The Programming Insider Heads to TCA

THE PROGRAMMING INSIDER
Monday, July 27, 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:

California, Here I Come
_______________________________________________________________________
 

Note: The Programming Insider will be reporting live from The Summer Television Critics Association Press Tour in Pasadena, California effective on Thursday, July 30 through Friday, August 7. All regularly scheduled sections — Prime Time Ratings, Ratings Box, On the Air Tonight, TV Tidbits and TV Trivia Time — will return on Monday, August 17. But don’t forget to click on PIFeedback.com for your daily dose of the fast affiliate ratings results and other nuggets of note from The Press Tour.

 

Due to my travel schedule, The PI will be on hiatus on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, returning on Thursday, July 30. 

_______________________________________________________________________
 

Prime-Time Ratings:

Weekend Highlights

 
Friday 7/24/09

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

 

              HH
          Rtg/Shr

NBC 2.7/ 6
Fox    2.6/ 5
ABC 1.9/ 4
CW    0.6/ 1
 

-Total Viewers:

CBS: 4.68 million, Fox: 4.18, NBC: 3.99, ABC: 2.72, CW: 880,000

 
-Adults 18-49:

CBS: 1.1 rating/4 share, Fox: 1.0/ 4, NBC: 0.9/ 4, ABC: 0.7/ 3, CW: 0.3/ 1

 
——————–
 

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.

 
———-
 

-Respectable Summer Performers:

Nothing

 

-Friday’s Losers (excluding repeats):
Surviving Suburbia (ABC), The Goode Family (ABC), The Chopping Block (NBC), Mental (Fox), 20/20 (ABC)

 
———-
 

-Ratings Breakdown:

There was nothing unusual to report on this fourth Friday in July, with CBS finishing first in households, total viewers and adults 18-49. Under 5-million viewers for the No. 1 network is not all that impressive. Second in both categories was Fox, followed by NBC, ABC and The CW.

 

Fox led the 8 p.m. hour care of Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? at 4.67 million viewers and a 1.2 rating/5 share among adults 18-49. Don’t forget that a half-hour version of 5th Grader begins in first-run syndication in September. Second was a repeat of CBS’ Ghost Whisperer (Viewers: 4.27 million; A18-49: 1.1/ 5), followed by the series-finale of NBC reality/competition The Chopping Block (Viewers: 2.52 million; A18-49: 0.8/ 3), ABC’s Surviving Suburbia (Viewers: 2.42 million; A18-49: 0.6/ 3) and animated The Goode Family (Viewers: 1.52 million; A18-49: 0.5/ 2), which is not so good, and a repeat of The CW’s Privileged (Viewers: 903,000; A18-49: 0.3/ 2). Sadly, Privileged concluded in February with the words “to be continued” in the final scene. Needless to say, that was not fair to the viewers who were watching. 

 

Canadian drama Flashpoint, which is not on the fall schedule on CBS but will return in midseason, finished first in the 9 p.m. hour with 4.60 million viewers and a 1.1/ 4 among adults 18-49. Next was the first half of a two-hour edition of NBC’s Dateline (Viewers: 4.24 million; A18-49: 0.9/ 4), followed by failed Fox drama Mental (3.69 million; A18-49: 0.9/ 4), two repeats of ABC’s canceled According To Jim (Viewers: avg. 2.16 million; A18-49: avg. 0.7/ 2), and repeats of The CW’s axed Everybody Hates Chris (Viewers: 900,000; A18-49: 0.3/ 1) and The Game (Viewers: 814,000; A18-49: 0.3/ 1). Everybody Hates Chris, which debuts in off-network syndication this fall, could never regain the momentum after its winning first season four years ago. Unfortunately, it is never position for a series to head to syndication without also airing on a network. 

 

The second half of NBC’s Dateline and a repeat of CBS’ Numbers shared leadership at 10 p.m. as follows:

 

Friday 10 p.m.

