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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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Ratings Chart Attack!


‘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).

New CBS, Fox Shows Push ‘Dancing’ to No. 2 Spot

March 31, 2009 11:52 AM

Strong performances by CBS and Fox edged out ABC’s “Dancing”-“Castle” combo Monday night, leaving ABC out of first place for the first time since its new lineup debuted four weeks ago.

The Big Bang Theory

A two-hour “Dancing With the Stars” averaged a 4.8 rating/12 share among adults 18-49 and 21.6 million viewers, according to preliminary Nielsen Media Research numbers. Last night’s episode was down 4% from last week and marked its lowest performance this spring, though it still ranked as the No. 2 show of the night and the most watched. At 10 p.m. “Castle” (2.5/7, 9.8 million) remained flat from last week, tying its lowest rating since its series premiere.

The ABC series did not show drastic changes from last week. It was the return of new episodes on CBS and Fox that performed strongly enough to take the top spots.

CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory” (3.8/11, 9.8 million) was up one-tenth of a rating point from its last original episode two weeks ago. At 8:30 p.m. “How I Met Your Mother” (3.9/10, 9.2 million) was up 34% from its telecast in an earlier slot last week, but remained flat with its regular timeslot performance two weeks ago. “Two and a Half Men” (5.1/12, 14.4 million) was up 6% over its last original episode two weeks ago and came in as the night’s highest-rated show, while “Rules of Engagement” (4.1/10, 11 million) was up slightly with a stronger “Men” lead-in. In the 10 p.m. slot, “CSI: Miami” (3.9/18, 13.4 million) was in line with recent telecasts.

On Fox, a new episode of “House” (4.7/13, 12.2 million) was down 4% from its most recent original episode two weeks ago. At 9 p.m., “24” (3.7/9, 11.2 million) was up 9% over last week, scoring the same rating as two weeks ago when it also had a new “House” as a lead-in.

NBC’s “Chuck” (2.0/6, 5.6 million) reached a new series low, with last night’s episode coming in 20% below the show’s season-to-date average. “Heroes” (3.1/7, 6.3 million) posted a 7% increase from last week, while “Medium” (2.5/7, 7.3 million) was up 14%.

The CW’s “Gossip Girl” (1.2/3, 2.5 million) was up 9% over last week and had some of its strongest performances among young adults since January. “One Tree Hill” (1.2/3, 2.3 million) came in flat with last week. The network averaged a 2.5/4 among women 18-34.

For the night: Fox claimed the top spot in the ratings (4.2/11, 11.7 million), followed by CBS (4.1/11, 11.9 million). ABC came in third (4.0/10), but finished with the most viewers (16.8 million). NBC had a 2.5/7 (6.4 million), while The CW finished with a 1.2/3 (2.4 million).

‘Trek’ Cameos Send ‘Family Guy’ Soaring

March 30, 2009 11:52 AM

NCAA March Madness coverage helped CBS take the top spot Sunday night, but it was Fox’s “Family Guy,” featuring guest appearances by the cast of “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” that generated the night’s highest rating.

Family Guy

Fox’s “Family Guy” claimed the No. 1 spot for the night with a 4.2 rating/10 share among adults 18-49 and 8.2 million viewers, according to preliminary Nielsen figures. Last night’s episode, up 14% from the week before, comes in as the series’ highest-rated episode since November. At 8 p.m., a new “The Simpsons” (3.1/9, 6.6 million) was up one-tenth of a rating point from last week, as was “American Dad” (3.0/7, 6 million) at 9:30 p.m. Fox ran encore episodes of “American Dad” and “King of the Hill” in the 7 p.m. hour and “The Simpsons” at 8:30 p.m.

CBS had 17 minutes of NCAA men’s basketball coverage overrun into the 7 p.m. hour, giving “60 Minutes” a 3.3 /10 (13.4 million). “The Amazing Race” (3.8/10, 13 million) was up 6% from its performance last week. “Cold Case” (2.8/7, 11.7 million) was up 16% from last week, when the show aired mostly in the 10 p.m. hour due to NCAA runover. At 10 p.m. “The Unit” scored a 2.5/6 (10.3 million). Due to the nature of live coverage, figures for CBS may change once NCAA runover is factored into final numbers released later today.

