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Ratings Chart Attack! is the TV industry’s destination for a daily dose of prime-time ratings. Delivering the daily scoop on which shows are scoring. TVWeek’s Sergio Ibarra calls the winners and losers, and what it means to broadcast network programmers. From day-in, day-out ratings to long-view trends and noteworthy performances, Ratings Chart Attack! delivers.

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April 2009 Archives

Fox Programming Outdraws Obama Press Conference

April 30, 2009 12:00 PM

Fox’s duo of “Lie to Me” and “American Idol” won the night as the other broadcast networks covered President Barack Obama’s press conference, while the 100th episode of ABC’s “Lost” took some hits in the 9 p.m. hour.

Lost

In the 8 p.m. hour, Fox’s “Lie to Me” scored a 2.4 rating/7 share among adults 18-49 and 7.9 million viewers. Last night’s episode was up 4% over last week. “Lie” also beat all of the other networks covering President Obama’s press conference in the hour.

ABC (1.6/5, 6.1 million), CBS (1.5/6, 6 million) and NBC (1.6/5, 6.7 million) all fared similarly, bringing the president’s total among the broadcast networks to a 4.7/16 (18.8 million). Those figures are estimates, and final numbers from Nielsen will be sustained.

Going against “Lie” and Obama, The CW’s “America’s Next Top Model” (1.8/6, 4 million) was down one-tenth of a point from last week, but it also beat each network’s presidential coverage. Among the younger adults 18-34 audience, “Top Model” ranked first in the timeslot.

In the 9 p.m. hour, Fox’s “American Idol” led the way against the 100th episode of “Lost” on ABC. “Idol” scored a 7.5/19 (21.8 million viewers), down a heftier-than-usual 10%. “Lost” (3.9/10, 8.8 million) was off 3% from its last original episode two weeks ago (last week was a special clips episode) and came in 11% below its season-to-date average. “Lost” remained the No. 1 scripted series of the night, beating out CBS’ “Criminal Minds” (3.3/8, 13.3 million) in the hour, as well as repeats of “Law & Order: SVU” on NBC and “90210” on The CW.

At 10 p.m., CBS took the top spot with “CSI: NY” (3.2/9, 12.5 million), which posted a 10% increase over its last original episode two weeks ago but dipped 9% from “Criminal Minds’” performance in the time period last week. NBC’s “Law & Order” (2.2/6, 7.7 million) matched its highest rating since early February, while ABC’s “The Unusuals” (1.7/5, 5.1 million) posted a 21% increase from last week, although that number may come down once final figures are released.

For the night: Fox (5.0/14, 14.9 million) finished first, followed by CBS (2.6/7, 10.6 million), ABC (2.4/7, 6.7 million), NBC (1.7/5, 6.4 million) and The CW (1.2/3, 2.6 million).

Final Nationals updated (4 p.m.): Fox’s “Idol” bumped up to a 7.7/19, while “Lie to Me” trickled down to a 2.3/7. On ABC, “Lost” climbed to a 4.1/10, while “The Unusuals” slipped to a 1.5/4. At the network level, factoring out sustained presidential press conference coverage brought CBS’ average to a 3.3/8 and ABC’s to a 2.8/7, while all other networks' tallies remained the same as preliminary numbers.

‘Idol,’ ‘Fringe’ Give Fox the Win; Duff Spot Boosts ‘SVU’

April 29, 2009 11:29 AM

Fox won Wednesday night thanks to a strong “Idol”-“Fringe” pairing, while Hilary Duff helped NBC’s “Law & Order: SVU” post its second-best rating of the season and its highest since early January.

Fringe

Fox led the way with a Rat Pack-themed performance edition of “American Idol,” which scored a 7.9 rating/22 share and 22.5 million viewers. While preliminary numbers were low compared with last week, projections for final numbers have “Idol” scoring around an 8.1 or 8.2. Similarly, while “Fringe” (4.2/10, 10.6 million) saw its best performance since early February, its final rating is projected to dip to a 4.0 once “Idol” runover is factored in. The network, however, remains in prime position for No. 1.

NBC’s “Law & Order: SVU” (3.9/11, 10.5 million), featuring a guest appearance by Ms. Duff, dominated the 10 p.m. hour. Last night’s episode posted an 18% increase over the show’s last original telecast earlier this month. From 8-10 p.m., “The Biggest Loser” (3.6/10, 9.4 million) was about on par with recent performances.

Some of CBS’ Tuesday night dramas were off a bit from recent performances. “NCIS” (3.4/10, 16.3 million) slipped 6% from its last original episode three weeks ago. Last night’s episode featuring Chris O’Donnell and LL Cool J was the first of a two-part arc for a potential series spinoff. “Without a Trace” (2.5/7, 12.3 million) took a 17% dip from its last new telecast two weeks ago, although it ranked as the most watched show in the hour. Similarly, “The Mentalist” (3.7/9, 16.9 million) was the most watched show in the 9 p.m. hour, posting a one-tenth of a point increase over last week.

On ABC, a results episode of “Dancing With the Stars” (3.2/8, 14.3 million) was flat from last week. At 10 p.m., “Cupid” (1.7/5, 6.2 million) gave the network a slight bump over last week’s telecast of “The Unusuals” in the timeslot, coming in flat from its last original airing two weeks ago. The network aired back-to-back episodes of “According to Jim” (0.9/3, 3.4 million, and 1.0/3, 3.7 million) in the 8 p.m. hour.

The CW’s “Reaper” (0.7/2, 1.8 million) and “90210” (0.9/2, 1.8 million) both came in slightly lower than recent performances. The network averaged a 1.1/3 among women 18-34.

For the night: Fox was first with a 6.0/16 (16.6 million), followed by NBC (3.7/10, 9.8 million), CBS (3.2/8, 15.2 million), ABC (2.0/5, 8 million) and The CW (0.8/2, 1.8 million).

Final Nationals update (2:20 p.m.): As expected, Fox’s “American Idol” wrapped up the night with an 8.1/23. “Fringe” came down to a 4.0/10, giving the network an overall 6.1/16 for the night. ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” bumped up to a 3.3/8, while “Castle” slipped to a 1.6/4. CBS’ “NCIS” came in with a 3.5/10.

Fresh ‘House’ Gives Fox the Win; Fan Frenzy Fails to Goose ‘Chuck’ Ratings

April 28, 2009 11:44 AM

Fox took the lead Monday night over CBS’ comedy block and the season finales of struggling NBC dramas “Chuck” and “Heroes,” while ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” slipped week-over-week.

House

Fox’s “House” returned to its Monday night slot and scored a 4.5 rating/12 share among adults 18-49 and 11.4 million viewers, according to preliminary Nielsen figures. Last night’s episode was flat from its last original telecast two weeks ago, but it improved on “Bones’” performance last week in the timeslot by 80%. At 9 p.m., “24” (3.4/8, 10.6 million) saw a slight 6% bump over last week.