Dateline (NBC)

Viewers: 5.21 million (#1), A18-49: 1.2/ 4 (#1t)

 

Numbers R (CBS)

Viewers: 5.16 million (#2), A18-49: 1.2/ 4 (#1t)

 

Overall, Dateline averaged 4.73 million viewers and a 1.0/ 4 in the demo from 9-11 p.m. Rounding off the 9 p.m. hour was veteran ABC newsmagazine 20/20 at 4.02 million viewers and a 1.0/ 4 among adults 18-49. While you certainly have to discount the lackluster numbers to the summer, outside of CBS it could be slim pickings again on Friday next season. On that note, here is what to expect:

 
ABC
 8:00 p.m. Supernanny (new time)
 9:00 p.m. Ugly Betty (new day and time)

10:00 p.m. 20/20

 
CBS
 8:00 p.m. Ghost Whisperer

 9:00 p.m. Medium (new network, new day and time)

10:00 p.m. Numbr3s

 
NBC
 8:00 p.m. Law & Order (new day and time)
 9:00 p.m. Southland (new day and time)

10:00 p.m. The Jay Leno Show (new)

 
Fox
 8:00 p.m. Brothers (new)
 8:30 p.m. ‘Til Death (return)
 9:00 p.m. Dollhouse
 
The CW
 8:00 p.m. Smallville (new day)
 9:00 p.m. America’s Next Top Model (R)
 

Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)

 
————————-
 
Saturday 7/25/09

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

 

              HH
          Rtg/Shr

Fox    2.6/ 6
NBC 2.1/ 4
ABC 1.6/ 3
 
Fox: 4.32 million, CBS: 4.03, NBC: 3.14, ABC: 2.60
 
-Adults 18-49:

Fox: 1.5 rating/6 share, CBS: 0.8/ 3, ABC and NBC: 0.7/ 3 each

 
———-
 

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.

 
———-
 

-Respectable Summer Performers:

Nothing

 

-Saturday’s Losers (excluding repeats):

Kings (NBC), Dirty Sexy Money (ABC) and the night overall.  

 
———-
 

-Ratings Breakdown:

There was very little of note on this typical summer Saturday, with the perennial combination of Cops (Viewers: #1, 4.04 million; A18-49: #1, 1.5 rating/7 share) and America’s Most Wanted (Viewers: #1, 4.59 million; A18-49: #1, 1.5/ 6) placing Fox first for the evening in both total viewers and adults 18-49. Regardless, the results are certainly not impressive. Tops in households and second overall in total viewers and the demo was CBS with its combination of a repeat of canceled military drama The Unit (Viewers: #3, 2.43 million; A18-49: #4, 0.4/ 2) and two episodes of 48 Hours Mystery, which performed as follows:

 
48 Hours Mystery (CBS)

9:00 p.m. – Viewers: 3.93 million (#2), A18-49: 0.8/ 3 (#2)

10:00 p.m. – Viewers: 5.74 million (#1), A18-49: 1.2/ 5 (#1)

 

NBC opened the evening with the series-finale of Kings (Viewers: #4, 1.80 million; A18-49: #3t, 0.4/ 2 at 8 p.m.), which was one of the biggest flops of the 2008-09 season, followed by repeats of Law & Order: Criminal Intent (Viewers: #3, 3.14 million; A18-49: #2t, 0.7/ 3) and Law & Order: SVU (Viewers: #2, 4.48 million; A18-49: #2, 1.2/ 4) from 9-11 p.m. If there is a lesson to be learned from NBC this season it is this: avoid the “creative” type scripted dramas that the ordinary viewer cannot relate to. 

 

ABC capped off mundane Saturday with a repeat of Wipeout (Viewers: #2, 3.51 million; A18-49: #2, 1.1/ 5), a repeat of Castle (Viewers: #4, 2.47 million; A18-49: #3, 0.6/ 2), and a burned-off installment of canceled sophomore drama Dirty Sexy Money (Viewers: #3, 1.83 million; A18-39: #3, 0.4/ 2). Sadly, there is no reason to think Saturday will get any better next season given the networks lack of putting anything on worth watching.