NBC had some runover from the Arnold Palmer Invitational, scoring a 2.2/7 (9.1 million). “Kings” (1.3/3, 4.4 million) remained flat from last week’s episode, while a two-hour “Celebrity Apprentice” (3.2/8, 8.5 million) was up 7%. NBC’s final figures also are likely to change in the final Nielsen numbers due to the golf overrun.

ABC kicked off its night with “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (2.3/7, 8.1 million), followed by a two-hour “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (3.5/9, 10.8 million). Both shows were up from last week’s performances (up 21% and 9%, respectively). At 10 p.m. “Desperate Housewives” was a repeat.

The CW aired a repeat of “Jericho” and the film “War Games.”

For the night: CBS shot to the top with a 3.1/8 (12.1 million), followed by ABC (2.8/7, 9 million), Fox (2.6/7, 5.4 million), NBC (2.5/7, 7.7 million) and The CW (0.4/1, 1.1 million).

‘Idol’ Boosts ‘Kitchen’ as ‘Motherhood’ Has Solid Debut

March 27, 2009 11:13 AM

Fox’s “American Idol” did wonders for “Hell’s Kitchen” on Thursday, while viewers welcomed ABC’s “In the Motherhood” with a solid reception.

Hell's Kitchen

A results episode of “American Idol” scored a 7.4 rating/21 share among adults 18-49 and 22.4 million viewers, according to preliminary Nielsen figures. After being delayed for a night to accommodate President Barack Obama’s Tuesday press conference, Thursday’s “Idol” was down 15% from its results show performance last Wednesday, but up 4% from its most recent Thursday telecast earlier this month. At 9 p.m., “Hell’s Kitchen” (4.7/11, 10.9 million) was up 42% from its performance last week, thanks to the hefty “Idol” lead-in. Last night’s episode currently ranks as the highest-rated since the season premiere, but it may come in as second highest after final numbers are released.

ABC’s premiere of “In the Motherhood” (2.1/6, 6.7 million) was solid considering the strong competition from college basketball and “Idol.” Last night’s episode matched the season-to-date time-period average set by “Ugly Betty” in the half-hour and edged out established comedy “My Name Is Earl” on NBC. “Motherhood” also matched the network’s premiere of “Better Off Ted” last Wednesday. At 8:30 p.m., “Samantha Who?” (2.1/6, 6.5 million) returned in a new time period, remaining flat from its lead-in but showing slight decreases from previous season averages on Mondays and Tuesdays. A new “Grey’s Anatomy” (5.5/13, 15.8 million) was up 10% from last week to rank as the top scripted show of the night, while “Private Practice” (3.8/10, 10.5 million) was up 9%.

CBS’ primetime coverage of NCAA March Madness college basketball scored a 3.5/9 (10.1 million) from 8-11 p.m. Due to the nature of live programming, ratings may change after final numbers are released.

NBC’s “My Name Is Earl” (2.0/6, 5.9 million) fell victim to the “Idol”-NCAA-“Motherhood” competition, dipping 20% from its performance last week. Following an encore of “The Office,” a new “Office” (4.3/11, 8.4 million) was up 8% from last week and a new “30 Rock” (3.4/8, 7.2 million) was up 6%. The penultimate episode of “ER” (3.5/9, 10.2 million) was up 9% from its performance last week and on par with its previous season average.

On The CW, new episodes of “Smallville” (1.5/4, 3.7 million) and “Supernatural” (1.2/3, 3.2 million) both were down one-tenth of a rating point from their performances last week.

For the night: Fox led the way (6.1/16, 16.6 million), followed by ABC (3.8/10, 11 million), CBS (3.5/9, 10.1 million), NBC (3.1/8, 7.8 million) and The CW (1.4/4, 3.5 million).

