The Programming Insider: Soggy Results for ABC, Fox Frosh Sitcoms

Idol keeps Fox on top

In Today's Issue:

Prime-Time Metered Market Wednesday Ratings: Fox Rules; Lackluster Midseason Comedies on ABC and Fox

Ratings Box: What’s Hot/What’s Not

On the Air Tonight: Prime-Time Programming Options

TV Tidbits: Notes of Interest

TV Trivia Time: No Dancing Fool

PRIME-TIME METERED MARKET WEDNESDAY RATINGS: Fox Rules; Lackluster Midseason Comedies on ABC and Fox

Wednesday 5/04/11

Note: The overnight data now includes DVR playback until 3 a.m. local time. One year earlier it was based on Live data only.  All times are ET/PT.

Household Rating/Share

Fox: 11.7/18, CBS: 6.9/11, ABC: 4.2/ 7, NBC: 3.5/ 5, CW: 1.5/ 2

Percent Change from the Year-Ago Evening (Wednesday 5/05/10):

Fox: +41, ABC and CBS: + 5 each, NBC: -12, CW: -17

Yesterday’s Winners:

American Idol (Fox), Survivor: Redemption Island (CBS), Modern Family (ABC), Criminal Minds (CBS), Law & Order: SVU (NBC)

Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats):

Minute to Win It (NBC), Better With You (ABC), Cougar Town (ABC), Breaking In (Fox), America’s Next Top Model (CW), Happy Endings (ABC)

Ratings Breakdown:

It was another easy Wednesday overnight victory for Fox thanks to American Idol, which scored a hefty 14.1 rating/22 share from 8-9:30 p.m.  Comparably, Fox beat No. 2 CBS overall by 4.8 rating points.  In the distant No. 3 spot was ABC, followed by NBC and, of course, The CW.

As good as American Idol is, the challenge remains finding something worth airing out of it and that is not sitcom Breaking In.  Week five of Breaking In tied its series-low at a second-place 4.5/ 7 at 9:30 p.m. (with retention out of the 9 p.m. portion of American Idol – 14.9/22 – of a mere 30 percent).  As for American Idol, my pick to bid adieu (and it has been for the last three weeks) is Haley Reinhardt.

Over at CBS, Survivor: Redemption Island scored a typically respectable second-place 6.5/10 in the overnights at 8 p.m., which opposite American Idol should be considered a “winner.”  But given Survivor is concluding for the season on Sunday, May 15, don’t nine remaining contestants (including four on Redemption Island) seem awfully cluttered?

Survivor led into underrated Criminal Minds (#2: 8.3/13 at 9 p.m.), which does not get the attention it deserves, followed by spin-off Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior (#2: 5.8/10), which held only 64 percent of the 9:30 p.m. portion of its parent series lead-in (9.1/14) and is unlikely to return next season.

Over at ABC, the standout remains Modern Family, with a third-place 7.1/11 in the overnights at 9 p.m., and growth out of lackluster lead-in Better With You (#3, 3.8/ 6 at 8:30 p.m.) of a significant 87 percent.  Modern Family will, no doubt, finish a solid second in the time period among adults 18-49.  But it was downhill from 9:30 p.m. and beyond on ABC as a result of recent returnee Cougar Town (#3: 4.3/ 7), which dipped by 39 percent out of Modern Family (and that was without American Idol in the competitive mix), and two episodes of recent entry Happy Endings (#3: avg. 2.7/ 5 from 10-11 p.m.).

Earlier in the evening on ABC was The Middle at a third-place 4.8/ 8 in the overnights at 8 p.m.

Elsewhere, NBC was barely on the map from 8-10 p.m. care of two episodes (original and repeat) of game show Minute to Win It (8 p.m. – #4: 2.1/ 3; 9 p.m. – #4, 2.2/ 3) and veteran Law & Order: SVU (#1: 6.0/10 at 10 p.m.), which built by 131 percent out of the 9:30 p.m. portion of the Minute to Win It lead-in (2.6/ 4).  And The CW capped off the evening with a repeat of America’s Next Top Model (#5: 1.1/ 2 at 8 p.m.), followed by an original installment of the tired reality/competition at a last-place 1.9/ 3 at 9 p.m.