 

Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)

 
————————-
 
Sunday 7/26/09
 

              HH
          Rtg/Shr

NBC 3.1/ 6
ABC 2.8/ 5
Fox    1.5/ 3
CW    0.6/ 1
 
———-
 

-Note: Comparisons to the year-ago evening are not available.

   
———-
 

Note: The fast affiliate results for Sunday will be posted at PIFeedback.com by 12 p.m. ET. Go to the website, click on Ratings Box (the first category), then Last Night’s Results, and Sunday, July 26, 2009.   

 
———-
 

-Respectable Summer Performers:

60 Minutes (CBS)

 
-Disappointing:

Big Brother (CBS), The Storm, part one (NBC)

 

-Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats):

Merlin (NBC), Movie: Zoom (Fox), Movie: Cutting Edge: Chasing the Dream (CW)

 
———-

-Ratings Breakdown:

CBS finished first in the overnights on this final Sunday in July, followed by NBC, ABC, Fox and The CW, which will be officially off the Sunday map at the start of the 2009-10 season. Granddaddy 60 Minutes finished first in the 7 p.m. hour (and overall for the evening), with a 5.6 rating/11 share. Next at 7 p.m. was NBC’s Dateline (3.5/ 7), followed by a repeat of America’s Funniest Home Videos on ABC (2.9/ 6), repeats of Fox comedies ‘Til Death (1.1/ 2) and American Dad (1.2/ 2), and a repeat of CW dud Easy Money (0.3/ 1). It looks like I will have to make room for Easy Money in my next listing of “TV Turkeys” in November. 

 

First in the overnights at 8 p.m. (and an expected No. 1 among adults 18-49) was CBS’ Big Brother at a not so big 3.1/ 6. It looks like conniving Ronnie is not necessarily a shoo-in to leave on Thursday as it seemed last week. Second in the hour was a repeat of ABC’s tired Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (3.1/ 6), followed by failing NBC drama Merlin at a 2.6/ 5. Fox and The CW aired “D” list theatricals from 8-10 p.m. and they fared as follows:

 
Sunday 8-10 p.m.
Zoom (Fox): 1.7/ 3
Cutting Edge: Chasing the Dream (CW): 0.7/ 1
 

In original miniseries news, part one of The Storm on NBC generated minimal interest with a 3.2/ 5 from 9-11 p.m. Take a look at the half-hour breakdown:

 
The Storm (NBC)
9:00 p.m.: 3.3/ 6 (#2t)
9:30 p.m.: 3.2/ 5 (#3)
10:00 p.m.: 3.1/ 5 (#2)
10:30 p.m.: 3.1/ 5 (#2)
 

Also in the 9 p.m. hour was a repeat of CBS’ Cold Case (#1: 3.8/ 7), which shifts to Sundays at 10 p.m. next season (out of what I predict will be the first new casualty of the season, medical drama Three Rivers), and another encore telecast of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition on ABC (#2: 3.5/ 6). Too bad ABC has abandoned the original Extreme Makeover concept, with ordinary people getting makeovers. 

 

First at 10 p.m. was a repeat of CBS’ Without a Trace (4.0/ 7), which should have been picked up for next season, followed by the second half of aforementioned NBC miniseries The Storm (3.1/ 5), and a repeat of Desperate Housewives on ABC (1.8/ 3). As expected, serialized dramas like Desperate Housewives just do not play well in repeats.

 

As a reminder, here is what is on the agenda on Sundays this fall.  At press time, there are 56 days left until the start of the 2009-10 season. 

