The Programming Insider: 22 Million Viewers for Royal Nuptials

CBS takes event's ratings crown

In Today's Issue:

Primetime Ratings: Weekend Results

Ratings Box: What’s Hot/What’s Not

On the Air Tonight: Prime-Time Programming Options

TV Tidbits: Notes of Interest

TV Trivia Time: A Gritty Locale


Friday 4/29/11

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

Household Rating/Share:

CBS: 6.0/10, ABC: 4.0/ 7, NBC: 2.7/ 5, Fox: 2.1/ 4, CW: 1.2/ 2

Total Viewers:

CBS: 9.18 million, ABC: 5.99, NBC: 4.24, Fox: 3.39, CW: 1.94

Adults 18-49:

CBS: 1.7 rating/6 share, ABC: 1.4/ 5, Fox: 1.3/ 4, NBC: 1.0/ 3, CW: 0.8/ 3

Note: Any prior rating results are based on the final nationals.  Since the level of DVR penetration has increased from 33 percent at this same point last year to approximately 38 percent at present, the overall results may be negatively impacted.

Friday’s Winners:

The Royal Wedding: Modern Majesty (CBS), CSI: NY (CBS), Blue Bloods (CBS)

Friday’s Losers (excluding repeats):

Shark Tank (ABC), Friday Night Lights (NBC), Kitchen Nightmares (Fox), Smallville (CW), Dateline (NBC), Fringe (Fox), Supernatural (CW)

Ratings Breakdown:

CBS, which benefited by the Royal Wedding, led this final Friday in April, with a first-place finish in both total viewers and key adults 18-49.   An 8 p.m. special, The Royal Wedding: Modern Majesty, lifted the Eye net to a dominant finish in both total viewers (8.59 million viewers) and adults 18-49 (1.7 rating/6 share).  Tied for the distant No. 2 spot in the time period was Shark Tank on ABC (Viewers: #2, 4.59 million; A18-49: #3, 1.2/ 4) and Kitchen Nightmares on Fox (Viewers: #3, 3.29 million; A18-49: #2, 1.3/ 5).  But both non-scripted hours have nothing to boast about, no doubt.

Rounding off the 8 p.m. hour was the final season of NBC’s low-rated Friday Night Lights (Viewers: #4, 2.99 million; A18-49: #5, 0.6/ 2), which sunk to a series low, and soon-to-conclude Smallville on The CW (Viewers: #5, 1.94 million; A18-49: #4, 0.8/ 3), which officially wraps up with a two-hour episode on May 13.

At 9 p.m., CBS’ veteran CSI: NY won the hour with 9.19 million viewers and a 1.7/ 5 in the demo.  But since CBS is unlikely to schedule three hours of the CSI franchise in the fall, the best CSI: NY can probably hope for is a midseason return.  On ABC, the first hour of an expanded edition of 20/20, A Modern Fairytale, finished second with 6.65 million viewers and a 1.5/ 5 in the demo.  Tied for No. 3 was the first hour of another two-hour edition of NBC’s Dateline (Viewers: #3, 4.79 million; A18-49: #4, 1.1/ 4) and already renewed Fringe on Fox (Viewers: #4, 3.49 million; A18-49: #3, 1.3/ 4).  My prediction for ratings-challenged Fringe, which has certainly not benefited since moving to Friday, is a return in midseason.

Capping off the 9 p.m. hour was The CW’s just-renewed (and last-place) Supernatural, which left little-to-be desired with 1.94 million viewers and a 0.9/ 3 in the demo.  With Smallville exiting, chances are Supernatural will move into the 8 p.m. time period on Friday.

CBS’ sure-to-be picked-up Blue Bloods finished first in the 10 p.m. hour in total viewers (9.77 million – most-watched show of the evening), while tying the second hour of ABC’s Royal Wedding-themed 20/20 in the demo (each with a 1.6/ 5).  20/20 averaged 6.74 million viewers, which brought the 9-11 p.m. finish to a respectable 6.69 million viewers and a 1.5/ 5 in the demo.  The second hour of NBC’s Dateline lagged at 4.94 million viewers and a 1.3/ 4 among adults 18-49.  Overall, tired Dateline could only muster 4.87 million viewers and a 1.2/ 4 in the demo from 9-11 p.m.  In a perfect world, NBC would remove Dateline from troubled Friday next season, but the best we can hope for is paring it down to one hour.

Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)

Saturday 4/30/11

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

Household Rating/Share:

Fox: 3.5/ 7, NBC: 2.6/ 5, CBS: 2.3/ 4, ABC: 2.2/ 4

Total Viewers:

Fox: 5.65 million, NBC: 4.09, ABC: 3.58, CBS: 3.37

Adults 18-49:

Fox: 1.6 rating/6 share, ABC: 1.1/ 4, NBC: 0.7/ 3, CBS: 0.7/ 2

Saturday’s Winners:


Saturday’s Losers (excluding repeats):

Camp 360: Pacquito vs. Mosley (CBS), Chase (NBC) and the night overall 

Ratings Breakdown:

NASCAR on Fox in place of Cops and America’s Most Wanted led the Saturday night troops, but just 5.65 million viewers and a 1.6 rating/6 share among adults 18-49 is nothing to boast about.  Here is the half-hour:


8:00 p.m. – Viewers: 5.50 million (#1), A18-49: 1.5/ 6 (#1)

8:30 p.m. – Viewers: 5.69 million (#1), A18-49: 1.6/ 6 (#1)

9:00 p.m. – Viewers: 5.55 million (#1), A18-49: 1.5/ 5 (#1)

9:30 p.m. – Viewers: 5.87 million (#1), A18-49: 1.7/ 6 (#1)

Needless to say, there was not much to say elsewhere.  Last-place CBS opened with special Fight Camp 360: Pacquito vs. Mosley, which could be the Eye net’s worst performance in the Saturday 8 p.m. hour historically — 1.19 million viewers (#4) and a 0.3/ 1 among adults 18-49 (#4).  Next on CBS was a repeat of Criminal Minds (Viewers: #3, 3.52 million; A18-49: #3t, 0.6/ 2 at 9 p.m.), followed by long-running 48 Hours Mystery at 5.41 million viewers (#1) and a 1.0/ 3 in the demo (#2t) at 10 p.m.

In more burn-off series news, canceled NBC crime solver Chase finished second in total viewers (3.74 million) and third among adults 18-49 (0.6/ 2) in the 8 p.m. hour.  That led into repeats of Law & Order: Los Angeles (Viewers: #4, 3.51 million; A18-49: #3t, 0.6/ 2) and Law & Order: SVU (Viewers: #2, 5.01 million; A18-49: #2t, 1.0/ 3) from 9-11 p.m.

ABC capped off this final Saturday in April with a repeat of theatrical Batman Begins at 3.58 million viewers (#3) and a 1.1/ 4 among adults 18-49 (#2) from 8-11 p.m.

Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)

Sunday 5/01/11

Note: The following results are based on the metered market ratings.

Household Rating/Share:

CBS: 6.5/10, ABC: 5.9/ 9, NBC: 5.2/ 8, Fox: 2.8/ 5

Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Sunday, May 2, 2010):

NBC: +11, ABC: – 5, CBS: -13, Fox: -18

Note: The fast affiliate results for Sunday will be posted at by 12 p.m. ET. Go to the website, click on Ratings Box (the first category), then Last Night’s Results, and Sunday, May 1, 2011.

Yesterday’s Winners:

60 Minutes (CBS), The Amazing Race (CBS), Desperate Housewives (ABC), Celebrity Apprentice (NBC)

Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats):

Dateline (NBC), America’s Next Great Restaurant (NBC)

Ratings Breakdown:

Note: Individual program results in the 9-11 p.m. block are estimated due to the special address to the country by President Obama beginning at approximately 10:45 p.m. ET/PT.

CBS led this first Sunday in May in the overnights, with an advantage over No. 2 ABC of 10 percent.  Third overall was the home of Celebrity Apprentice, NBC, followed by Fox, which was in repeats in five of its six half-hours last night.  CBS opened the evening with older-skewing 60 Minutes (#1: 8.1 rating/14 share at 7 p.m.), followed by The Amazing Race (#1: 6.4/10 at 8 p.m.), which concludes for the season next Sunday, the season-finale of Undercover Boss (#3: 5.5/ 8 at 9 p.m.), which was well below average, and CSI: Miami (#2: 5.8/10 at 10 p.m.).

Over at ABC there was nothing unusual to report with its combination of granddaddy America’s Funniest Home Videos (#2: 4.5/ 8), Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (#2: 5.9/10), Desperate Housewives (#1: 7.5/11), which remains in desperate search of a decent storyline, and Brothers & Sisters (#3: 5.7/ 9), which is on-the-fence for renewal next season.  By rehashing the whole Paul Young and Carlos’ mother being killed storylines, Desperate Housewives is really showing its age creatively.

NBC started out slow but built, as usual, thanks to Celebrity Apprentice with its line-up of tired Dateline (#3: 3.8/ 7), the series-finale of America’s Great Restaurant (#3: 4.2/ 7) and aforementioned Celebrity Apprentice (6.4/10 from 9-11 p.m.), which grew by half-hour as follows:

Celebrity Apprentice (NBC)

9:00 p.m.: 5.9/ 9 (#2)

9:30 p.m.: 6.2/ 9 (#2)

10:00 p.m.: 6.6/10 (#1)

10:30 p.m.: 7.1/12 (#1)

As good as the whole NeNe Leakes versus Star Jones conflict is on Celebrity Apprentice, it still pales in comparison to Joan Rivers versus Annie Dukes two years ago.