CBS’ “Two and a Half Men” (4.9/12, 14.1 million) ranked as the top program of the night, even though last night’s episode was down 8% dip from the last original episode two weeks ago. The fresh “Men” lead-in gave “Rules of Engagement” (3.9/10, 11.3 million) a slight 3% bump over last week. In the 8 p.m. hour, new episodes of “The Big Bang Theory” (3.4/10, 9.3 million) and “How I Met Your Mother” (3.7/10, 8.9 million) both posted losses from their most recent original telecasts two weeks ago (down 13% and 10%, respectively). At 10 p.m. “CSI: Miami” (3.3/9, 12 million) was down 11% from its last new episode two weeks ago and posted its lowest original rating ever while still winning the hour.

The season finale of “Chuck” (2.3/6, 6.1 million) was down one-tenth of a point from last week’s final rating but flat in the preliminary numbers, even with increased competition across the board. The show remains on the bubble for a renewal and has become the topic of a feverish fan campaign to ensure a third season. The season finale of “Heroes” (3.0/7, 6.4 million) was similarly down one-tenth of a point from last week, coming in 19% below the show’s season-to-date average. “Medium” (2.2/6, 6.7 million) took a much heftier dip to match its series-low performance.

ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” (4.3/12, 19.1 million) was down 9% compared with last week to its lowest-rated performance episode this season, while “Surviving Suburbia” (2.4/6, 9.9 million) and “Castle” (2.1/6, 8.4 million) both came in flat.

The CW’s “Gossip Girl” (1.0/3, 2 million) and “One Tree Hill” (1.1/3, 2.2 million) both posted losses from last week (23% and 8%, respectively) against strong competition on the other networks. The network averaged a 2.3/6 among women 18-34.

For the night: Fox was first in the demo (3.9/10, 11 million), but ABC led in total viewers (3.2/9, 14 million). CBS followed in second in the demo (3.8/10, 11.3 million), followed by NBC (2.5/7, 6.4 million) and The CW (1.0/3, 2.1 million).

Final Nationals update (2:30 p.m.): NBC’s “Chuck” picked up one-tenth of a point, rising to a 2.4/6, similar to last week. Fox’s “House” was up to a 4.6/13. ABC’s “Surviving Suburbia” (2.2/5) and “Castle” (2.0/5) both dipped a bit after factoring in a slight “Dancing With the Stars” run-over. At the network level, Fox rose to a 4.0/10, while CBS dipped to a 3.7/10.

‘Desperate Housewives’ Wins Slow Sunday; ‘Sit Down’ Drops in 2nd Week

April 27, 2009 11:44 AM

ABC claimed a win Sunday night with its staple “Desperate Housewives,” although most shows across the broadcast networks took some spills, including the new Fox animated series “Sit Down, Shut Up.”

Sit Down, Shut Up

ABC’s “Housewives” scored a 4.7 rating/12 share among adults 18-49 and 13.5 million viewers, according to preliminary Nielsen figures. Last night’s episode dipped 2% from last week and came in 15% below the show’s season-to-date average. “Housewives,” however, still was the No. 1 of the night. “Brothers & Sisters” (3.1/8, 9.4 million) took a 6% dip from last week. At 7 p.m., “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (2.2/8, 7.6 million) remained flat, while “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (2.8/8, 8.7 million) was down 7% from its last original two-hour episode two weeks ago.

Fox kicked off its animation lineup with a repeat of “American Dad,” followed by the 250th episode of “King of the Hill” (1.3/5, 2.9 million). “The Simpsons” (2.9/9, 5.9 million) slipped 7% from last week, while “Sit Down, Shut Up” (1.9/5, 4.2 million) dove a much heftier 17% from its debut episode. “Family Guy” (3.4/9, 6.8 million) also slipped 11% with its “Sit Down” lead-in, followed by an original “American Dad” that came in with a 2.5/6 (5.1 million).

CBS’ “Cold Case” (2.2/5, 10.5 million) came in with its lowest-rated episode since February 2008, down 12% from its last original episode and off 19% from its season-to-date average. (The show remains on the bubble for renewal.) “The Unit” (2.0/5, 8.9 million) also posted a 17% drop from its season-to-date average. At 7 p.m., “60 Minutes” came in with a 1.6/6 and 10.4 million, while “The Amazing Race” (3.1/9, 10.3 million) was up one-tenth of a point over last week.

A two-hour edition of “Dateline” on NBC posted a 1.1/3 (5.1 million), off 31% from its most recent telecast two weeks ago. From 9-11 p.m., “Celebrity Apprentice” (3.0/8, 8.2 million) was down 6% from last week.

The CW aired a repeat of “Jericho” and the film “Four Weddings and a Funeral.”

For the night: ABC led the way (3.2/9, 9.8 million), followed by a tie between CBS (2.2/6, 10 million) and Fox (2.26, 4.5 million), then NBC (2.0/6, 6.7 million) and The CW (0.3/1, 1 million).

May Sweep Starts on Sagging Note as ABC, ‘Grey’s’ Win Night

April 24, 2009 12:21 PM

Network viewership was off across the board Thursday, the first night of the May sweep, with many shows posting their worst performances ever, including 10 p.m. newcomers “Southland” and “Harper’s Island.”

Grey's Anatomy

ABC won the night, with the network’s “Grey’s Anatomy” the No. 1 show, scoring a 4.9 rating/13 share among adults 18-49 and 13.2 million viewers, according to preliminary Nielsen figures. Last night’s episode, the first original in about a month, was off 13% in the demo from that episode and scoring the lowest rating ever for an original. “Grey’s” still provided a solid lead-in for a new “Private Practice,” which scored a 3.4/10 (9.2 million) in the 10 p.m. hour. “Practice” remained flat from its last original episode last month and won its hour against new series “Harper’s Island” and “Southland.” The network aired a “Grey’s” repeat at 8 p.m.

All three original programs on CBS came in with series lows. “Survivor: Tocantins” (3.5/11, 11.4 million) saw the series’ lowest original performance ever, excluding Thanksgiving and clip shows, as did “CSI” (3.6/9, 14.5 million), which posted a 5% decrease from last week. In its third week out, “Harper’s Island” (2.0/6, 7.5 million) continued its downward trend, falling 9% from last week.

Several of the male-skewing shows were affected not only by increased competition from other broadcast networks, but also by NBA basketball coverage on TNT.

On NBC, “My Name Is Earl” (2.2/7, 5.5 million) was flat with last week, while “Parks and Recreation” (2.3/7, 5.2 million) posted an 8% loss from last week. “The Office” (3.7/10, 7.2 million) posted the lowest rating for an original episode in its regular timeslot this season, while “30 Rock” (3.1/5, 6.3 million) slipped 11% from the week before but increased 15% over last year in the same time period. At 10 p.m., “Southland” (2.5/7, 8 million) scored its lowest rating after three weeks, and posted a much bigger loss between its second and third weeks than from first to second (17% vs. 6%).

Fox aired original episodes of “Bones” (2.2/7, 8.2 million) and “Hell’s Kitchen” (3.0/8, 6.8 million), both down from their previous week’s performance (12% and 14%, respectively).

The CW aired new episodes of “Smallville” (1.3/4, 3.1 million) and “Supernatural” (1.1/3, 2.8 million), and both saw decreases from their last original episodes (24% and 27%, respectively). The network averaged a 1.1/3 among women 18-34.

For the night: ABC was first (3.2/9, 9.2 million), followed by CBS (3.1/9, 11.1 million), NBC (2.7/8, 6.7 million), Fox (2.6/7, 7.5 million) and The CW (1.2/3, 2.9 million).

