Solid Showing for the 83rd Annual Academy Awards on ABC


Monday, February 28, 2011

Primetime Ratings:
Weekend Results

Ratings Box:

What’s Hot/What’s Not

On the Air Tonight:

Prime-Time Programming Options


TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest  

TV Trivia Time:

Making a Small Screen Living


Prime-Time Ratings:

Weekend Results
Friday 2/25/11

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



CBS    6.5/12

NBC   4.0/ 7
ABC   3.0/ 5
Fox     2.3/ 4
CW     1.4/ 2

CBS: 10.38 million, NBC: 5.88, ABC: 4.75, Fox: 3.88, CW: 2.36


-Adults 18-49:

CBS and Fox: 1.5 rating/5 share each, ABC and NBC: 1.3/ 4 each, CW: 1.0/ 3


Note: Any prior rating results are based on the final nationals. Since the level of DVR penetration has increased from 33 percent at this same point last year to approximately 38 percent at present, the overall results may be negatively impacted.


-Friday’s Winners:

CSI: NY (CBS), Blue Bloods (CBS)


-Friday’s Losers (excluding repeats):
As always, the night overall.


-Ratings Breakdown:

It was a Friday of split leadership. CBS finished first in total viewers (with a very respectable 10.38 million viewers), while tying Fox for No. 1 among adults 18-49, each with a modest 1.5 rating/4 share in the demo.


At 8 p.m., the Eye net’s relocated The Defenders was not half-bad in total viewers, with a dominant 8.72 million. But just a 1.2 rating/4 share among adults 18-49 (tied with NBC’s already renewed Who Do You Think You Are?) could be the kiss of cancellation. Next on CBS was CSI: NY at a first-place finish in both total viewers (10.83 million) and adults 18-49 (1.7/ 5) at 9 p.m., followed by freshman Blue Bloods at an also winning 11.58 million viewers and a 1.7/ 5 in the demo at 10 p.m. While you can’t deny viewers are watching CSI: NY, the older skew and hit CBS’ lack of time period opportunities next season does mean there may not be a renewal.


On Fox, Kitchen Nightmares with Gordon Ramsay at 8 p.m. is by no means a mass hit, with a fourth-place finish in total viewers (3.88 million). But it did win the hour in adults 18-49, with a 1.6/ 5. Relocated Fringe at 9 p.m. remained compatible, with 4.04 million viewers (#4) and a 1.5/ 5 in the demo at 9 p.m. (#2). To the fans wondering if Fringe will return next season, there are two things to keep in mind. First, the network could use a fourth season for a longer off-network run. And, secondly, nothing else would do better here. That said, I do personally think Fringe will be back.


Elsewhere, ABC’s soon-to-conclude Supernanny earned its cancellation stripes with 4.04 million viewers (#3) and a fourth-place 1.0/ 3 among adults 18-49 at 8 p.m. The reality series concludes on March 18. Lead-out Primetime: What Would You Do? perked up a bit to 4.67 million viewers (#3) and a 1.3/ 4 in the demo at 9 p.m. (#3t), followed by veteran 20/20 at 5.54 million viewers (#3) and a 1.5/ 5 among adults 18-49 (#2t) at 10 p.m.


NBC populated the evening with aforementioned Who Do You Think You Are? (Viewers: #2, 6.15 million; A18-49: #2t, 1.2/ 4 at 8 p.m.), which for a low-rated Friday could be worse, and another two-hour edition of Dateline (Viewers: 5.74 million; A18-49: 1.4/ 5 from 9-11 p.m.). And The CW aired soon-to-depart Smallville (Viewers: #5, 2.55 million; A18-49: #4t, 1.0/ 3), which bids adieu on May 13, and Supernatural (Viewers: #5, 2.17 million; A18-49: #5, 1.0/ 3). Given the compatibility to Smallville, there is every reason to believe Supernatural will move into the Friday anchor spot next season.


Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)

Saturday 2/26/11

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



Fox    3.5/ 6

NBC 2.8/ 5

CBS   2.6/ 5

ABC 2.3/ 4

-Total Viewers:

Fox: 5.86 million, NBC: 4.28, CBS: 4.12, ABC: 3.72


-Adults 18-49:

Fox: 1.8 rating/6 share, ABC and CBS: 0.9/ 3 each, NBC: 0.6/ 2


Note: Any prior rating results are based on the final nationals. Since the level of DVR penetration has increased from 33 percent at this same point last year to approximately 38 percent at present, the overall results may be negatively impacted.

