Rare Thursday Overnight Victory for Fox

Friday, February 27, 2009
American Idol Lifts Fox to an Atypical Victory
Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not

On the Air This Weekend:
Prime-Time Programming Options 

TV Tidbits:
Notes of Interest
TV Trivia Time:

John Boy Is Here!

American Idol Lifts Fox to an Atypical Victory
Thursday 2/26/09


Fox    8.7/14

CBS   8.4/14

ABC 4.3/ 7
NBC 4.0/ 6

CW    1.6/ 3


-Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Thursday, Feb. 28, 2008):

CBS: +11, CW: no change, NBC: – 5, Fox: -22, ABC: -25


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

-Yesterday’s Winners:
American Idol (Fox), CSI (CBS)

-Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats):

Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Furious Five (NBC), Kath & Kim (NBC)

-Ratings Breakdown:

Led by a Thursday edition of American Idol, Fox snuck past normally dominant CBS in the overnights, with a three-tenth of a rating point advantage. With Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice repeats, ABC dipped into the distant No. 3 three spot, followed by NBC and the CW. 


American Idol kicked-off the evening for Fox with an 11.5 rating/18 share in the overnights from 8-9 p.m., beating normally top-rated Survivor: Tocantins on CBS (6.3/10) by 83 percent. As good as this sounds for American Idol, keep in mind that the year-ago live voting results edition (also on Thursday) was considerably stronger at a 14.2/22 on Feb. 28, 2008. Do the math, and last night was down by 19 percent. Survivor: Tocantins, meanwhile, decreased by 11 percent from the year-ago edition set in Micronesia (7.1/11). For more on Survivor, see TV Tidbits below. 


The next three American Idol contestants moving on are Kris Allen, Allison Iraheta and, of course, Adam Lambert. But I don’t think this is the last we will see of Megan Joy Corkrey, who I predict will be a Wild Card pick. As for the bickering between Kara and Simon, you go Kara. Don’t let him bully you!


Third in the 8 p.m. hour was ABC’s hiatus-bound Ugly Betty (4.8/ 8), followed by animated NBC special Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Furious Five (2.6/ 4) and the soon-to-depart Kath & Kim (2.3/ 4), and a repeat of Smallville on the CW (1.7/ 3). Upcoming Amy Poehler NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation is scheduled to debut in place of Kath & Kim on April 9.


CBS moved into the 9 p.m. winner’s circle care of CSI, which averaged an 11.0/17 in the overnights. As predicted, the CSI franchise lives on without William Petersen. In the distant No. 2 spot was Hell’s Kitchen on Fox (6.0/10), which of course benefited by airing out of American Idol (but held only 49 percent of the 8:30 p.m. portion). Next in the 9 p.m. hour was a repeat of Grey’s Anatomy on ABC (4.7/ 7), followed by a repeat of NBC’s The Office (3.7/ 6) and an original installment of 30 Rock (3.9/ 6), and a repeat of Supernatural on the CW (1.6/ 2). While a 3.9 in the overnights is nothing to boast about, I will give 30 Rock credit for fully maintaining the encore Office lead-in. 


As for the CW on Thursday, don’t forget that Smallville and Supernatural have already been renewed for next season. There is no reason to think they will move off the night. 


CBS remained the dominant network at 10 p.m. care of hiatus-bound Eleventh Hour at an 8.0/13 in the overnights. But retention of 72 percent out of the second half of lead-in CSI (11.1/17 at 9:30 p.m.) could be better. Coming up on CBS in the time period: mystery Harper’s Island on April 9.