NBC Bids Adieu to Veteran ER

THE PROGRAMMING INSIDER
Thursday, April 2, 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:

Big Screen Spin-Offs

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Note: The overnight rating results for Wednesday, April 1 were not available at press time. But make sure you go to PIFeedback by approximately 12 p.m. ET for a first look at the fast affiliate results.  

 

As for American Idol, I was right on the mark this week. Megan Joy, Allison Iraheta and Anoop Desai were in the bottom three, and Megan was sent packing. But what was up with Megan’s creepy clucking? 

 
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Ratings Box:

What’s Hot/What’s Not
 
-Sluggish Start for Tuesday Freshman Premieres:

ABC is reporting that the debut of romantic drama remake Cupid built on the year-ago Tuesday 10 p.m. time period average (two episodes of Just For Laughs) by 16 percent in total viewers and 35 percent among adults 18-49. But with only 7.22 million viewers and a 2.3/ 6 in the demo (third in both categories) on March 31, retention out of lead-in Dancing With the Stars (Viewers: 13.51 million; A18-49: 3.1/ 8 at 9 p.m.) of 53 percent in total viewers and 74 percent in the demo is nothing to boast about. 

 

Over at Fox, creative dud The Osbournes: Reloaded was a ratings flop, with the half-hour series launch/preview at 8.40 million viewers and a 3.7/ 9 among adults 18-49 at 9:30 p.m. While that sounds good on paper, retention out of lead-in American Idol (Viewers: 24.41 million; A18-49: 8.9/23) was a mere 34 percent in total viewers and 42 percent in the demo. Fortunately for the people who did suffer through this, Fox has yet to announce airdates for the remaining five episodes. 

 
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-Series Ender Tracks:

As a benchmark for NBC’s concluding ER tonight, here is a household rating track (in order of rating – top to bottom) for other long-running series-enders. How do you think ER will stack up? My prediction is an 11.8.

 
MASH (CBS) – Feb. 28, 1983: 60.2 rating
The Fugitive (ABC) – Aug. 29, 1967: 45.9
Cheers (NBC) – May 20, 1993: 45.5
Seinfeld (NBC) – May 14, 1998: 41.3
Magnum, P.I. (CBS) – May 1, 1988: 32.0
Friends (NBC) – May 6, 2004: 29.2
The Cosby Show (NBC) – April 30, 1992: 28.0
All in the Family (CBS) – April 8, 1979: 26.6
The Mary Tyler Moore Show (CBS): March 19, 1977: 25.5
Dallas (CBS) – May 3, 1991: 22.0
Home Improvement (ABC) – May 25, 1999: 21.6
Everybody Loves Raymond (CBS) – May 16, 2005: 20.2

The Beverly Hillbillies (CBS) – March 23, 1971: 18.1

Gunsmoke (CBS) – March 31, 1975: 15.3
Newhart (CBS) – May 21, 1990: 18.7

Hill Street Blues (NBC): May 12, 1987: 17.0

St. Elsewhere (NBC): May 25, 1988: 17.0
 
Frasier (NBC) – May 13, 2004: 16.3

L.A. Law (NBC) – May 19, 1994: 15.9

Roseanne (ABC) – May 20, 1997: 11.6
Will & Grace (NBC) – May 5, 2006: 11.5
 
Thank you for the track, Brad Adgate. 
 
Source: Nielsen Media Research data
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On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options

 
Thursday 4/02/09
 
ABC:
 8:00 p.m. In the Motherhood
 8:30 p.m. Samantha Who?
 9:00 p.m. Grey’s Anatomy (R)

10:00 p.m. Private Practice (R)

  
CBS:

 8:00 p.m. Survivor: Tocantins

 9:00 p.m. CSI (200th episode)

10:00 p.m. Eleventh Hour (season or series finale)
 
NBC:
 8:00 p.m. ER Series Retrospective
 9:00 p.m. ER (series finale, two hours)
 
Fox:
 8:00 p.m. Bones
 9:00 p.m. Hell’s Kitchen
 
CW:

 8:00 p.m. Smallville

 9:00 p.m. Supernatural

 
MTNV

 8:00 p.m. Movie: Beauty Show (R)

 
ER – that’s a wrap! Here is a description of tonight’s ER ender courtesy of PIFeedback.
 

ER Retrospective:
A look back at the riveting medical drama’s 15 seasons, featuring interviews with cast members past and present, and clips from memorable episodes.

-ER: Series Finale “And In the End…”
In the series finale, old friends from County show up to support Carter as he opens a new medical facility for Chicago’s less fortunate.  Gates, meanwhile, treats a teen suffering from alcohol poisoning as a result of a drinking game; and an intern turns to Carter for help with a woman who has gone into labor with twins. Alexis Bledel and Ernest Borgnine guest star, along with former cast members from past seasons.