Winning ‘Idol’ Sends ‘Chopping Block,’ ‘Lost’ to New Lows

March 26, 2009 11:48 AM

Fox’s “American Idol” posted solid gains Wednesday night, while ratings for NBC’s “The Chopping Block” may lead the show itself to the chopping block.
Chopping Block

A two-hour “Idol,” featuring the top 10 finalists singing Motown hits, finished with a 9.1 rating/24 share among adults 18-49 and 25.6 million viewers, according to preliminary Nielsen figures. Having shifted from its Tuesday-night slot to accommodate for President Barack Obama’s press conference, last night’s episode was up 12% from last week’s Tuesday-night performance show and up 5% from its Wednesday-night results show.

In its third week, NBC’s “Chopping Block” (0.9/2, 2.6 million) scored its lowest rating to date, down 25% from last week’s episode. “Life” (1.4/3, 4.3 million) took a 7% dip from last week, while “Law & Order” (2.2/6, 7.2 million) was up 5%.

At 9 p.m., ABC’s “Lost” (4.0/10, 8.8 million) was the second highest-rated show of the night and the top scripted program, but scored its lowest rating ever for an original episode, excluding clip shows. The network opened the night with a new “Scrubs” (2.0/6, 5.3 million) and “Better Off Ted” (1.8/5, 4.7 million), the latter down 14% from its series premiere last week. At 10 p.m., “Life on Mars” (2.1/6, 5.7 million) was up 17% from last week.

CBS aired a special recap episode of “Survivor” (2.3/6, 8.2 million) in order to accommodate NCAA college basketball coverage. Last night’s episode was down 44% from the series’ last original episode two weeks ago, and comes in as the lowest-rated of this season and tied with last Thanksgiving’s episode as the lowest-rated ever. “Survivor,” however, was on par with the regular timeslot performance of “The New Adventures of Old Christine” and “Gary Unmarried,” and trailed only “Idol” to be the No. 2 show in the hour. Compared with last week, “Criminal Minds” (3.4/8, 14 million) was up one-tenth of a rating point, while “CSI: NY” (3.0/8, 12.6 million) was down 9%.

The CW’s “America’s Next Top Model” (1.4/4, 2.8 million) took an 18% dip from last week. (Both “Top Model” and “Chopping Block” had increased competition from “Idol.”) At 9 p.m. “90210” was a repeat.

For the night: “Idol” gave Fox (9.1/24, 25.6 million) the top spot for the night, followed by CBS (2.9/8, 11.6 million), ABC (2.7/7, 6.5 million), NBC (1.5/4, 4.7 million) and The CW (0.9/2, 1.8 million).

Obama Effect Boosts Tuesday Night Ratings

March 25, 2009 10:52 AM

President Barack Obama’s primetime schedule shuffle served as a strong lead-in across the broadcast networks, while reality competition series on NBC and ABC benefited greatly from an “Idol”-less night. Dancing With the Stars

For the four major broadcast networks combined, live coverage of President Obama’s press conference from 8-9 p.m. EDT Tuesday drew a total 21.1 household rating among the overnight metered markets and a combined 7.9 rating/24 share among adults 18-49 and 31.3 million viewers, according to preliminary Nielsen figures. NBC (2.2/7, 8.3 million) had the highest rating for the hour, with ABC (2.0/6, 8.7 million) and CBS (2.0/6, 9.9 million) tied for second, followed by Fox (1.7/5, 4.3 million). Final numbers for the broadcast networks will be sustained when Nielsen releases updated figures later Wednesday.

From 9-11 p.m., NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” (4.1/11, 9.8 million) benefited greatly from President Obama’s press conference, which shuffled Fox’s “American Idol” to Wednesday night. Last night’s “Loser” was up 28% from its 8-10 p.m. airing last week and was the highest-rated episode in eight weeks, pending updates from Nielsen.

ABC, meanwhile, aired a “Dancing With the Stars” results show (3.7/10, 15.7 million) followed by the season finale of “Primetime: What Would You Do?” (2.7/7, 8.5 million). Both shows posted gains from last week, with “Dancing” up 32% from its first results show of the season and “Primetime” up 23%.

On CBS, “NCIS” (3.9/10, 17.5 million) was up 26% from last week, while “The Mentalist” (3.8/10, 17.5 million) had a 15% bump.

Fox aired a repeat of “House” in the 9 p.m. hour.