‘Idol’s’ Double-Elimination Episode Is a Winner

April 23, 2009 12:17 PM

Fox’s “American Idol” served up a win with two losers, while The CW’s “America’s Next Top Model” headed to Brazil to match this cycle’s best performance.

America’s Next Top Model

At 9 p.m., a double-elimination edition of Fox’s “American Idol” posted an 8.1/21 (23.3 million), down one-tenth of a point from last week. Year-over-year, last night’s “Idol” was down 6% in the demo, but the series has shown growth in total viewers for the last three weeks compared with the same time period last year (23.6 million vs. 23.3 million). Both “Lie” and “Idol” won their respective time periods.

Fox kicked off the night with a new “Lie to Me,” which scored a 2.3 rating/7 share among adults 18-49 and 7.9 million viewers according to preliminary Nielsen information. Last night’s episode took an 8% dip from the last original episode two weeks ago, and was off 23% from an original “Bones” performance in the hour last week.

The CW’s “America’s Next Top Model” (1.9/6, 4 million) posted a 6% gain over last week’s episode, in addition to bumps in some of the key young female demographics. “Model” finished second in the hour and matched its best rating in the demo for the current cycle. At 9 p.m., “90210” was a repeat, giving the network a 2.2/6 among women 18-34.

CBS’ “The New Adventures of Old Christine” and “Gary Unmarried” were both repeats. An encore of “Criminal Minds” aired at 9 p.m., followed by an original “Minds” at 10 p.m., which posted a 3.5/9 (13.5 million) to improve the hour by 21% over last week’s episode of “CSI: NY.”

ABC’s “The Unusuals” (1.6/4, 5 million) took an 11% dip from last week, but performed on par with Tuesday night’s special telecast in the preliminary numbers (which then dipped to a 1.5/4 in the final ratings). In the 8 p.m. hour, “Scrubs” (1.8/6, 4.7 million) and “Better Off Ted” (1.7/5, 4.2 million) were on par with recent performances, while a “Lost” special recap episode in advance of the show’s 100th episode next week came in with a 2.9/7 (6.6 million).

NBC aired encores of “Law & Order,” followed by “Law & Order: SVU” and another “Law & Order.”

For the night: Fox came out on top (5.2/15, 15.6 million), followed by CBS (2.5/7, 9.6 million), ABC (2.1/6, 5.3 million), NBC (1.5/4, 5.8 million) and The CW (1.2/3, 2.6 million).

‘Idol’ Wins Night With Low-Rated Tuesday Telecast

April 22, 2009 11:08 AM

Fox’s “American Idol” won the night after posting a dip from last week, while ABC’s Tuesday test of “The Unusuals” failed to improve the network’s performance in the 10 p.m. hour.

American Idol

Fox’s “Idol” scored an 8.0 rating/2 share among adults 18-49 and 23.2 million viewers, according to preliminary Nielsen figures. Last night’s episode was down 6% from last week and down 12% from its comparable night last year, scoring its lowest-rated Tuesday performance telecast since August 2002 in the preliminary numbers. (Final National updates from Nielsen have "Idol" at an 8.2/23 in the demo, down only 4% from last week and matching its performance from two weeks ago.)

At 9 p.m., “Fringe” (4.1/10, 10.5 million) held on strongly from last week, posting a 3% increase from last week. Fox had the top two shows of the night.

In the 10 p.m. hour, ABC’s “The Unusuals,” airing on a special night, posted a 1.6/4 (6.3 million). Last night’s episode was down 16% from the show’s season-to-date average on Wednesdays, where it has been following “Lost,” and down 6% from last Tuesday’s “Cupid” performance in the hour. Back-to-back episodes of ABC’s “According to Jim” (1.0/3, 3.7 million and 1.1/3, 3.7 million) were off 17% and 8%, respectively, from their time-period debuts last week. At 9 p.m., a results episode of “Dancing With the Stars” (3.2/8, 14.5 million) took a 9% dip from last week.

On NBC, “The Biggest Loser” (3.8/10, 9.3 million) remained flat from last week to match its best regular performance since Feb. 3. At 10 p.m., a repeat of “Law & Order: SVU” (2.7/7, 7.1 million) was the highest-rated repeat in more than a year.

CBS aired repeats throughout the night, starting with special back-to-back episodes of “The Big Bang Theory” (1.6/5, 6.1 million) and “Two and a Half Men” (1.8/5, 6.8 million), both of which edged out ABC sitcoms in head-to-head competition. “NCIS” (2.8/7, 12.3 million) and “The Mentalist” (2.7/7, 12.3 million) repeats both posted gains (8% and 13%, respectively) over repeats in their regular time periods last week. “Mentalist” tied with NBC’s “SVU” for the top spot in the 10 p.m. hour.

The CW’s “Reaper” (1.0/3, 2.5 million) was up one-tenth of a point over last week, while “90210” (1.1/3, 2.2 million) was down as much. Programming on the network was preempted in some markets due to local sports coverage. The network averaged a 1.4/4 among women 18-34.

For the night: Fox was first (6.0/16, 16.9 million), followed by NBC (3.4/9, 8.6 million), CBS (2.4/6, 10.4 million), ABC (1.9/5, 8.2 million) and The CW (1.0/3, 2.3 million).

Final National Updates (3:30 p.m.): Fox’s “Idol” went up to an 8.2/23 (24 million) in the demo, while “Fringe” dipped to a 3.9/9 (9.9 million). ABC’s second half-hour of “Jim” (1.0/3, 3.4 million) and “The Unusuals” (1.5/4, 5.8 million) both dipped one-tenth or a rating point, as did NBC’s “Loser” (3.7/10, 9.3 million) and “SVU” (2.6/7, 7 million) and The CW’s “Reaper” (0.9/2, 2.1 million) and “90210” (1.0/2, 1.9 million). At the network level, Fox bumped up to a 6.1/16 (17 million) for the night, while The CW slid to a 0.9/2 (2 million).

‘Dancing’ Does It Again, CBS Comedies Repeat Well

April 21, 2009 11:16 AM

ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” held strong Monday to give the network a win, while a night of mostly repeats on CBS gave the network a strong second-place finish.

Dancing With the Stars

A performance episode of ABC’s “Dancing” finished with a 4.7 rating/12 share and 20.3 million viewers from 8-9:30 p.m., according to preliminary Nielsen figures. Last night’s episode was 8% below this season’s average, but one-tenth of a rating point better than last week. At 9:30 p.m. “Surviving Suburbia” (2.6/6, 10.9 million) remained flat from last week, while “Castle” (2.2/6, 8.4 million) posted a 16% gain at 10 p.m.

CBS aired repeats of “The Big Bang Theory,” “How I Met Your Mother,” “Two and a Half Men” and “The Mentalist.” At 9:30 p.m., “Rules of Engagement” scored a 3.8/9 (10.6 million). At 10 p.m., a special Monday repeat of the network’s freshman hit “The Mentalist”—possibly designed to test the waters for moving the show—averaged 9.4 million viewers and a 2.5/7. That was enough to give CBS the win in the 10 p.m. hour in viewers.

