Record Day for G4:

Based on final national ratings for Monday, Sept. 7, cable net G4, the destination for young males, rose to its highest rated day ever in households (.31 rating) and total viewers (298,000). Comparably, G4’s performance for the day was up over the previous highs by 15 percent in homes and 30 percent in total viewers. And the results among target men 18-34 (.25 rating) were its fifth strongest day ever in the demo. 


-Series High for Sons of Anarchy on FX:

Season two of FX drama Sons of Anarchy kicked-off on Tuesday, Sept. 8 with a record 4.29 million viewers and 3.03 million adults at 10 p.m. ET. Results among men 18-49 (1.97 million) were the highest ever for a single telecast of any series on FX, and the most for any basic cable series in 2009 to-date. Comparably, Sons of Anarchy built by a whopping 95 percent (or 1.48 million viewers) from its season one premiere on Sept. 2, 2008 — the largest increase of any FX original series from a first to a second season.  

-Updated Cable Rankings:

What follows are the top 10 rated basic cable networks in prime-time for the week of August 31. 

Total Viewers:

ESPN: 3.73 million, USA: 2.77, Fox News: 2.10, TNT: 2.09, Nick at Nite: 1.92, A&E: 1.64, TBS: 1.60, HGTV: 1.49, ESPN2: 1.35, Syfy: 1.25

Adults 18-49:

ESPN: 1.80 million, USA: 1.70 million, TBS: 946,000, TNT: 848,000, A&E: 746,000, FX: 678,000, Nick at Nite: 643,000, Bravo: 620,000, Discovery: 602,000, Syfy: 571,000

Adults 25-54:

ESPN: 1.87 million, USA: 1.19 million, TNT: 909,000, A&E: 794,000, TBS: 772,000, Syfy: 660,000, HGTV: 626,000, FX: 624,000, Bravo: 600,000, Discovery: 576,000

Adults 18-34:

ESPN: 818,000, TBS: 538,000, USA: 442,000, TNT: 347,000, Nick at Nite: 346,000, Comedy Central: 333,000, FX: 329,000, MTV: 326,000, VH1: 323,000, Bravo: 318,000


Source: Nielsen Media Research data


On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options

Thursday 9/10/09
 8:00 p.m. Grey’s Anatomy (R)
 9:00 p.m. Grey’s Anatomy (R)
 10:00 p.m. Private Practice (R)

 8:00 p.m. Big Brother

 9:00 p.m. CSI (R)

10:00 p.m. The Mentalist (R)

 8:00 p.m. Sunday Night Football Pre-Game

 8:10 p.m. Sunday Night Football: Tennessee at Pittsburgh

 8:00 p.m. Bones (R)

 9:00 p.m. Fringe (R)


 8:00 p.m. The Vampire Diaries (series premiere)

 9:00 p.m. Supernatural (season premiere)


 8:00 p.m. World’s Funniest Moments (R)

 9:00 p.m. Magic’s Biggest Secrets Finally Revealed (R)


New Program Descriptions


The Vampire Diaries (CW)

-The Premise:

Based on the Alloy book series, a young woman is the object of desire of two vampire brothers…one good and one evil. The cast includes Candice Accola, Sara Canning, Steven R. McQueen and former Lost star Ian Somerhalder.

-The Scoop:

The concept of the show according to creator/executive producer Kevin Williamson (who, of course, created Dawson’s Creek):


“We are sort of cross-genres. There’s a lot going on here. We have the teen element, which you can compare to Dawson’s Creek. We’re not really going with that sort of heightened type of dialogue and stuff. We’re just trying to stay true to the books in that sense. But it’s not just a teen show. We’re trying to not make it a high school show. It’s sort of more of a small-town show. Once we you get past the premise of girl and vampire, we start to develop the story about a town. And what we love so much about the books is the mythology of the town and what they created. The vampires are our way into that.  

-The Reality:

The CW is in need of a new breakout hit and developing something reminiscent of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer and Dawson’s Creek could be a step in the right direction for the target young females. The competition is not easy, but viewers in this age range tend to find what they want. Plus, the vampire drama concept is hot right now thanks to HBO’s True Blood. Keep a positive eye (or two) on Vampire Diaries. If The CW is patient, it could have something here.


-Chance of Survival for Vampire Diaries (Based on a scale of 1-1 to 10-1):



TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest


-Ellen DeGeneres to Replace Paula Abdul on American Idol:

In a surprise announcement, Emmy winning talk show host Ellen DeGeneres will step into the seat left vacated by Paula Abdul on American Idol. DeGeneres will join returning Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi as one of the judges in the upcoming ninth season beginning in January 2010.  “I could not be more excited to have Ellen join the American Idol family,” said creator and executive producer Simon Fuller. “Ellen has been a fan of the show for many years, and her love of music and understanding of the American public will bring a unique human touch to our judging panel.”


Human touch aside, is Ellen really qualified to be judging young singer hopefuls? For more on this, listen to today’s PIPodcast at www.marcberman.tv.


-Peggy Lipton to Guest Star on Crash:

Remember Peggy Lipton, one of the three hippie cops on classic crime drama The Mod Squad? The groovy actress has been tapped in a guest starring arc on Starz drama Crash as a former hippie flower child. Lipton replaces another 1970s icon, Valerie Perrine, who had to back out due to an injury. Crash returns for season two on Friday, Sept. 18 at 10 p.m. ET.

TV Trivia Time:

Remember Thurgood Stubbs?


Who was the voice of “foamation” puppet Thurgood Stubbs on The PJs?


a)      George Carlin

b)      Lawrence-Hilton Jacobs

c)      Bernie Mac

d)      Garrett Morris

e)      Eddie Murphy


The answer to yesterday’s question…


Remember Karen’s smart-mouthed maid Rosario on Will & Grace? What was her occupation before Karen hired her?


a)      Bouncer

b)      Cigarette Lady

c)      Go-Go Dancer

d)      Masseuse 

e)      Waitress


Is: b) Cigarette Lady. Rosario was played, of course, by the wonderful Shelley Morrison. 


-Current kudos goes to:
Suzanne Ackley, Gerry Bixenspan, Maram Canawati, Larry Collins, Tom Condosta, Annie Courtney, John Ferlazzo, Maureen Goldman, Geoffrey Gordon, Barb Hemberger, Bob Ingersoll, Deb Kainer, Karen Kavanagh, Steven Kurtzer, Debbie Mirr, Stephen Narissi, Gordon Purcell, Michael Ratliffe, Arlyn Sinsay, Bruce Starin