Networks Prepare for the Upfront Annoucements

Monday, May 18, 2009
Prime-Time Ratings:
Weekend Highlights
Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not
On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options
TV Tidbits:
Notes of Interest

TV Trivia Time:

Upfront Week


Note: Due to the network upfront announcements, The Programming Insider will focus solely on the new primetime schedules for the remainder of the week. All regularly scheduled sections (Prime-Time Ratings, Ratings Box, On the Air Tonight, TV Tidbits and TV Trivia Time) will return on Tuesday, May 26.


Prime-Time Ratings:

Weekend Highlights

Friday 5/15/09

Note: The following results are based on the fast affiliate ratings (Live Plus Same Day data).  



NBC   5.5/10
ABC   3.6/ 7
Fox    2.1/ 4
CW    1.1/ 2

-Total Viewers:

CBS: 8.98 million, NBC: 7.73, ABC: 5.67, Fox: 3.33, CW: 1.64

-Adults 18-49:

CBS and NBC: 2.0 rating/6 share each, ABC: 1.6/ 6, Fox: 1.2/ 5, CW: 0.7/ 3


Note: Any prior rating results are based on the final nationals. Since the level of DVR penetration has increased from 20 percent at this same point last year to approximately 28 percent at present, the overall results may be negatively impacted.


-Friday’s Winners:

Farrah’s Story (NBC), Numb3rs (CBS)
-Keep it On Sunday:

America’s Funniest Home Videos (ABC)


-Friday’s Losers (excluding repeats):
Prison Break (Fox), The Game (CW), 20/20 (ABC)


-Ratings Breakdown:

CBS was the most-watched network on this final Friday of the May 2009 sweeps, beating above-average NBC by 1.25 million viewers. Both networks were tied for first among adults 18-49. NBC’s noticeable increase from its recent Friday average stems from two-hour docu-drama special, Farrah’s Story. Third overall in both categories was ABC, followed by Fox and the CW.


A night of season-finales on CBS performed as follows:


8:00 p.m. Ghost Whisperer

Viewers: 8.93 million (#1), A18-49: 2.0 rating/8 share (#1)


9:00 p.m. Flashpoint

Viewers: 8.42 million (#1), A18-49: 1.8/ 6 (#2t)


10:00 p.m. Numb3rs

Viewers: 9.60 million (#1), A18-49: 2.1/ 7 (#2)


NBC opened the evening with back-to-back repeats of the soon-to-be officially axed Howie Do It at an average 5.30 million viewers (#2) and a 1.3/ 5 among adults 18-49 (#3) from 8-9 p.m. That led into aforementioned special Farrah’s Story at 8.94 million viewers (#2) and a first-place 2.4/ 8 among adults 18-49 from 9-11 p.m., which is a considerable improvement from the recent two-hour airings of Dateline. After tuning in to this sad tale of Farrah Fawcett’s ongoing battle with cancer, I am a true admirer of this courageous lady. Farrah…our prayers are with you.


Over at ABC, the two-hour season-finale of Sunday staple America’s Funniest Home Videos did not impress, with 5.64 million viewers and a 1.6/ 6 among adults 18-49 from 8-10 p.m. — third in both categories. That led into veteran 20/20 at an also third-place finish in both total viewers (5.72 million) and adults 18-49 (1.6/ 5) at 10 p.m.


In series-finale news, the two-hour conclusion of Fox’s Prison Break went out with a whimper at just 3.33 million viewers (#4) and a 1.2/ 5 in the demo (#4) from 8-10 p.m. The one-hour season (or series) finale of CW sitcom The Game was considerably worse at a typically last-place 1.86 million viewers and a 0.9/ 4 among adults 18-49 from 8-9 p.m. But The Game could be back next season because it is still one season short of the number of episodes needed for off-network syndication. That led into a repeat of the season-finale of America’s Next Top Model on the CW at 1.41 million viewers and a 0.6/ 2 in the demo from 9-10 p.m. — also last in both categories. 


Effective next Friday, the CW will fill the 9 p.m. hour with second encore telecasts of Everybody Hates Chris and The Game. Fox will anchor Friday with the return of Don’t Forget the Lyrics.