Solid Opening for New Season of Survivor

Friday, February 12, 2010
Prime-Time Metered Market Thursday Ratings:

Strong Start for the New Season of CBS’ Survivor  

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:
Helping Oscar

Note: The Programming Insider will not be published on Monday in observance of President’s Day. you back on Tuesday, Feb. 16.

Prime-Time Metered Market Thursday Ratings:

Strong Start for the New Season of CBS’ Survivor 

Thursday 2/11/10


CBS   9.1/14
ABC 6.6/10
Fox    4.1/ 6
NBC 3.9/ 6
CW    2.3/ 3

-Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Thursday, February 12, 2009):

CW: +35, Fox: +28, CBS: + 7, NBC: -11, ABC: -15

-Yesterday’s Winners:

Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains (CBS), Grey’s Anatomy (ABC), The Office (NBC), The Mentalist (CBS)

-Honorable Mention:
Bones (Fox), The Vampire Diaries (CW)
-Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats):

Community (NBC), Parks and Recreation (NBC), The Deep End (ABC), Past Life (Fox)

-Ratings Breakdown:

CBS led the overnight troops on this second Thursday in February, with a 38 percent advantage over second-place ABC. In the distant No. 3 spot was Fox, followed by NBC and The CW.


In season-premiere news, the expanded two-hour 20th edition of Survivor, themed Heroes vs. Villains, opened with a very healthy 8.5 rating/13 share from 8-10 p.m., performing by half-hour as follows:

Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains (CBS)
8:00 p.m.: 8.5/13 (#1)
8:30 p.m.: 8.7/13 (#1)
9:00 p.m.: 8.5/13 (#2)
9:30 p.m.: 8.2/12 (#2)

Comparably, this built over the year-ago season-opening installment of Survivor: Tocatins (7.5/12 on Feb. 12, 2009) by 13 percent. As for the show itself, I personally think this was the best kick-off of any season of Survivor to-date. Go heroes!


Leading out of Survivor was The Mentalist, which won the 10 p.m. hour in the overnights with a solid 10.5/17. As usual, The Mentalist was the highest rated show of the evening.


Over at ABC, recently introduced older-skewing drama The Deep End seems to have settled in, and that is not a good thing, with a third-place 4.2/ 7 in the overnights at 8 p.m. Next was soapy Grey’s Anatomy at a dominant 9.2/14 at 9 p.m., followed by spin-off Private Practice at a second place 6.4/10 at 10 p.m. Although competing The Mentalist outdelivered Private Practice by a hefty 64 percent, results among adults 18-49 could be neck-and-neck.


In time period premiere news, Fox drama Past Life disappointed at 9 p.m., with a distant fourth-place 3.1/ 5. Comparably, retention out of a repeat of lead-in Bones (#2: 5.1/ 8 at 8 p.m.) was just 61 percent. One week earlier, the winter season-finale of former 9 p.m. occupant Fringe scored a beefier 4.6/ 7.


NBC’s Thursday bright spot remains The Office, which built from lead-in Parks and Recreation (#4: 3.7/ 6 at 8:30 p.m.) by 57 percent, with a third-place 5.8/ 9 at 9 p.m. Considering The Office always scores among adults 18-49, this is a “winning” performance. As for Kathy Bates, my crystal ball tells me an Emmy nomination will come calling as Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy. 


Earlier in the evening on NBC was on-the-fence Community at a fourth-place 3.7/ 6 at 8 p.m. 30 Rock led out of The Office with a third-place 4.8/ 7  at 9:30 p.m. (17 percent below The Office), followed by back-to-back repeats of The Office at an average 2.5/ 4 from 10-11 p.m. Does anyone even notice, or care, that The Jay Leno Show is gone?


The CW capped off the night with its combination of The Vampire Diaries (#5: 2.7/ 4), the most-watched scripted series on the network, and Supernatural (#5: 1.9/ 3), which would be a good match with Smallville next season should the network care to beef up Friday. With The Vampire Diaries a success, my suggestion would be to try something new in the Thursday 9 p.m. time period next season.

Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)

Ratings Box:


-Largest Wednesday Audience for Old Christine:

CBS sitcom The New Adventures of Old Christine rose to its biggest Wednesday audience to-date this week, ranking first in households (5.0 rating/8 share) and second in total viewers (8.10 million) and adults 25-54 (3.0/ 8) in the 8 p.m. half-hour. Although lead-out Gary Unmarried benefited (Viewers: #3. 7.50 million; A18-49: #3, 2.4/ 7 at 8:30 p.m.), it was not enough to beat ABC’s competing (and already renewed) The Middle, which averaged 7.83 million viewers (#3) and a first-place 2.9/ 8 in the demo. Comparably, The Middle finished as ABC’s highest-rated scripted telecast in the Wednesday 8:30 p.m. half-hour among adults 18-49 since Nov. 14, 2007 (with Pushing Daisies). 


-Speaking of Wednesday:

Here are the Live Plus Same day rating results by network for Wednesday, Feb. 10:


Total Viewers:

Fox: 17.04 million, CBS: 11.70, ABC: 6.78, NBC: 5.70, CW: 1.08


Adults 18-49:

Fox: 6.0 rating/16 share, CBS: 3.1/ 8, ABC: 2.6/ 7, NBC: 1.6/ 4, CW: 0.5/ 1

-Above Average David Letterman:

Opposite a week of repeats on NBC’s The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien, CBS’ Late Show with David Letterman rose to 4.53 million viewers for the week of Feb. 1 — its largest audience since premiere week. Compared to one year earlier, Letterman was up by 700,000 viewers and seven percent among adults 25-54 (1.5/ 6), with no change in adults 18-49 (1.1/ 5) and adults 18-34 (0.7/ 3).  


-Daytime Ratings Update:

Also based on the first week in February, it was another week of mixed daytime leadership, with CBS the most-watched network and NBC first among key women 18-49. But worth positively noting for ABC was the most-watched week in almost two years for veteran serial General Hospital (3.05 million — best since the week of Feb. 18. 2008). Here are the final Live Plus Same Day rating results in daytime:

Total Viewers:

CBS: 3.85 million, NBC: 3.12, ABC: 3.06

Women 18-49:

NBC: 873,000, ABC: 852,000, CBS: 789,000

Source: Nielsen Media Research data

On the Air This Weekend:
Prime-Time Programming Options


 8:00 p.m. Movie: Spiderman 2.1


 8:00 p.m. Surviving Survivor (R)

 9:00 p.m. Undercover Boss (R)

10:00 p.m. Numbers (R)

 8:00 p.m. 2010 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremonies


 8:00 p.m. House (R)

 9:00 p.m. Kitchen Nightmares


 8:00 p.m. Smallville

 9:30 p.m. Smallville (R)


 8:00 p.m. Movie: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (R)


 8:00 p.m. Movie: The Wedding Crashers (R)

10:00 p.m. 48 Hours Mystery  

 8:00 p.m. 2010 Winter Olympics


 8:00 p.m. Cops (original and repeat)

 9:00 p.m. America’s Most Wanted

Sunday 2/14/10

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

 8:00 p.m. America’s Funniest Home Videos

 9:00 p.m. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (two hours)


 7:00 p.m. 60 Minutes

 8:00 p.m. The Amazing Race 16 (season premiere)

 9:00 p.m. Undercover Boss (time period premiere)

10:00 p.m. Cold Case (new time period)

 7:00 p.m. 2010 Winter Olympics


 7:00 p.m. ‘Til Death

 7:30 p.m. ‘Til Death

 8:00 p.m. The Simpsons

 8:30 p.m. The Cleveland Show

 9:00 p.m. Family Guy

 9:30 p.m. American Dad


TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest


Effective yesterday, is airing the premiere installment of the final season of must see drama Lost with special commentary from Daniel Roebuck, who plays Dr. Leslie Artz.’s new expert commentary feature will give viewers an opportunity to experience insights from the stars of the network’s series and specials, as well as producers, writers, directors, production and costume designers, music supervisors and network executives, among others. 


-Mildred Pierce Miniseries at HBO:

Classic 1945 theatrical Mildred Pierce, which netted an Academy Award for Joan Crawford, is being re-made into a five-hour miniseries on HBO. Kate Winslet will play Mildred, a proud, single mother struggling to earn her spoiled older daughter’s love and respect. For a blast from the past, click on