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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).

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Comments (1)

Abs:

I was disappointed that Life on Mars did not have better ratings. The cast was well-matched, and gave consistent performances. I know that the premise was a stretch,but I think they pulled it off. Having lived in NYC during the 70's I could appreciate the setting and times more than one who did not have that experience.
I realize that today's audience prefers action shows with cars being blow up, and less than subtle sex scenes, but that does not detract from the quality of this and other critically praised shows. It is my hope that the networks will try to present well-written,well-acted thoughtful shows like this in the future.
I would like to know what others think about this.

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