 
ABC

 7:00 p.m. America’s Funniest Home Videos

 8:00 p.m. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

 9:00 p.m. Desperate Housewives

10:00 p.m. Brothers & Sisters
 
CBS

 7:00 p.m. 60 Minutes

 8:00 p.m. The Amazing Race

 9:00 p.m. Three Rivers (new)

10:00 p.m. Cold Case (new time)
 
NBC

 7:00 p.m. Football Pre Game

 8:20 p.m. Football Night in America

 
Fox
 7:00 p.m. The OT

 8:00 p.m. The Simpsons

 8:30 p.m. The Cleveland Show (new)

 9:00 p.m. Family Guy

 9:30 p.m. American Dad

 
Source: Nielsen Media Research data
____________________________________________________________________________
 

Ratings Box:

What’s Hot/What’s Not
 
-More Dominance for USA Duo:

USA dramas Burn Notice and Royal Pains topped the cable charts on Thursday, July 23, with Burn Notice at a healthy 6.80 million viewers at 9 p.m. and compatible Royal Pains at 6.20 million at 10 p.m.

 
-Speaking of Thursday:

The broadcast networks fared as follows on Thursday, July 23:

 
Total Viewers:

CBS: 7.93 million, Fox: 7.02, NBC: 3.09, ABC: 2.74, CW: 1.23

 
Adults 18-49:

Fox: 2.2 rating/7 share, CBS: 1.9/ 6, NBC: 1.1/ 4, ABC: 0.8/ 2, CW: 0.5/ 2

 
 
Source: Nielsen Media Research data
________________________________________________________________________________
 

On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options

 
Monday 7/27/09
 
ABC:
 8:00 p.m. The Bachelorette (season finale)

10:00 p.m. Dating in the Dark

 
CBS:
 8:00 p.m. How I Met Your Mother (R)
 8:30 p.m. Rules of Engagement (R)
 9:00 p.m. Two and a Half Men (R)
 9:30 p.m. The Big Bang Theory (R)

10:00 p.m. CSI: Miami (R)

           
NBC:
 8:00 p.m. Law & Order (R)
 9:00 p.m. Law & Order: Criminal Intent (R)

10:00 p.m. Dateline

 
Fox:
 8:00 p.m. House (R)
 9:00 p.m. Lie To Me (R)
 
 CW:
 8:00 p.m. One Tree Hill (R)
 9:00 p.m. Gossip Girl (R)
 
MNTV
 8:00 p.m. The Twilight Zone (R)
 8:30 p.m. The Twilight Zone (R)

 9:00 p.m. Magic’s Biggest Secrets Finally Revealed (R)

 
________________________________________________________________________
 

TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest

 

-Legend of the Seeker – Season Two:

The second season of Disney-ABC first-run scripted weekly Legend of the Seeker will kick-off the weekend of Nov. 7. Twenty-two new episodes have been ordered.  

 

-Charlie Has a New Gig:

Dominic Monaghan, who played Charlie Pace on ABC’s Lost (and is expected back in part for the series’ final season) has joined the cast of upcoming ABC drama FlashForward. It premieres on Thursday, Sept. 24 at 8 p.m. ET.

 

-SyFy Announces Premiere Date for Caprica:

Caprica, the prequel to Battlestar Galactica, will debut on Syfy on Friday, Jan. 22, 2010 at 9 p.m. ET. The drama will launch with a two-hour episode, and then settle into the 10 p.m. hour. 

 
_______________________________________________________________________________________
 

TV Trivia Time:

California, Here I Come
 

Which one of the following five series was not set in California?

 

The answer to Friday’s question…

 
Doogie Howser, MD.
The L Word
Life With Bonnie
Police Woman
Tabitha
 

What sitcom did Roseanne lead-out of when it first launched in the fall of 1988?

 
Full House
Growing Pains
Head of the Class
The Wonder Years
Who’s the Boss?
 

Is: e) Who’s The Boss? Just five months after premiering, smash hit Roseanne was moved from Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. out of Who’s The Boss? to one half-hour later into new sitcom Coach.


-Current kudos goes to:
Gerry Bixenspan (2x), Larry Collins, Audrey Davis, Claire Franks, Adam Goldberg, Geoffrey Gordon, Bob Ingersoll, Deb Kainer, Joel Kunkel, Tony Naldrett, Alan Perris, Gordon Purcell, Joe Swaney