In the 8 p.m. hour, The CW aired a new “Reaper” (1.0/3, 2.5 million) against President Obama’s press conference. Last night’s episode came in as a new season high, up 11% from last week. With a “90210” repeat at 9 p.m., the network averaged a 0.8/2 among women 18-34 for the night.

For the night: NBC (3.5/9, 9.3 million) finished on top while CBS (3.2/9, 15 million) took the most viewers, followed by ABC (2.8/8, 11 million), Fox (1.6/5, 4.2 million) and The CW (0.6/2, 1.7 million).

‘Dancing’ Steps All Over Competition; NBC Dramas Drop

March 24, 2009 10:53 AM

ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” reigned supreme Monday night, while NBC’s “Heroes” and “Medium” hit new lows.

From 8-10 p.m., ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” scored a 4.9 rating/13 share among adults 18-49 and 20.2 million viewers, according to preliminary Nielsen figures. Last night’s episode was off 8% from the week before. A new episode of “Castle” (2.7/7, 9.8 million) dipped 7% from last week, but that difference may grow larger once final numbers are released later today that factor out “Dancing’s” two-minute overrun into the 10 p.m. hour.

Heroes

NBC’s Monday-night dramas were all low, with “Chuck” (2.1/6, 6.1 million) matching its previous series low and remaining flat from its last original episode. “Heroes” (2.9/7, 6.5 million) and “Medium” (2.2/6, 6.6 million) both hit new series lows, down 26% and 19%, respectively, from their season-to-date averages. “Heroes,” however, has averaged a 23% increase in the demo for the first five months of the TV season once live-plus-seven-day figures are factored.

CBS aired a special “How I Met Your Mother” (2.9/8, 7.4 million) at 8 p.m., posting a 26% decrease from last week’s airing in its regular 8:30 p.m. slot. A repeat of “Mother” aired at 8:30 p.m., followed by an encore “Two and a Half Men” at 9 p.m. Without a new “Men” lead-in, “Rules of Engagement” (3.4/8, 9.4 million) was down 15% while retaining 97% of its lead-in. At 10 p.m., “CSI: Miami” (4.0/10, 13.5 million) was up 5% from last week’s episode.

Fox aired a repeat of “House,” followed by a new “24” (3.4/8, 10.3 million), which was down 8% from last week.

On The CW, “Gossip Girl” (1.0/3, 2.2 million) and “One Tree Hill” (1.1/3, 2.3 million) were down 17% and 8%, respectively, from last week. Overall the network averaged a 2.2/5 among women 18-34.

For the night: ABC finished on top for the night with a 4.2/11 (16.7 million), followed by CBS (3.4/9, 10.3 million), Fox (3.0/8, 9 million), NBC (2.4/6, 6.4 million) and The CW (1.1/3, 2.2 million).

'60 Minutes,' NCAA Basketball Give CBS the Win Sunday

March 23, 2009 11:20 AM

CBS’ coverage of NCAA March Madness and President Barack Obama’s interview with “60 Minutes” gave the network a slight edge over the competition to win Sunday night, while NBC’s “Kings” dropped to some not-so-royal numbers.

60 Minutes

CBS’ coverage of NCAA men’s basketball spilled over into primetime by 52 minutes, delaying programming in the Eastern and Central time zones. For the 7 p.m. hour, which was dominated by basketball, the network scored a 4.4 rating/14 share among adults 18-49 and 15.5 million viewers. (For more ratings information on March Madness coverage, click here.) In the 8 p.m. hour, “60 Minutes” (4.1/11, 16.2 million) benefited from President Obama’s appearance and NCAA basketball to post an 86% increase over last week. “The Amazing Race” scored a 3.2/8 (11.6 million), up one-tenth of a point from last week, while “Cold Case” finished with a 2.4/6 (10.8 million), down 17% from last week in its delayed hour.

NBC’s “Kings” (1.3/3, 4.6 million) took a 19% fall from its weak debut last week. From 9-11 p.m., “The Celebrity Apprentice” (2.9/7, 7.3 million) was up one-tenth of a rating point from last week. “Apprentice” showed strong growth throughout its run, picking up pace in its second hour and improving by 55% in the 10:30 p.m. half-hour compared with the 9 p.m. half-hour. NBC opened the night with “Dateline” (1.5/5, 6.6 million), up 36% from last week, and finished the night with an average of 2.1/6 (6.5 million) in fourth place.