-Saturday’s Winners:
-Saturday’s Losers:
The night overall.
-Ratings Breakdown:

Fox led the low-rated Saturday troops care of its perennial combination of Cops (original and repeat – Viewers: #1, avg. 5.73 million; A18-49: #1, avg. 1.8 rating/6 share) and America’s Most Wanted (Viewers: #1, 5.98 million; A18-49: #1, 1.9/ 6). But what can you really say when the top rated network averages just 5.86 million viewers and a 1/8 rating/6 share in the demo? Not much.


A night of repeats on NBC resulted in a second-place finish in total viewers with a fourth-place ranking among adults 18-49. The Harry’s Law encore opened with 4.72 million viewers (#3) and a last-place 0.6/ 2 among adults 18-49 at 8 p.m., followed by repeats of Law & Order: Los Angeles (Viewers: #4, 3.62 million; A18-49: #4, 0.5/ 2) and Law & Order: SVU (Viewers: #2, 4.51 million; A18-49: #3, 0.8/ 3) from 9-11 p.m. Although SVU is a shoo-in to return next season, NBC would be wise to let LOLA got and finally realize the franchise is just plain tired.


Third-place CBS populated the evening with repeats of The Amazing Race (Viewers: #4, 2.51 million; A18-49: #3t, 0.7/ 2), which is rarely seem outside of an original, and Hawaii Five-O (Viewers: #2, 4.44 million; A18-49: #2, 0.9/ 3) from 8-10 p.m., followed by 48 Hours Mystery at 5.41 million viewers (#1) and a 1.2/ 4 among adults 18-49 (#1t) at 10 p.m. As I say every year, CBS is the one network that could attempt to be more aggressive on Saturday, but that is unlikely to happen ever again.


Last was a repeat of Will Smith theatrical The Pursuit of Happiness at a not-so-happy 3.72 million viewers (#4) and a 0.9/ 3 among adults 18-49 (#2t) in primetime. The best word to describe the Saturday landscape: depressing.


Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)


Sunday 2/27/11

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



ABC 21.1/32
CBS   4.9/ 7
Fox    2.4/ 4
NBC 2.1/ 3

Note: The fast affiliate results for Sunday will be posted at by 12 p.m. ET. Go to the website, click on Ratings Box (the first category), then Last Night’s Results, and Sunday, February 9, 2011.


-Yesterday’s Winners:

The 83rd Annual Academy Awards (ABC), Oscar Red Carpet Special (ABC)


-Yesterday’s Losers:

Everything else


-Ratings Breakdown:

It was all about ABC, of course, last night, with The 83rd Annual Academy Awards averaging a 25.6 rating/39 share in the overnights from 8:30 p.m. -11:30 p.m. Combined with the Oscar Red Carpet Special from 7-8:30 p.m. (13.2/22), ABC more than doubled the competing networks combined. While it did slip by seven percent from one year earlier (27.5/42 on March 7, 2010), the year of The King’s Speech was an improvement from both 2008 and 2009. 


As a benchmark, here is the metered market tracking for The Academy Awards over the last decade (with the Best Film winner in parentheses):


2002: 29.8/46 (A Beautiful Life)

2003: 24.6/36 (Chicago)

2004: 28.7/42 (The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King)

2005: 29.2/42 (Million Dollar Baby)

2006: 26.3/29 (Crash)

2007: 27.0/41 (The Departed)

2008: 20.8/32 (No Country for Old Men)

2009: 23.0/36 (Slumdog Millionaire)

2010: 27.5/42 (The Hurt Locker)

2011: 25.6/39 (The King’s Speech)


Keep in mind that last year’s performance translated into 41.7 million viewers with a 13.3/33 among adults 18-49. Updated ratings will be available later today.


Other than Best Supporting Actress winner Melissa Leo dropping the “F” bomb last night (and were we really all that shocked?), there were no surprises last night. The King’s Speech and Inception led the pack, with four wins each. But The King’s Speech was the standout with trophies for Best Picture, Best Actor (Colin Firth), Best Director (Tom Hooper) and David Seidler for Best Original Screenplay, who was inspired to overcome his own stutter by King George, portrayed by Colin Firth in the film. The other acting wins — Natalie Portman (Best Actress, The Swan) and Christian Bale (Supporting Actor, The Fighter) — were easy to predict.


Bubbly co-host Anne Hathaway tired her best, but paired with awkward James Franco (which made no sense to begin with), the stage was set for a bland Oscars telecast last night. The opening montage was not funny, the quips throughout the show were lacking and Franco seemed just plain uncomfortable. Billy Crystal showing up later in the telecast only reminded us of how good he would have been back at the podium. 