On Fox, a special episode of “Bones” (2.5/7, 8.4 million) remained flat from its regular Thursday night performance last week. However, last night’s episode was down 17% from its special Wednesday broadcast before “American Idol,” and down 44% from “House’s” performance in the same hour last week. Without an original “House” lead-in, “24” (3.2/8, 10.3 million) posted an 11% dip.

NBC’s “Chuck” (2.3/6, 6 million) was flat with last week, matching a seven-week high. “Heroes” (3.0/7, 6.4 million) was down 9% from last week and off 19% from its season-to-date average. “Medium” (2.6/7, 7.4 million) was down only one-tenth of a point from last week, but still won the 10 p.m. hour in the key demo against “Castle” and “Mentalist.”

The CW’s Monday night dramas returned with originals after two weeks of repeats. “Gossip Girl” (1.2/3, 2.4 million) and “One Tree Hill” (1.2/3, 2.4 million) were down 7% from their last original episodes. The network finished the night with a 2.6/7 among women 18-34.

For the night: ABC (3.5/9, 14.8 million) led the way, followed by CBS (3.0/8, 9.2 million), Fox (2.8/7, 9.3 million), NBC (2.6/7, 6.6 million) and The CW (1.2/3, 2.4 million).

‘Desperate Housewives’ Leads ABC to Sunday Win

April 20, 2009 12:16 PM

Fox’s premiere of “Sit Down, Shut Up” failed to drive as many viewers to sit down and watch as other animated comedies, while original drama episodes on ABC led the network to a win.

Sit Down, Shut Up

Fox’s “Sit Down” scored a 2.3 rating/6 share among adults 18-49 and 5.2 million viewers in its 8:30 p.m. premiere, according to preliminary Nielsen Media Research figures. Last night’s episode was down 23% from its lead-in, a new episode of “The Simpsons” (3.0/9, 6.5 million). “Sit Down” was down 15% from the network’s time-period average for the previous four weeks (mostly repeats). In the 9 p.m. hour, “Family Guy” scored a 3.8/9 (7.4 million), down 10% from its most recent original three weeks ago, and “American Dad” capped off the night with a 3.0/7 (5.6 million). Fox opened the night with an “American Dad” repeat, followed by the time-period premiere of “King of the Hill” (1.6/5, 3.3 million).

ABC led the night overall, with new episodes of “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (2.2/7, 7.6 million), an “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” repeat, “Desperate Housewives” (4.7/11, 13.6 million) and “Brothers and Sisters” (3.3/9, 9.6 million). “Housewives” was down 6% from its last original episode in March, and down 15% from its season-to-date performance, but it still ranked as the No. 1 show of the night. “Brothers” was down just one-tenth of a rating point from its last original airing.

NBC’s presentation of the Miss USA Pageant (1.4/4, 5 million) was down 18% from last year’s telecast and was the lowest-rated pageant since ratings became available electronically 18 years ago. A new episode of “The Celebrity Apprentice” (3.1/8, 8.3 million) was up a bit over last week’s episode.

On CBS, the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie “The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler” (1.5/4, 9.8 million) was down 32% from the most recent film in the series, “Loving Leah,” earlier this year, but flat with last year’s “Sweet Nothing in My Ear.” The film came in third in the two-hour time period. “60 Minutes” (1.8/6, 11.9 million) was on the low side, while “The Amazing Race” (3.0/8, 10.4 million) was about average with recent telecasts.

The CW aired a repeat of “Jericho” and the film “At First Sight.”

For the night: ABC led the way (3.1/8, 9.6 million), followed by Fox (2.5/7, 5.1 million), NBC (2.3/6, 6.7 million), CBS (2.0/5, 10.5 million) and The CW (0.3/1, 0.9 million).

NBC’s ‘Office’ Wins Night as ‘Southland’ Holds Steady

April 17, 2009 12:04 PM

NBC’s “Southland” remained steady compared with its debut last week, while the network’s “Parks and Recreation” and CBS’ “Harper’s Island” dipped in their second week.

Southland

“Southland” on NBC scored a 3.1 rating/9 share and 9.6 million viewers, according to preliminary Nielsen figures. Last night’s episode was down only 3% from last week and won the 10 p.m. hour. “Southland” also remained flat from first half-hour to second.

The network’s other new series, “Parks and Recreation” (2.5/7, 5.9 million), wasn’t as strong, falling 17% from last week. However, last week “Parks” debuted after a special new episode of “The Office”; “Parks” lost only 12% of its lead-in. Last night, “My Name Is Earl” (2.1/7, 5.3 million) was down 38% versus last week’s “Office” in the time period, matching its previous series low. “Parks,” however, improved on last night’s “Earl” lead-in by 19%, the biggest post-“Earl” gain for the network since April 2007. Last night’s “Parks” also was up 14% from the season-to-date average for the time period. At 9 p.m., “The Office” (4.1/11, 8.2 million) in its regular timeslot was up 5% over last week and ranks as the No. 1 show of the night. At 9:30, “30 Rock” (3.5/9, 7.3 million) scored its best performance since early last month.

CBS’ “Harper’s Island” (2.2/6, 8.2 million) was down 15% from its debut last week, losing out to “Southland” for a second week in a row in adults 18-49 (last week “Harper’s” beat “Southland” in total viewers). “Harper’s” was down 42% from its lead-in, “CSI” (3.8/10, 15.4 million), which remained flat from last week. At 8 p.m., “Survivor: Tocantins” (3.5/11, 11.6 million) won the hour, but along with “CSI” matched its previous series low (excluding clip shows and Thanksgiving).

Fox’s “Bones” (2.5/8, 8.7 million) was flat from last week, while “Hell’s Kitchen” (3.4/9, 8 million) was up 3%.

On ABC, “In the Motherhood” (1.4/5, 4.7 million) and “Samantha Who?” (1.5/5, 5 million) both were up a bit from last week. “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Private Practice” were both repeats.

The CW aired repeats of “Smallville” and “Supernatural.”

For the night: Even with some dips CBS finished on top (3.2/9, 11.7 million), followed by a tie between NBC (3.0/9, 7.6 million) and Fox (8.4 million), then ABC (1.4/4, 4.8 million) and The CW (0.7.2, 1.8 million).

Final Nationals update (4:30p.m.): NBC's "Southland" dipped to a 3.0/9, while both "Earl" (2.2/7, 5.4 million) and "Office" (4.2/11, 8.4 million) increased in ratings and viewers. "Parks" increased in average viewers to 6 million, while "30 Rock" remained flat. CBS' "Survivor" inched up one-tenth of a point to a 3.6/11, while "CSI" bumped up to 15.7 million viewers and "Harper's" fell to 7.8 million. Fox's "Bones" increased viewers to 8.9 million, while "Kitchen" rose to a 3.5/9 (8.1 million). Both "Motherhood" and "Samantha" on ABC dipped in viewers to 4.6 million and 4.8 million, respectively. At the network level, all networks remained flat except for NBC, which rose to a 3.1/9 to take sole second place.

‘Bones’ Wins Hour, ‘Idol’ Wins Night for Fox

April 16, 2009 11:27 AM

Fox’s “Bones” performed strongly before “American Idol” Wednesday night, while ABC’s “The Unusuals” and CBS’ “CSI: NY” took some hits.