ABC was a close second with a 3.4/9 (10.5 million). “America’s Funniest Home Videos” pulled a 1.9/6 (7.1 million), while “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” added to its lead-in to finish with a 3.1/8 (9.8 million). A shocking “Desperate Housewives” leading to Nicollette Sheridan’s departure from the series scored a 4.9/12 (14.7 million), off 4% from its performance last week and down 13% from the show’s season-to-date average. ABC finished the night with “Brothers & Sisters” (3.5/9, 10.4 million).

Fox’s full animation lineup finished with an average 2.4/6 (4.9 million). In the 8 p.m. hour, “The Simpsons” (3.0/8, 6.2 million) and “King of the Hill” (2.6/7, 5.5 million) were both up a bit from last week (7% and 4%, respectively). A new “Family Guy” scored a 3.7/9 (7.4 million) and “American Dad” wrapped up the night with a 2.9/7 (5.8 million), both shows flat from last week. The network aired repeats of “Dad” and “Hill” in the 7 p.m. hour.

The CW averaged a 0.3/1 (0.9 million) with a repeat of “Jericho” and a presentation of feature film “The Mod Squad.”

March Madness Brings TV Ratings Tie

March 20, 2009 10:58 AM

ABC’s Thursday-night lineup squared off against CBS’ March Madness college basketball and the result was a tie.

Grey's Anatomy

A new episode of “Grey’s Anatomy” on ABC scored a 4.9 rating/12 share and 14.4 million viewers, according to preliminary Nielsen figures. “Grey’s” was down a tenth of a point from last week’s episode and scored its lowest original rating. It still topped the night as the highest rated show.

ABC’s “Private Practice” (3.6/10, 10 million) posted a 9% increase over last week, but still dipped 10% from its previous season-to-date average. While both shows technically scored better than CBS’s basketball coverage, “Ugly Betty” (2.1/6, 7.6 million) in the 8 p.m. hour remained flat over last week and helped give the network an average 3.5/10 (10.6 million) for the night.

CBS’ coverage of the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament scored a 3.5/10 (9.4 million) during its prime-time run from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. (EST). First-day coverage of the tournament (12:15-5:15 p.m. and 7 p.m.-12:15 a.m. EST) averaged a 4.7/10 in the overnight household numbers, up 9% from the average first day performance last year. Due to the volatile nature of live sports programming, final ratings figures for last night’s prime-time coverage are expected to change.

CBS Sports' exclusive live coverage of the 2009 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship on Thursday, March 19 (12:15-5:15 PM, ET, and 7:00 PM-12:15 AM, ET) earned an average overnight household rating/share of 4.7/10. The 4.7/10 is up +9% from a 4.3/10 for the first day last year.

Fox came up third for the night with a 3.1/9 (8.9 million). “Bones” (3.0/9, 10.2 million) increased 7% over last week, while “Hell’s Kitchen” (3.3/8, 7.6 million) posted a 10% gain.

NBC trailed Fox by one-tenth of a point, averaging a 3.0/8 (7.5 million) for the night to finish fourth. Faced with competition from “Grey’s” and college basketball, “The Office” scored a 3.9/10 (8 million) to rank as the second highest-rated show of the night. Last night’s episode, however, was the lowest-rated of the season. New episodes of “My Name Is Earl” (2.4/8, 6.4 million), “30 Rock” (3.2/8, 7 million) and “ER” (3.3/9, 9.5 million) were about average. A repeat special of “The Office” aired at 8:30 p.m.

On The CW, “Smallville” (1.4/5, 3.3 million) was down two-tenths of a point from last week, while “Supernatural” (1.2/3, 3.1 million) was up a tick. The network averaged a 1.3/4 (3.2 million) and a 1.2/4 among women 18-34.

'Idol' Wins Again; 'Ted' Debut Improves Time Period by 22%

March 19, 2009 10:52 AM

Another one bit the dust on Wednesday night’s “American Idol,” while ABC and CBS battled for second place.

