The Programming Insider: CBS Takes Friday Total Viewer Crown

Flash Point, CSI: N.Y., and 48 Hours Mystery lift network

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: Baretta’s Buddy

PRIME-TIME RATINGS: Weekend Results

Friday 5/20/11

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

Household Rating/Share

CBS: 4.1/ 8, NBC: 3.2/ 6, ABC: 2.9/ 5, Fox: 2.1/ 4, CW: 1.3/ 2

Total Viewers:

CBS: 6.32 million, NBC: 4.65, ABC: 4.53, Fox: 3.67, CW: 2.14

Adults 18-49:

Fox: 1.5 rating/5 share, ABC: 1.3/ 4, NBC: 1.1/ 4, CBS: 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:

Nothing

Friday’s Losers (excluding repeats):

Friday Night Nights (NBC), Supernatural (CW), Primetime: What Would You Do? (ABC), Dateline (NBC)

Ratings Breakdown:

It was a Friday of split low-rated leadership, which of course is nothing unusual.  CBS’ combination of Canadian drama Flashpoint (Viewers: #1, 6.68 million; A18-49: #3t, 0.9/ 3), which has plummeted among adults 18-49, a repeat of CSI: NY (Viewers: #1, 7.08 million; A18-49: #3, 1.1/ 4), and a Friday edition of 48 Hours Mystery (Viewers: #3, 5.21 million; A18-49: #3, 1.0/ 3) led the network to overall victory in total viewers and a third-place finish among adults 18-49.  The season-finale of Kitchen Nightmares (Viewers: #3, 3.84 million; A18-49: #1, 1.6/ 6) and repeat of Kitchen Nightmares (Viewers: #4, 3.49 million; A18-49: #1, 1.4/ 5) resulted in dominance for Fox in adults 18-49 (and a fourth-place finish in total viewers).

Looking ahead, there is no reason to believe, unfortunately, that upcoming CBS drama A Gifted Man will spark much interest in the Friday 8 p.m. hour.  And Fox’s returning combination of Kitchen Nightmares and Fringe is not, as the network boasted at their upfront presentation, a “winner.”

Elsewhere, a repeat of ABC’s Shark Tank (Viewers: #2, 4.15 million; A18-49: #2, 1.1/ 4 at 8 p.m.), which moves back one hour out of relocated Extreme Makeover: Home Edition next fall, led into original installments of Primetime: What Would You Do? (Viewers: #3, 3.94 million; A18-49: #2, 1.3/ 4) and 20/20 (Viewers: #2, 5.52 million; A18-49: #1, 1.5/ 5) from 9-11 p.m.  NBC populated the evening with soon-to-conclude Friday Night Lights (Viewers: #4, 3.31 million; A18-49: #3t, 0.9/ 3), which you have to give the network credit for keep on the air, and another two-hour edition of Dateline (Viewers: 5.32 million; A18-49: 1.0/ 3 from 9-11 p.m.), which will be trimmed to one hour (at 10 p.m.) out of new drama Grimm next fall.  Given the zero prospects of Grimm finding an audience, you can expect Dateline to be expanded back to two-hours by November.

In season-finale news, Supernatural on The CW closed with a last-place finish in both total viewers (2.21 million) and adults 18-49 (0.8/ 3) at 9 p.m.  An 8 p.m. edition of Supernatural attracted just 2.06 million viewers (#5) and a 0.8/ 3 in the demo (#5) at 8 p.m.  There is no reason to believe that relocated Nikita in the Friday 8 p.m. will ignite the evening next season.