Bones

At 8 p.m., a special episode of “Bones” scored a 3.0 rating/9 share among adults 18-49 and 10.8 million viewers, according to preliminary Nielsen figures. The series won the hour and improved on “Lie to Me’s” performance in the time period by 20% over last week’s episode. “Bones” also drew its biggest audience since early February. “American Idol” (8.0/20, 23.5 million) remained flat with last week’s results episode and claimed the top spot for the night.

ABC’s “The Unusuals” (1.9/5, 6.2 million) dipped 10% from its debut last week. In the 8 p.m. hour, “Scrubs” (2.0/7, 5.3 million) and “Better Off Ted” (1.9/6, 4.7 million) posted slight gains from last week and average performances. “Lost” (3.9/10, 9 million) also grew a bit from last week, but it was off 10% from its season-to-date average.

At 10 p.m., CBS’ “CSI: NY” (2.8/8, 12 million) scored its lowest original episode ever, down 15% from last week. Last night’s episode, the only original in the network’s lineup, lost a strong 9 p.m. lead-in from “Criminal Minds.” “The New Adventures of Old Christine” and “Gary Unmarried” aired in the 8 p.m. hour.

The CW’s “America’s Next Top Model” (1.8/5, 3.8 million) posted a 6% gain from last week. A “90210” encore aired at 9 p.m., giving the network an average 1.9/6 rating among women 18-34.

NBC aired repeat episodes of “Law & Order,” “Law & Order: SVU” and “Law & Order.”

For the night: Fox led the way (5.5/15, 17.1 million), followed by ABC (2.6/7, 6.7 million), CBS (2.4/7, 9.4 million), NBC (1.5/4, 5.7 million) and The CW (1.1/3, 2.4 million).

Final Nationals update (2:45 p.m.): Fox’s “American Idol” was up to an 8.2/21 (24.1 million), while “Bones” remained flat but increased in total viewers to 11 million. ABC’s “Scrubs” remained flat, but dipped in viewers to 5.1 million, as did “Better Off Ted,” down to 4.6 million viewers. “Lost” rose to a 4.0/10 (9.2 million), while “The Unusuals” dipped to a 1.8/5 (6 million). CBS’ “CSI: NY” increased to a 2.9/8 (12.1 million), and The CW’s “America’s Next Top Model” was up 1 share point (1.8/6, 3.8 million). Overall, Fox rose (5.6/16), NBC dropped (1.4/4) and the rest were flat.

‘Idol,’ ‘Loser’ Maintain Strength; ‘Jim’ Drags Down Timeslot Average

April 15, 2009 11:34 AM

Fox led the way Tuesday night with “American Idol,” and NBC held strong with “The Biggest Loser.” Meanwhile, the time-period debut of “According to Jim” didn’t do much to help ABC in the 8 p.m. hour.

American Idol

Performances from the top seven contestants on Fox’s “American Idol” scored an 8.2 rating/23 share among adults 18-49 and 23.5 million viewers, according to preliminary Nielsen figures. After “Idol,” “Fringe” scored a 4.4/11 (11.5 million) in the 9 p.m. hour. However, due to a four-minute overrun from “Idol,” figures for Fox are approximate until final numbers are released later today.

Back-to-back new episodes of “According to Jim” (1.2/4, 4.7 million and 1.2/3, 4.2 million) posted decreases from the network’s season-to-date averages in those half-hours (down 43% and 46%, respectively). A results episode of “Dancing With the Stars” (3.4/8, 14.8 million) was up one-tenth of a rating point over last week, while “Cupid” (1.8/5, 6.6 million) was up two tenths.

On NBC, “The Biggest Loser” (3.7/10, 9.1 million) was up 16% over last week to score its best performance since March 10. At 10 p.m. “Law & Order: SVU” was a repeat.

CBS aired repeats of “NCIS” and “The Mentalist,” followed by a new “Without a Trace” (3.0/8, 13.2 million), which was up 11% from last week even without an original lead-in.

The CW’s “Reaper” (0.9/2, 2 million) remained flat from last week. A new “90210” (1.2/3, 2.1 million), featuring guest appearances by Tori Spelling and Diablo Cody, was up one-tenth of a point from last week and scored the show’s best performance since early February. Among women 18-34, the network averaged a 1.5/4 for the night.

For the night: Fox was first (6.3/16, 17.5 million), followed by NBC (3.3/9, 8.2 million), CBS (2.6/7, 12.9 million), ABC (2.1/6, 8.6 million) and The CW (1.0/3, 2.1 million).

Update: "Idol" gained three-tenths of a ratings point in the final national numbers, lifting the program to a 8.5 rating/23 share in the 18- to 49-year-old demographic. This puts last night's "Idol" up 3% compared with the same night last year. "Fringe" fell to a 4.0/10 in the finals, ending the night on par with past performances.

Viewers Looking for Laughs Lift CBS to Monday Win

April 14, 2009 11:52 AM

CBS’ comedies returned strong Monday night, giving the network a slight edge to take the top spot, while NBC dramas saw a solid bounce throughout the lineup.

The Big Bang Theory

After being bumped by NCAA March Madness coverage, CBS’ comedies kicked off with a new episode of “The Big Bang Theory,” bowing with a 3.8 rating/11 share among adults 18-49 and 10.1 million viewers, according to preliminary Nielsen figures. “How I Met Your Mother” came in with a 4.0/11 (9.6 million). “Two and a Half Men” (5.2/13, 14.8 million) was the top program of the night. “Rules of Engagement” (4.0/10, 11.6 million) and “CSI: Miami” (3.8/10, 13.3 million) wrapped up the night for the network.

On NBC, “Chuck” (2.3/6, 6.2 million) scored its best rating in six weeks, posting a 10% increase over last week’s episode. (Did the fans have something to do with the spike?) “Heroes” (3.2/8, 6.8 million) was up a solid 23% from last week to its best rating in five weeks. “Medium” (2.7/7, 7.6 million) carried that momentum through to post a 23% increase, recording its best rating in eight weeks.

Fox held on strong with a new episode of “House” (4.5/12, 11.8 million), down 12% from last week’s much-hyped episode. At 9 p.m. “24” (3.6/9, 10.8 million) was down only 5% from last week.

ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” (4.4/12, 19.1 million) was the most-watched show of the night, but it continues to lose steam, posting weekly losses in the demo for the fifth consecutive week. Last night’s performance episode was down a slight 4% from last week. At 9:30 p.m., the second episode of “Surviving Suburbia” (2.8/7, 10.7 million) was down by similar numbers, posting a 7% dip from last week. At 10 p.m., “Castle” (2.0/5, 7.6 million) posted its lowest rating this season.

The CW aired repeats of “Gossip Girl” and “One Tree Hill.”

For the night: CBS placed first (4.1/11, 12.1 million), followed closely by Fox (4.0/10, 11.3 million), then ABC (3.4/9, 13.9 million), NBC (2.7/7, 6.9 million) and The CW (0.4/1, 1 million). (Update: CBS and Fox tied for No. 1 in the final numbers with a 4.1/11.)

(Updated: 4:10 p.m.)