For a complete listing of the 83rd Annual Academy Award winners, click here:

CBS finished a very distant second in every half-hour with its combination of a repeat edition of 60 Minutes, themed 60 Minutes Presents (5.7/ 9), reality/competition The Amazing Race (4.8/ 7), a repeat of Undercover Boss (3.9/ 6) and CSI: Miami (5.2/ 9). Since The Amazing Race just returned last week, the network needed to keep whatever momentum it might have going, but you have to wonder why it wasted a repeat of CSI: Miami opposite The Oscars. 


Fox traveled the repeat route with its animated line-up of The Simpsons (#4: 2.4/ 4), American Dad (#4: 2.0/ 3), the regularly scheduled edition of The Simpsons (#3: 2.8/ 4), recently introduced Bob’s Burgers (#3: 2.0/ 3) and a one-hour installment of Family Guy (#3: 2.6/ 4). And NBC populated the evening with Dateline at 7 p.m. (#3: 3.2/ 5), followed by…just what we needed!…three consecutive repeats of game show Minute to Win It at a mere 1.8/ 3 from 8-11 p.m.

Source: Nielsen Media Research data
Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not

-Thursday Cable Ratings
Surprise, surprise…Sammi “Sweetheart” is back in the Jersey Shore house and the MTV mega-hit continues to reign with 7.73 million viewers on February 24. Second on basic cable for the evening among the regularly scheduled series was USA’s Royal Pains (4.05 million), followed by USA’s Fairly Legal (3.16), Beyond Scared Straight on A&E (1.75), Man vs. Wild on Discovery Channel (1.41 million) and animated Archer on FX (1.00 million). 

Source: Nielsen Media Research data

On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options


Monday 2/28/11


 8:00 p.m. The Bachelor 

10:00 p.m. Castle

 8:00 p.m. How I Met Your Mother

 8:30 p.m. Rules of Engagement

 9:00 p.m. Two and a Half Men (R)

 9:30 p.m. Mike & Molly

10:00 p.m. Hawaii Five-O (R)

 8:00 p.m. Chuck

 9:00 p.m. The Cape (series finale)

10:00 p.m. Harry’s Law

 8:00 p.m. House 

 9:00 p.m. The Chicago Code  


 8:00 p.m. 90210

 9:00 p.m. Gossip Girl


TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest

-Charlie Sheen Update:

Want to hear more about troubled Charlie Sheen? Following his appearance on ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s The Today Show today, the Two and a Half Men star will do a sit-down with ABC News’ Andrea Canning on a special one-hour edition of 20/20 tomorrow at 10 p.m. ET/PT (which pre-empts crime solver Detroit 1-8-7). Portions of the interview will also air on GMA on Tuesday. 

-ABC Cuts No Ordinary Family Episode Order:

The alphabet net has trimmed the episode order of struggling freshman drama from 22 to 20 episodes, with the expected series-finale now slated for Tuesday, April 5 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. Also at ABC, non-scripted Wipeout, which has kept the Thursday 8 p.m. hour occupied in recent months, will open a spring edition on Thursday, March 17. It stays there until the launch of game show Take the Money and Run on April 14.

-More Jesse Stone:

Jesse Stone: Innocents Lost, the seventh title in the ongoing CBS made-for movie franchise with Tom Selleck, has been scheduled for Sunday, May 22 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Two-hour special Girls Night Out: Superstar Women of Country, which was originally scheduled for that night, will now air on Friday, April 22. Jesse Stone: Innocents Lost will find Jesse (Selleck) looking into the death of a teenaged girl and unofficially involved in the case of a convicted murderer who he thinks may be innocent. 


TV Trivia Time:

Making a Small Screen Living


What kind of store did Paul’s cousin Ira run on long-running NBC sitcom Mad About You?


a)      Collectibles

b)      Grocery

c)      Shoe

d)      Sporting goods

e)      Women’s clothing


The answer to Friday’s question…


Which one of the following TV characters was employed as a travel agent?


a)      Annie Camden

b)      Kate McArdle

c)      Kate O’Brien

d)      Selma Plout

e)      Mona Robinson


Is:  b) Kate McArdle from CBS sitcom Kate & Allie.  All together now…


Just when you think there’s no one around who’s caring,
along comes a friend who offers a hand in sharing,
and things start looking fine.

Sometimes tears and sorrow are all the things you’ve got
and just when you think you’re all by yourself, you’re not

-Current kudos goes to:

Gerry Bixenspan, Kimay Bloch, Tom Condosta, Audrey Davis, John Ferlazzo, Carolyn Becker Hayes, Bob Ingersoll, David Jackino, Marie LeFevre Karp, Tom Kilgallon, Steven Kurtzer, Rick Locke, Gordon Purcell, Ted Zawislak