Syndicated Talk Show Ratings Update

Thursday, February 4, 2010
Prime-Time Metered Market Wednesday Ratings:
Fox Wins; Crowing Rights for CBS and ABC as Well
Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not

On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options 

TV Tidbits:
Notes of Interest
TV Trivia Time:
Frank’s Place

Prime-Time Metered Market Wednesday Ratings:
Fox Wins; Crowing Rights for CBS and ABC as Well

Wednesday 2/03/10


Fox    9.2/14
CBS   8.8/14
ABC   4.6/ 7
NBC   3.6/ 6
CW    0.8/ 1

-Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Wednesday, February 4, 2009):
CBS: +66, ABC: + 2, CW: no change, NBC: -18, Fox: -19

-Yesterday’s Winners:

Super Bowl’s Greatest Commercials (CBS), American Idol (Fox), Criminal Minds (CBS), Modern Family (ABC), CSI: NY (CBS)

-Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats):
Ugly Betty (ABC), The Jay Leno Show (NBC)
-Ratings Breakdown:

Led by American Idol, Fox dominated the Wednesday overnights and will certainly win the evening among key adults 18-49. But its advantage over second-place CBS in the metered markets was just four-tenths of a rating point. In the distant No. 3 spot was the home of Modern Family, ABC, followed by NBC and another night of repeats on The CW. 


CBS opened the night on a winning note care of 8 p.m. special Super Bowl’s Greatest Commercials at a 7.4 rating/12 share. Tied for second were ABC comedies Modern Family (repeat: 4.9/ 8) and The Middle (5.0/ 8) and recently introduced Fox drama Human Target (5.0/ 8), which now anchors the evening (leading into American Idol). All things considered this is a very respectable start for Human Target in its new time period. ABC was wise, meanwhile, to give The Middle an early renewal for 2010-11 given the improved performance in recent weeks. The Middle is turning into the real deal. 


Also airing at 8 p.m. was on-the-fence NBC medical drama Mercy (#4: 4.2/ 7) and a repeat of The CW’s Life Unexpected (#5: 1.2/ 2). 


Fox took control of the 9 p.m. hour, of course, with the final night of auditions on American Idol notching a very healthy 13.4/20 in the overnights at 9 p.m. But also worth positively noting were CBS’ Criminal Minds (#2: 9.8/15) and ABC’s demo friendly Modern Family (#3: 6.4/ 9), which built by 28 percent out of improved The Middle. Far less significant on ABC was lead-out Cougar Town at a third-place 4.5/ 7 at 9:30 p.m. — 30 percent below Modern Family. For more on Criminal Minds, see TV Tidbits below. As for American Idol, am I the only one unhappy to have Ellen DeGeneres onboard next week?


Rounding off the 9 p.m. hour were repeats of NBC’s Law & Order: SVU (3.3/ 5), which will air in originals in the Wednesday 10 p.m. hour effective on March 3, and The CW’s Gossip Girl (0.5/ 1). 


CBS moved into the overnight winner’s circle at 10 p.m. care of CSI: NY (9.2/16), followed by ABC’s canceled Ugly Betty (3.4/ 6) and NBC’s canceled The Jay Leno Show (3.3/ 5).  Considering ABC has officially swung the axe on four-year old Ugly Betty, you have to wonder why it is spending so much money promoting it.

Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not
-Above Average Miss America on TCL:

The Miss America Pageant on TLC this past Saturday rose to 4.5 million viewers, the largest number of viewers to-date on cable.


-No. 2 Telemundo:
Based on final national January results, Telemundo finished second among adults 18-49 in the weeknight 7-11 p.m. block, with 615,000 viewers in the demo and a 20 percent share of the Spanish language audience. Comparably, results in the 8 p.m. hour (818,000) were up by a hefty 28 percent from one year earlier. 

-Syndicated Talk Show Ratings Update:

Midway through the 2009-10 season (through January 24 to be exact), CBS Television Distribution’s Oprah, which concludes next season, remains well above the competition at levels close to one year-earlier. But freshman spin-off Dr. Oz from Sony Pictures Television is neck-and-neck with declining “corporate cousin” Dr. Phil from CBS, and NBC Universal mainstay Maury now ranks second overall among women 18-49, with growth of 15 percent in the demo from one year earlier. All three NBCU talkers — Jerry Springer, Steve Wilkos and aforementioned Maury — are up year-to-year.