Golf's Masters Lifts CBS; NBC Benefits From 'Kings' Shift

April 13, 2009 10:47 AM

CBS finished on top Easter Sunday with coverage of the 2009 Masters golf tournament and original programs. Meanwhile, NBC’s “Dateline” gave the 8 p.m. hour a boost for the network after “Kings” was dethroned.

(For final figures of Masters coverage on CBS, click here.)

Golf

CBS opened the night with overrun coverage of the down-to-the-last-shot PGA Masters tournament (it ran until 7:38 p.m.). Masters coverage and “60 Minutes” averaged a 3.3 rating/12 share and 14.7 million viewers in the 7 p.m. hour, according to preliminary Nielsen figures. At 8 p.m., “60 Minutes”/“The Amazing Race” scored a 3.0/9 (11.8 million), followed by “The Amazing Race”/“Cold Case” (2.7/7, 10.2 million) and “Cold Case”/“The Unit” (2.6/7, 8.6 million).

On NBC, a two-hour “Dateline” scored a 1.6/5 (6.4 million). The program showed strong increases half-hour over half-hour, doubling its rating from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. In the 8 p.m. hour, “Dateline” averaged a 2.0 rating, improving over “Kings’” last original episode in that timeslot by 82%. At 9 p.m., “Celebrity Apprentice” (2.9/8, 7.9 million) was up 4% from last week’s episode and won its two-hour slot.

ABC aired a special two-hour episode of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (2.9, 8, 9.4 million) from 8-10 p.m. “America’s Funniest Home Videos” and “Desperate Housewives” were repeats.

Fox aired all repeats of its Sunday-night animated comedies, while The CW aired a repeat of “Jericho” and the film “Cutthroat Island.”

For the night: CBS finished first (2.9/8, 11.8 million), followed by ABC (2.3/7, 7.4 million) and NBC (2.3/7, 7.1 million) tied for second, Fox (1.8/5, 3.9 million) and The CW (0.3/1, 1.1 million).

‘Parks,’ ‘Southland,’ ‘Harper’s’ Debuts Leave NBC, CBS Tied With Thursday Win

April 10, 2009 11:41 AM

The high-profile series premieres of NBC’s “Parks & Recreation” and “Southland” and CBS’ “Harper’s Island” gave the two networks a tie for first place for the night. Meanwhile, ABC’s comedies took some hits.

Southland

The debut of “Parks & Recreation” on NBC scored a 3.0 rating/9 share among adults 18-49 and 6.8 million viewers, according to preliminary Nielsen figures. Last night’s debut was a bit off the debut of “Kath & Kim” last October, but it increased the network’s average in the time period by 36%. “Parks” also retained 91% of its lead-in, a special new episode of “The Office” (3.3/11, 7.2 million). At 9 p.m., “The Office” (3.9/11, 7.9 million) in its regular time period was the No. 1 show of the night, although it was down 13% from its last original episode in that slot two weeks ago. Also down was “30 Rock” (3.1/9, 6.6 million), off 9% from its last original episode two weeks ago.

At 10 p.m., NBC’s “Southland” (3.2/9, 9.7 million) debuted strongly, coming in as the highest-rated drama debut among recent new shows across the broadcast networks. Last night’s episode was about on par with the season premiere of “ER” last fall, and it marked the network’s best drama debut since “Life” and “Bionic Woman” premiered in fall 2007. “Southland” edged out CBS’ debut of “Harper’s Island” to win the hour in the demo.

“Harper’s Island” opened with a 2.7/8 (10.5 million), winning the hour among total viewers. “Harper’s” dipped 15% from “Eleventh Hour’s” season average in the time period. Head-to-head, “Harper’s” fell 11% from first to second half-hour, while “Southland” increased 6%. “CSI” (3.7/10, 16.4 million) was down 3% from last week when it went up against the “ER” series finale. Both “CSI” and “Survivor: Tocantins” (3.5/11, 11.3 million) came in with their lowest-rated original episodes ever, excluding clip shows and Thanksgiving.

ABC’s comedies in the 8 p.m. hour dipped from recent episodes. “In the Motherhood” (1.3/4, 4.6 million) was down 19% from last week, and “Samantha Who?” (1.4/4, 4.9 million) was down 13% to a new series low. “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Private Practice” were repeats.

On Fox, a new episode of “Bones” (2.5/8, 8.9 million) was down 7% from last week, while “Hell’s Kitchen” (3.3/9. 7.6 million) remained flat.

The CW aired repeats of “Smallville” and “Supernatural” to score an average 0.8/2 among women 18-34.

For the night: NBC (3.3/10, 8 million) and CBS (3.3/10, 12.7 million) tied for first in the 18-49 demo, but CBS led in viewers. Fox (2.9/8, 8.2 million) came in third, followed by ABC (1.3/4, 4.7 million) and The CW (0.7/2, 2 million).

Fox, ABC Shows Win Night Despite Series-Low Ratings; ‘Unusuals’ Bow Weak

April 9, 2009 11:50 AM

Fox and ABC took the top spots Wednesday night even though their programs recorded ratings lows across the board, including ABC’s premiere of “The Unusuals.”

The Unusuals

Fox’s “Lie to Me” scored a 2.5 rating/8 share and 8.4 million viewers, according to preliminary Nielsen figures. Last night’s episode tied the show’s previous series low, taking a 4% dip from last week. At 9 p.m., an “American Idol” results episode (7.8/20, 22.4 million) tied for this season’s lowest-rated Wednesday episode. “Idol” was down 7% from last week’s edition. Both Fox shows ranked No. 1 in their respective hours.

ABC’s “Lost” (3.7/9, 8.3 million) came in at a series low (excluding clips shows), down 21% from its previous season-to-date average. “The Unusuals” debuted at 10 p.m. with a 2.2/6 (6.8 million), losing 41% of its “Lost” lead-in to come in as the network’s lowest-rated in-season premiere for a drama. “Unusuals” did, however, boost the network’s time-period average with regular programming by 16%, its ratings in line with the January season premieres of “Dirty Sexy Money” and “Life on Mars” in the timeslot. ABC kicked off its night with “Scrubs” (1.8/6, 4.7 million) and “Better Off Ted” (1.7/5, 4.2 million), which both posted series lows.

On NBC, the season (and possibly series) finale of “Life” came in with a series low of 1.3/3 (4.5 million), down 13% from last week. At 8 and 10 p.m., episodes of “Law & Order” were repeats.

CBS kicked off the night with “The New Adventures of Old Christine” (2.1/7, 7.3 million) and “Gary Unmarried” (2.2/7, 7.3 million), both which were in line with recent originals. “Criminal Minds” scored a 3.2/8 (13.3 million), while “CSI: NY” (3.3/9, 12.5 million) also was on par with recent episodes and won the 10 p.m. hour.

The CW ran a new episode of “America’s Next Top Model” (1.7/5, 3.7 million), tying with ABC and edging out NBC for the 8 p.m. hour. A special recap episode (0.9/2, 2 million) aired at 9 p.m. The network averaged a 2.2/6 among women 18-34 overall.

For the night: Fox finished first (5.2/14, 15.4 million), followed by CBS (2.9/8, 11 million), ABC (2.6/7, 6.5 million), The CW (1.3/4, 2.9 million) and NBC (1.2/3, 4.9 million).

