Remembering Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson

THE PROGRAMMING INSIDER
Friday, June 26, 2009
  

Five Hours of Airtime Devoted to the Passing of Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett

 
Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not
 

Remembering Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson

 

On the Air This Weekend:
Prime-Time Programming Options 

 
TV Tidbits:
Notes of Interest
 
TV Trivia Time:

In Honor of Farrah

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Prime-Time Metered Market Thursday Ratings:

Five Hours of Airtime Devoted to the Passing of Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett

 
Thursday 6/25/09
 

               HH
          Rtg/Shr

CBS    5.2/ 9

ABC   4.4/ 8

NBC   3.6/ 6

Fox     3.6/ 6
   
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-Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Thursday, June 26, 2008):

ABC: +33, CBS: +21, NBC: – 5, CW: -23, Fox: -31  

 
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-Given the unusual circumstances last night, the listing of winners and losers is excluded. 

 
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-Ratings Breakdown:

Needless to say, it was a very atypical night of television on this fourth Thursday in June, with coverage of the passing of Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett flooding the airwaves. Five hours of the Big 3 network line-ups in total were devoted to these two icons. CBS finished first overall in the metered markets, with an 18 percent advantage over second-place ABC. NBC and Fox were tied for the No. 3 spot, followed by lowly The CW.  

 

CBS pushed up its regularly scheduled 10 p.m. telecast of The Mentalist to 8 p.m. to make room for news coverage of Michael Jackson. An encore telecast of The Mentalist opened the evening with a dominant 4.6 rating/9 share in the overnights at 8 p.m., followed by a repeat of CSI (#1: 5.9/10) and the 10 p.m. news special (2: 5.2/ 9). 

 

ABC kept original episodes of canceled Samantha Who? (#3: 2.6/ 5) and In the Motherhood (#4: 1.9/ 4) in place from 8-9 p.m. But it replaced repeats of Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice with two special editions of newsmagazine 20/20. The first hour, which focused on Michael Jackson, was second in the overnights with a 4.6/ 8 at 9 p.m. The next, which focused on Farrah Fawcett, was first with a 6.3/11 at 10 p.m.

 

NBC aired back-to-back repeats of The Office from 8-9 p.m., and it finished third in the hour with a 2.4/ 4. That led into two-hours of Dateline at an average 4.2/ 7 from 9-11 p.m. Take a look at the half-hour breakdown:

 
Dateline (NBC)
 9:00 p.m.: 3.7/ 6 (#4)
 9:30 p.m.: 4.6/ 8 (#3)
10:00 p.m.: 4.2/ 7 (#3)
10:30 p.m.: 4.4/ 8 (#3)
 

In the 9-11 p.m. battle of 20/20 versus Dateline, 20/20 was victorious with a 5.4/ 9 versus the aforementioned 4.2/ 7 for Dateline.  

 

Elsewhere, a repeat of Fox’s Bones was second in the 8 p.m. hour, with a 3.2/ 6 in the overnights. The live So You Think You Can Dances Results Show followed with a below average (and fourth-place) 4.0/ 7 at 9 p.m. The CW capped off the evening with repeats of Smallville (#5: 1.1/ 2), which moves to Friday next fall, and Supernatural (#5: 0.9/ 1). 

 

Source: Nielsen Media Research data

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Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not
 
-Conan vs. Letterman Update:

It was another split decision based on the final national ratings for the week of June 15. CBS’ Late Show with David Letterman took the late night crown in total viewers (3.46 million) for the first time (against a full week of first-run episodes of NBC’s The Tonight Show) since December 2005. Week three of Conan O’Brien as host of NBC’s The Tonight Show averaged 3.32 million. Comparably, Letterman built from the year-ago week by 13 percent. Demographically, however, Conan continues to dominate, with a 1.3 rating/6 share among adults 18-49 (versus a 0.8/ 3 for Letterman) this week. 

 
Source: Nielsen Media Research data
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Remembering Farrah Fawcett

 

It is with tremendous sadness to report on the passing of Farrah Fawcett, who recently documented her three year battle with cancer in NBC documentary Farrah’s Story. Born in Corpus Christi, Texas in 1947 and remembered, of course, for her role in campy 1970s drama Charlie’s Angels, Fawcett broke onto the small screen with guest appearances in sitcoms Mayberry, R.F.D., I Dream of Jeannie, The Flying Nun and The Partridge Family; and in critically panned 1970s theatrical Myra Breckinridge. Other early guest spots included roles in The Six Million Dollar Man (opposite then husband Lee Majors); Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law; McCloud; Marcus Welby, M.D.; Apple’s Way; S.W.A.T.; and The Fall Guy (again with Majors).