Substantial Gains for Fox’s American Idol

Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Prime-Time Metered Market Tuesday Ratings:

Idol Ignited Fox Wins; Repeat CBS a Respectable Second

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 Modern Family Here
Prime-Time Metered Market Tuesday Ratings:
Idol Ignited Fox Wins; Repeat CBS a Respectable Second
Tuesday 1/19/10


Fox   11.1/16
CBS    8.0/12
NBC   5.8/ 9
ABC   2.1/ 3
CW     0.6/ 1

-Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Tuesday, January 20, 2009):

CBS: +25, Fox: +14, NBC: + 7, CW: -57, ABC: -76


-Yesterday’s Winners:
American Idol (Fox), NCIS R (CBS), The Biggest Loser (NBC), NCIS: Los Angeles R (CBS), The Good Wife R (CBS)


-Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats):

Scrubs (ABC), Better Off Ted (ABC), The Jay Leno Show (NBC)


-Ratings Breakdown:

In what will, no doubt, be the pattern for the remainder of the season, Fox led the Tuesday overnights on the strength of American Idol. Second overall was a night of repeats on CBS, followed by NBC, almost invisible ABC, and more non-originals on The CW.


A one-hour version of American Idol stood well above the competition, with a 16.6 rating/24 share at 8 p.m. Comparably, and completely unprecedented, was growth for Idol over the year-ago telecast (12.5/18 on Jan. 20, 2009) of 33 percent. Never in the history of television has a veteran season nine series posted gains this large from the year-ago period. That led into a repeat of the pilot of Human Target, which finished third at 9 p.m. with a 5.8/ 9.


Despite airing all repeats, CBS had a very respectable overnight Tuesday showing care of NCIS (#2: 9.2/13), spin-off NCIS: Los Angeles (#1: 8.2/12) and The Good Wife (#1: 6.6/11), featuring just crowned Golden Globe winner Julianna Margulies.


NBC’s The Biggest Loser, one of the few Peacock shows warranting any interest, was on the map, with a 6.4/9 in the overnights at 8-10 p.m., which should translate into more solid results among adults 18-49. Here is the half-hour breakdown:


The Biggest Loser (NBC)

8:00 p.m.: 5.7/ 8 (#3)

8:30 p.m.: 5.7/ 8 (#3)

9:00 p.m.: 7.0/10 (#2)

9:30 p.m.: 7.3/11 (#2)


Also on NBC was canceled The Jay Leno Show at a second-place 4.6/ 8 at 10 p.m. Despite the ample lead-in support from The Biggest Loser, Leno could not even beat a repeat of CBS’ The Good Wife. What a disaster!


Over at ABC, the network slipped into what could be its weakest Tuesday in the history of the network with its combination of repeats of Scrubs (#4: 1.8/ 3) and Better Off Ted (#4: 1.4/ 2) from 8-9 p.m., original episodes of Scrubs (#4: 2.3/ 3) and Better Off Ted (#4: 2.0/ 3) from 9-10 p.m., and a repeat of crime drama The Forgotten (#3: 2.5/ 4). At this point it is time to officially cancel Scrubs, ABC.


Capping off the evening were repeats of The CW’s 90210 (#5: 0.6/ 1) and Melrose Place (#5: 0.6/ 1), which never play well in non-originals. 


Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)

Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not
-Good Sampling for The CW’s Life Unexpected:

Based on the fast affiliate results, Critically acclaimed CW drama Life Unexpected opened with 2.74 million viewers on January 18 — the most-watched performance in the Monday 9 p.m. hour since One Tree Hill on Jan. 12, 2009. The Life Unexpected debut equaled the season to-date average for regularly scheduled Gossip Girl in adults 18-34 (1.7/ 4) and adults 18-49 (1.2/ 3), while building from its One Tree Hill lead-in by as much as 25 percent among persons 12-34 (1.5/ 4). 

-Nickelodeon’s iCarly Continues to Soar:

Nickelodeon sensation iCarly smashed the record books again with a whopping 11.2 million viewers for the 8 p.m. telecast on Monday, Jan. 18. Comparably, that bested the previous high (8.9 million) by 2.3 million viewers. The kid’s phenomenon also reached new highs among kids 2-11, kids 6-11 and tweens 9-14. Thanks to iCarly, the preview of lead-out Big Time Rush kicked-off with 6.8 million viewers at 8:30 p.m. – Nickelodeon’s most-watched live-action series premiere ever. But the retention for Big Time Rush out of iCarly was only 61 percent. Big Time Rush premieres in its regularly scheduled Friday 8:30 p.m. time period this week.