Fox Gets Feisty With ‘Idol,’ ‘Fringe’; ‘Cupid’ Dips in 2nd Week

April 8, 2009 11:18 AM

Fox delivered a one-two punch with “American Idol” and “Fringe” to take the top two spots of the night. On ABC, “Cupid” lost some love after its debut last week.

American Idol

Fox’s “Idol” scored a 7.8 rating/21 share and 22 million viewers from 8-9 p.m., according to preliminary Nielsen figures. Last night’s episode was down 12% from last week. “Idol,” however, had a nine-minute overrun into the 9 p.m. hour, which will affect final numbers for the competition series and its follow-up, “Fringe,” which returned with a 4.7/11 (12 million) for the 9 p.m. hour.

On ABC, “Cupid” (1.7/5, 6.2 million) was down 26% from its premiere last week. Tuesday’s episode lost 49% of its “Dancing With the Stars” results lead-in, compared with last week’s lead-in drop of 26%. “Dancing” (3.3/8, 14.3 million) was up 7% over last week’s episode. The network opened the night with the Peanuts specials “It’s the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown” and “Charlie Brown All Stars,” which posted a 1.3/3 (4.6 million) in the 8 p.m. hour.

NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” (3.1/8, 8 million) showed strong growth throughout the night, posting a 67% increase from the 8 p.m. half-hour to the 9:30 p.m. slot. Last night’s episode was down 11% from last week, but the show has shown a 17% increase season-to-date compared with last year. At 10 p.m., “Law & Order: SVU” scored a 3.2/9 (9.1 million), winning the 10 p.m. hour.

On CBS, “NCIS” (3.6/10, 17.6 million) was up one-tenth of a point from last week, while both “The Mentalist” (3.6/9, 16.8 million) and “Without a Trace” (2.7/7, 12.2 million) posted dips from last week (down 5% and 4%, respectively).

The CW aired new episodes of “Reaper” (0.9/2, 2.3 million) and “90210” (1.1/3, 2.1 million). The network averaged a 1.4/4 among women 18-34.

For the night: Fox came out on top (6.2/16, 17 million), followed by CBS (3.3/9, 15.5 million), NBC (3.2/8, 8.4 million), ABC (2.1/5, 8.4 million) and The CW (1.0/3, 2.2 million).

March Madness Gives CBS a Win; ‘House’ Looks Healthy

April 7, 2009 11:27 AM

CBS’ coverage of the NCAA men’s college basketball championship game gave the network the win Monday night, while Fox’s heavily hyped “House” scored strongly as the No. 2 show of the night.

House

Primetime coverage of the March Madness basketball finals between Michigan State and North Carolina gave CBS a 5.7 rating/14 share among adults 18-49 and 16.3 million viewers from 9-11 p.m., according to preliminary Nielsen figures. (For final figures, see “NCAA March Madness Finals Hit Ratings Low.”) CBS opened the night with repeats of “The Big Bang Theory” and “How I Met Your Mother.”

Last night’s episode of “House” on Fox scored a 5.0/13 (13 million), the show’s best performance since Feb. 23. The program posted a 4% increase over last week’s telecast to come in as the top non-sports program of the night. The bump for “House” also gave “24” (3.8/9, 11 million) a slight boost, with last night’s episode up 3% from the week before, also its best performance since Feb. 23.

ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” (4.5/11, 19.6 million) continued to post weekly dips, scoring its lowest ratings of the current season and ranking as the No. 3 show of the night. At 9:30 p.m., “Surviving Suburbia” debuted with a 3.2/9 (12.1 million). Last night’s premiere episode was off only 6% from last spring’s “Samantha Who?” debut in the time period, but it outperformed “Samantha” by 19% for the current season in the time period. The strong “Dancing” lead-in helped “Suburbia” edge out the network’s comedy debuts of “Better Off Ted” and “In the Motherhood” from earlier this spring. “Castle” (2.4/6, 9.2 million) matched its previous series low but remained flat with last week, when it had “Dancing” as its direct lead-in.

NBC’s “Chuck” (2.1/5, 6 million) remained flat with last week and matched its previous series low. Up against NCAA basketball, “Heroes” (2.6/6, 6.1 million) was down 16% from last week to score another series low. “Medium” (2.2/5, 7.2 million) didn’t fare any better, also remaining flat from last week and matching a previous series low.

The CW aired repeats of “Gossip Girl” and “One Tree Hill.”

For the night: CBS finished first (4.9/12, 13.7 million), followed by Fox (4.4/11, 12 million) and ABC (3.6/9, 14.9 million), which led in total viewers. Rounding off the night were NBC (2.3/6, 6.4 million) and The CW (0.5/1, 1.1 million).

(Updated: Headline and second paragraph. 4:45 p.m.)

‘Country Music Awards’ Sing for CBS

April 6, 2009 11:46 AM

CBS’ presentation of the Academy of Country Music Awards reigned supreme over NBC’s “Kings” and the Donald.

“The 44th Annual ACM Awards” scored a 3.8 rating/10 share among adults 18-49 and 14.8 million viewers from 8-11 p.m., according to preliminary Nielsen figures. This year’s telecast was up 31% from last year’s May airing. Last night’s show also scored its best delivery in the demo since May 2002 and among total viewers since May 1999. At 7 p.m., “60 Minutes” posted a 1.8/6 (12 million).

NBC’s “Kings” continued to perform on the low side, drawing a 1.1/3 (3.6 million) in the 8 p.m. hour. Last night’s episode dropped 15% from last week. “The Celebrity Apprentice” (2.7/7, 7 million) fell 18% from the previous week. Against competition from the ACM Awards, both NBC series hit new season lows. “Apprentice,” however, has boosted the network’s non-sports average in the 9-11 p.m. time period by 17% for the season to date. At 7 p.m., “Dateline” pulled a 1.3/4 (5 million).

A new episode of “The Simpsons” on Fox drew a 3.1/9 (6.4 million) at 8 p.m., flat with its performance last week. The network aired encores of “American Dad,” “King of the Hill,” “The Simpsons” and “Family Guy” throughout the night.

ABC was in repeats with “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” “Desperate Housewives” and “Brothers & Sisters.”

The CW aired a repeat of “Jericho,” followed by a presentation of “Rocky III.”

For the night: CBS was first (3.3/9, 14.1 million), followed by Fox (2.4/7, 4.9 million), NBC (2.0/5, 5.7 million), ABC (1.8/5, 5.9 million) and The CW (0.4/1, 1 million).

‘ER’ Goes Out on a High Note With Thursday Win

April 3, 2009 11:13 AM

NBC easily swept Thursday night with the series finale of “ER,” sending CBS programs including “CSI’s” 200th episode to new season lows.

ER

The “ER” finale averaged a 6.0 rating/16 share among adults 18-49 and 16.2 million viewers, according to preliminary Nielsen Media Research figures. The finale improved from the show’s average performance in its 15th and final season by 88%. At 8 p.m., NBC aired a retrospective special, which scored a 3.5/10 in the demo and 10.6 million viewers. For more on the “ER” finale, click here.