Last, and very least, was Fox’s animated combination of two repeat episodes of Family Guy in the 7 p.m. hour (#3: 2.3/ 4), an original installment of The Simpsons (#4: 3.7/ 6 at 8 p.m.) and repeats of The Cleveland Show (#4: 2.9/ 5), Family Guy (#4: 3.2/ 5) and American Dad (#4: 2.8/ 4) from 8:30-10 p.m.  Fox decided at the last minute to replace the planned hurricane themed episodes of The Cleveland Show, Family Guy and American Dad with the encore telecasts.

Source: Nielsen Media Research data


RATINGS BOX: What’s Hot/What’s Not

Royal Wedding Coverage Soars:

It was not as strong as the 33.2 million viewers who tuned-in for the coverage of Princess Diana’s funeral in September 1997.  But a still massive 22.8 million viewers in total watched the 11 U.S. networks between 6-7:15 a.m. ET/PT on Friday to see the nuptials of Prince William and Kate Middleton, according to the fast national data from Nielsen Media Research.  NBC’s The Today Show led from 7-9 a.m. ET/PT with 9.6 million viewers — its most-watched individual telecast since Nov. 8, 2000.  Next was Good Morning America on ABC with 8.65 million (its most-seen telecast since at least September 1991), followed by The Early Show on CBS at 3.9 million.

Source: Nielsen Media Research data


ON THE AIR TONIGHT: Prime-Time Programming Options

Monday 5/02/11

Day 5 of the May 2011 Sweep


8:00 p.m. Dancing with the Stars

10:00 p.m. Castle


8:00 p.m. How I Met Your Mother

8:30 p.m. Mad Love

9:00 p.m. The Big Bang Theory (R)

9:30 p.m. Mike & Molly

10:00 p.m. Hawaii Five-O


8:00 p.m. Chuck

9:00 p.m. The Event

10:00 p.m. Law & Order: Los Angeles


8:00 p.m. House

9:00 p.m. The Chicago Code


8:00 p.m. 90210

9:00 p.m. Gossip Girl


TV TIDBITS: Notes of Interest

NBC Schedules Love Bites:

Remember Love Bites, the one-hour romantic anthology that was supposed to debut on NBC last fall?  The network will air the nine produced episodes, which focuses on love, sex, marriage and dating, beginning on Thursday, June 2 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

ABC Schedule Changes:

Recent Wednesday night ABC sitcom entry Happy Endings, which is scheduled in the Wednesday 10 p.m. half-hour out of Cougar Town and into repeats of Modern Family, will begin airing back-to-back repeats in the 10 p.m. hour effective immediately.  Also on ABC, recent Tuesday 8 p.m. returnee Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution has been pulled from the schedule for the second consecutive week.  Stepping in tomorrow will be Dancing with the Stars: The Encore.

Oxygen Schedules The Glee Project:

Upcoming Oxygen reality/competition The Glee Project, which will follow 12 performers as they compete for a seven-episode guest starring stint on Fox’s Glee, will debut on Sunday, June 12 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.  Ten episodes have been ordered.


Mel Torme was the correct answer to Thursday’s trivia question (What singer did Judge Harry T. Stone on sitcom Night Court idolize?).  But when I suggested he was a country singer, I foolishly confused him with Mel Tillis.  According to one reader: “Mel Torme was an extraordinary jazz singer, nicknamed "the Velvet Fog." He was a wonderful musician and composer, including being the composer of "The Christmas Song"…..written with Bob Wells and immortalized by Nat King Cole.”


TV TRIVIA: A Gritty Locale

Note: To respond to the trivia, please click HERE. Do not click Reply

What city was NBC crime solver Homicide: Life on the Street set in?

a) Baltimore

b) Chicago

c) Detroit

d) Indianapolis

e) Washington, D.C.

The answer to Friday’s question…

Remember spicy Mother Jefferson on classic comedy The Jeffersons, who always had a thing (or two) to say about “Weezie”?  What was her first name?

a) Beneatha

b) Hazel

c) Lorraine

d) Mary

e) Olivia

Is: e) Olivia.  

Current kudos goes to:

David Ballarotto, John Beadle, Gerry Bixenspan, Jordan Breslow, Larry Collins, Tom Condosta, John Ferlazzo, Maureen Goldman, Martha Gonzalez, Bob Ingersoll, Deb Kainer, Steven Kurtzer, Gordon Purcell, Con Rigg, Mary Ryan, Anthony Salerno, Michelle Stanton