The Winter Olympics Beat American Idol

Friday, February 26, 2010
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Pinky’s Little Sis


Dominant Winter Olympics Beats American Idol 


Thursday 2/25/10
Note: The following results exclude the New York and Boston markets.



NBC 15.2/23
Fox     8.2/12
CBS    6.3/ 9
ABC   3.1/ 5
CW     1.2/2

-Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Thursday, February 26, 2009):

NBC: +280, Fox: – 6, CBS and CW: -25 each, ABC: -28

-Yesterday’s Winners:
The 2010 Winter Olympics (NBC), American Idol (Fox)
-Honorable Mention:
Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains (CBS)
-Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats):
The Deep End (ABC)
-Ratings Breakdown:

NBC led this fourth Thursday in February with soon-to-conclude The Vancouver Olympic Winter Games at an average 15.2 rating/23 share in the overnights for the prime-time portion. This included a victory of 12 percent over the first live results show of the season on Fox’s American Idol, which scored an 11.5/17 in the 8 p.m. hour (versus a 12.9/19 for The Winter Olympics). But Idol will still, of course, dominate among adults 18-49. 


Take a look at the half-hour breakdown for the Vancouver Games:

8:00 p.m.: 12.2/18 (#1)
8:30 p.m.: 13.5/20 (#1)
9:00 p.m.: 16.4/24 (#1)
9:30 p.m.: 16.7/25 (#1)
10:00 p.m.: 16.9/26 (#1)
10:30 p.m.: 15.2/25 (#1)

As for American Idol, I was one for four in my predictions who would be the first quartet of contestants to be eliminated. Although Janell Wheeler did indeed depart, I thought we would be seeing more of also booted Ashley Rodriguez, Joe Munoz and full-of-himself Tyler Grady, who was not necessarily a good sport about his departure. 


Leading out of American Idol on Fox was Kitchen Nightmares in place of canceled drama Past Life at a third-place 4.9/ 8 in the overnights at 9 p.m. With solid lead-in support, Kitchen Nightmares outdelivered Past Life’s overnight performance from one week earlier (2.3/ 3 on Feb. 18) by 113 percent.


Over at CBS, must see Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains was below average (but still worthy of honorable mention), with a third-place 7.3/11 at 8 p.m. Needless to say, I was very happy with the results last night. Go heroes! Survivor led into a repeat of The Mentalist (#2: 6.5/10 at 9 p.m.), which flipped time periods, followed by veteran CSI at an also second-place 5.1/ 8 at 10 p.m. This could, do doubt, be the plan on Thursday next season, with aging CSI inching closer to retirement.


In series-finale news, ABC’s The Deep End earned its cancellation stripes with a fourth-place 3.1/ 5 the overnights at 8 p.m. Next on ABC was a repeat of aging Grey’s Anatomy (#4: 3.5/ 6 at 9 p.m.), followed by an encore telecast of spin-off Private Practice at a third-place 2.7/ 4 at 10 p.m. Serialized dramas never repeat well.


The CW closed the night with repeats of already renewed The Vampire Diaries (#5: 1.3/2) and Supernatural (#5: 1.2/ 2). As suggested in recent weeks, The CW may want to free up the Thursday 9 p.m. hour next season for something new and use Supernatural to anchor Friday (if veteran Smallville does not return).  

Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)

Ratings Box:


-Updated Winter Olympic Results:

Based on the first 13 nights of the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games (through Wednesday, Feb. 24), NBC is estimating a total tune-in to-date of 177 million viewers on the networks of NBC Universal. Average viewership is 24.9 million — 20 percent above the 20.7 million for the comparable period in Turino in 2006


According to NBC Sports:

-46 percent of Olympic viewers changed their typical routine to watch the Olympics.