CBS boldly aired new episodes throughout the night, but all came back with season lows. “Survivor: Tocantins” (3.6/11, 11.2 million) and the 200th episode of “CSI” (3.7/10, 14.4 million) also logged series lows, excluding clip shows and a Thanksgiving edition. At 10 p.m., the season finale of “Eleventh Hour” drew a 2.5/7 (10.4 million). Last night’s CBS programs were down 12%, 12% and 7%, respectively, from their most recent original telecasts. Due to NCAA March Madness coverage, all shows last aired original episodes three weeks ago.

ABC’s new block of half-hour comedies suffered major dips compared with last week. “In the Motherhood” (1.6/5, 5 million) was down 27% from its premiere episode, while “Samantha Who?” (1.5/4, 4.8 million) took a 32% slide from last week. “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Private Practice” were repeats.

Fox’s “Bones” (2.6/8, 9 million) was down 13% from its most recent telecast two weeks ago. “Hell’s Kitchen” (3.2/8, 7 million) was down 29% from last week, when the series benefited from a special “American Idol” lead-in, but down just one-tenth of a rating point from two weeks ago.

A new episode of “Smallville” (1.6/5, 3.8 million) on The CW remained flat with last week, while “Supernatural” (1.5/4, 3.3 million) was up 25% even going against the “ER” finale. The network averaged a 1.5/4 among women 18-34 for the night and scored its best Thursday night among adults 18-34 (1.7/6) since last September.

For the night: NBC finished big on top with a 5.2/14 (14.3 million), followed by CBS (3.3/9, 12 million), Fox (2.9/8, 8 million), The CW (1.6/4, 3.5 million) and ABC (1.4/4, 4.5 million).

Reality Is Order of the Night; ‘Mars’ Exits on Low Note

April 2, 2009 11:40 AM

Reality programs ruled Wednesday night, as CBS’ special “I Get That a Lot” and Fox’s “American Idol” won their respective hours, while the series finale of “Life on Mars” went out with a whimper.

I Get That a Lot

Last night’s results episode of “American Idol” on Fox posted an 8.1 rating/20 share among adults 18-49 and 23.7 million viewers, according to preliminary Nielsen figures. “Idol” was up 5% from last Thursday’s results episode (delayed to accommodate President Obama’s press conference), but down 7% from its last Wednesday telecast two weeks ago. In the 8 p.m. hour, “Lie to Me” (2.6/8, 9 million) continued to lose steam, dropping 16% from its most recent original episode two weeks ago and hitting a new series low.

CBS’ premiere of the hidden-camera special “I Get That a Lot” fared well with a 3.4/10 (10.3 million). The show improved the network’s performance for the hour by 48% over last week’s “Survivor” clip episode; it also delivered the best performance in the hour in various demos since December’s “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” special. “I Get That” was comparable to last week’s original Wednesday dramas and may inspire the network to order “A Lot” more episodes. “Criminal Minds” and “CSI: NY” were repeats last night.

“Lost” on ABC scored a 4.2/10 (9.3 million), on par with recent performances. At 10 p.m., the series finale of “Life on Mars” (2.1/6, 5.9 million) retained only half of its “Lost” lead-in to wrap with a rating similar to recent performances. In the 8 p.m. hour, “Scrubs” (1.9/6, 5 million) was down 10% from last week while “Better Off Ted” (1.8/5, 4.7 million) remained flat.

On NBC in the 9 p.m. hour, “Life” (1.4/4, 5.6 million) was flat with last week. “Law & Order: CI” and “Law & Order” were both repeats at 8 and 10 p.m., respectively. “CI” did, however, improve the network’s time-period performance by 33% over last week, when the now-deceased “Chopping Block” occupied the slot.

After going up against “Idol” last week, The CW’s “America’s Next Top Model” (1.7/5, 3.9 million) grew 21% for last night’s telecast. With a “90210” encore at 9 p.m., the network averaged a 2.0/6 among women 18-49.

For the night: Fox finished first (5.4/15, 16.3 million), followed by ABC (2.7/7, 6.7 million), CBS (2.6/7, 10.1 million), NBC (1.5/4, 5.7 million) and The CW (1.1/3, 2.6 million).

'Osbournes' Drops Half of 'Idol' Lead-in, But Fox Wins Night

April 1, 2009 1:02 PM

A special preview of “Osbournes: Reloaded” rode on “American Idol’s” lead-in to give Fox top honors for the night, while the premiere of “Cupid” gave ABC a healthy boost in the time period.

Cupid

“American Idol” scored an 8.6 rating/23 share among adults 18-49 and 23.5 million viewers from 8-9:30 p.m. (“Idol” ran until 9:26 p.m.), according to preliminary Nielsen figures. Last night’s episode was down 8% from last Wednesday’s performance episode (pushed back a night due to President Obama’s press conference), but it was also up 6% over its most recent Tuesday night telecast. “Osbournes” held on to 48% of “Idol’s” lead-in, scoring a 4.1/10 (9.3 million) in the 9:30-10 p.m. half-hour (“Osbournes” ran from 9:26-10:02 p.m.), making it the second highest-rated show of the night. Several affiliates, particularly in the Central Time zone, preempted the special, although Fox did not release exact numbers. Also, due to the irregular run times, preliminary numbers for Fox are approximate.

A results episode of ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” (2.9/7, 13 million) dipped 12% from its previous season-to-date average and dropped 26% from last week’s episode alone. The series premiere of “Cupid” at 10 p.m. held 79% of its “Dancing” lead-in to score a 2.3/6 (7.6 million), boosting the network’s “Eli Stone” time-period average by 35%. Last night’s debut, however, was the lowest-rated drama debut of the season for ABC. In the 8 p.m. hour, “Better Off Ted” was a repeat special.

NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” continued to be a strong contender against “Idol,” with last night’s two-hour episode pulling a 3.5/9 (8.7 million). Last night’s episode was down 15% from last week when it aired at a later time, but up 9% from its last original episode in its regular timeslot two weeks ago. Heading into last night, “Loser” has been up 17% for the season to date compared with the same time period last year. At 10 p.m. “Law & Order: SVU” scored a 3.4/9 (9.3 million) to win the 10 p.m. hour.

CBS’ Tuesday night dramas also returned to some regularity after last week’s presidential shuffle. “NCIS” (3.4/9, 16.8 million), “The Mentalist” (3.8/9, 16.9 million) and “Without a Trace” (2.8/8, 12.7 million) were all up from original telecasts in their regular timeslots two weeks go (up 10%, 15% and 12%, respectively). However, both “NCIS” and “The Mentalist” were down a bit from last week’s episode that aired at a later time. “The Mentalist” was the most-watched show in the 9 p.m. hour and “Without a Trace” had its best performance in seven weeks.

The CW’s “90210” returned after a seven-week hiatus to a 1.1/3 (2 million). Last night’s episode was the first original in its new 9 p.m. hour, performing on par with the show’s performances in January when “Idol” debuted. The show also improved on its “Reaper” (1.0/3, 2.4 million) lead-in by 10% in the demo. The network averaged a 1.5/4 among women 18-34.

For the night: Fox finished on top (7.5/19, 19.9 million), followed by NBC (3.5/9, 8.9 million), CBS (3.3/9, 15.5 million), ABC (2.0/5, 8 million) and The CW (1.0/3, 2.2 million).