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.).

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