Better Off Ted

Fox’s “American Idol” was easily the top show of the night, scoring an 8.4 rating/21 share among adults 18-49 and 23.1 million viewers, according to preliminary Nielsen figures. Although last night’s episode was down 8% from last Wednesday, “Idol’s” rating was twice as large as the night’s second-place show, ABC's “Lost.” In the 8 p.m. hour “Lie to Me” (3.1/9, 10 million) was down 9% to a new season low, but it still topped the competition in its timeslot. Fox averaged a 5.7/16 (16.6 million) to win the night.

ABC kicked off the night with a new episode of “Scrubs” (2.2/7, 5.8 million) in its new time period, where the show matched recent Tuesday night performances. The series premiere of “Better Off Ted” came in with a 2.2/6 (5.6 million) at 8:30. While “Ted” retained 100% of its lead-in and improved the previous time-period average by 22%, it ranks as the network’s lowest-rated comedy premiere since October 2005. At 9 p.m. a new episode of “Lost” (4.2/10, 9.1 million) took a hit from head-to-head competition with “Idol,” dipping to a new series low (excluding clip shows) and coming in 13% off its season-to-date average. The network wrapped up the night with “Life on Mars” (2.0/5, 5.3 million), up 43% from last week when it followed a “Lost” repeat. ABC averaged a 2.8/8 (6.7 million) to claim third overall.

CBS' comedies were neck-and-neck with ABC's during the 8 p.m. hour. “The New Adventures of Old Christine” (2.1/7, 7.4 million) was flat from last week, as was “Gary Unmarried” (2.3/7, 7.6 million). New episodes of “Criminal Minds” (3.2/8, 13.5 million) and “CSI: NY” (3.3/9, 12.7 million) were down 11% and 6%, respectively. Overall CBS edged ABC to take second place with a 2.9/8 (11.2 million).

NBC’s programs saw dips across the night. In its second week, “The Chopping Block” (1.2/4, 3.5 million) was down 14% in the demo. “Life” (1.5/4, 4,2 million) dipped 15% from last week, while “Law & Order” (2.1/6, 7.1 million) was down 5%. NBC finished fourth with a 1.6/4 (4.9 million) for the night.

The CW’s “America’s Next Top Model” scored a 1.6/5 (3.6 million), dipping 16% from its performance last week and ranking fourth for the hour. Last night’s episode scored a 3.0/9 among women 18-34. “Model” was paired with an encore “90210” to give the network an average 1.0/3 (2.3 million) for the night and a 1.9/5 in the younger female adult demo.

‘Idol’ Wins Night Despite Losing Viewers to St. Patrick

March 18, 2009 10:41 AM

With TV use down due to St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, Tuesday night’s reality heavyweights “American Idol” and “Dancing With the Stars” sank to near-record lows.

American Idol

Due to the holiday, TV use was down compared with last Tuesday, particularly among young adults (36.2% vs. 37.6%), having a significant effect on shows across the board.

“Idol,” as expected, was the top show of the night and gave Fox the Tuesday win. Last night’s two-hour episode, featuring performances from the top 11 finalists, finished the night with an 8.0 rating/22 share among adults 18-49 and 21.5 million viewers, according to preliminary Nielsen figures. However, “Idol” was down 16% from last week’s episode and off 24% from last year, coming in as the lowest-rated Tuesday episode since August 2002, during season one.

In its first head-to-head telecast against “Idol” this season, “Dancing With the Stars’” first results show at 9 p.m. scored a 2.7/7 (12.4 million), down 27% from its comparable episode last September and down 31% from last spring’s first results show. Tuesday’s show is the franchise’s lowest premiere episode and the series’ lowest-rated regular episode. ABC opened the night with a “Dancing” recap (1.7/5, 8.1 million) and finished with a new “Primetime: What Would You Do?” (2.3/7, 7.8 million). The network finished fourth with an average 2.2/6 (9.4 million).

NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” scored a 3.2/9 (7.9 million), taking a 16% dip from last week. This edition of “Loser,” however, has showed a 14% gain for the season-to-date compared with the same weeks last year and is drawing the franchise’s biggest audience, averaging 10.4 million viewers in its 10 weeks. At 10 p.m., “Law & Order: SVU” (3.4/10, 10.6 million) was down 6% from last week but ranked as the No. 1 show in its time period. Overall, NBC finished second for the night with a 3.3/9 (8.8 million).

CBS’ dramas returned last night with season lows. A new “NCIS” kicked off the night with a 3.1/9 (15.5 million). At 9 p.m. a fresh “The Mentalist” scored a 3.2/8 (15.4 million), down 14% from its last original episode. “Without a Trace” was down only a tick from its last original, rounding off the night with a 2.5/7 (12 million). CBS placed third for the night with a 2.9/8 (14.3 million).

The CW’s “Reaper” (0.8/2, 1.9 million) was down one-tenth of a rating point. Along with an encore “90210,” the network averaged a 0.6/2 (1.3 million) in the demo, and a 0.6/2 among women 18-34.

ABC Wins Monday as ‘Dancing’ Dips, ‘Castle’ Climbs

March 17, 2009 10:50 AM

Fox and CBS programs held steady Monday night as ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” took a slight dip after its season opener.

Dancing With the Stars

“Dancing” strutted its way to a 5.3 rating/14 share among adults 18-49 and 21.1 million viewers, according to preliminary Nielsen figures. Last night’s two-hour episode was down 13% from the show’s season premiere last week. At 10 p.m. “Castle” (3.1/8, 11.5 million) was up a tick from its series debut last week. ABC finished on top for the night with a 4.6/12 (17.9 million).

Fox placed second with new episodes of “House” (4.8/13, 12.8 million) and “24” (3.7/9, 11.3 million). “House” remained flat over last week, while “24” was up a tick. The network averaged a 4.2/11 (12.1 million) for the night.

The dip in last night’s “Dancing” gave some CBS comedies a slight bounce. “The Big Bang Theory” (3.7/11, 9.8 million) was up a tick from last week, while “How I Met Your Mother” (3.8/10, 9.2 million) was up 6%, “Two and a Half Men” (4.8/12, 14 million) was flat and “Rules of Engagement” (4.0/10, 11.4 million) was up 8% from last week. At 10 p.m. “CSI: Miami” (3.8/10, 13.3 million) was down 12% from the previous week, but it was the top show in its timeslot. Overall the network scored a 4.0/11 (11.9 million) to finish third.

The CW returned with new episodes to score a 1.1/3 (2.3 million). Compared with their most recent original telecasts, “Gossip Girl” (1.1/3, 2.2 million) was flat while “One Tree Hill” (1.2/3, 2.3 million) was up a tick. The network scored a 2.6/7 among women 18-34.

NBC (1.3/3, 3.7 million) landed in fourth place with repeats of “Chuck,” “Heroes” and “Medium.”

ABC Wins Sunday; No Crown for NBC’s ‘Kings’

March 16, 2009 11:40 AM

ABC finished first Sunday night with the top two shows, “Desperate Housewives” and “Brothers & Sisters,” while the premiere of NBC’s “Kings” failed to find a strong following.

Kings

At 9 p.m., “Desperate Housewives” pulled a 5.0 rating/12 share among adults 18-49 and 14.2 million viewers, according to preliminary Nielsen figures. “Housewives” was up 6% from last week, but down 11% from its previous season-do-date average. “Brothers & Sisters” followed with a 3.7/9 (10.6 million), up 9% from the week before. New episodes of “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (2.1/7, 7.5 million) and “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (3.0/8, 9.4 million) helped give the network a 3.5/9 (10.5 million) for the night.

CBS took second for the night with an average 2.7/7 (11.7 million). “60 Minutes” (2.2/7, 12.6 million) was flat with last week, while “The Amazing Race” (3.0/8, 10.4 million) and “Cold Case” (2.9/7, 12.9 million) were each down just a tick. At 10 p.m., “The Unit” (2.7/7, 10.9 million) was up 17% over last week.

Fox’s animation block helped give the network third for the night with a 2.2/6 (2.2/6, 4.8 million). In the 8 p.m. hour both “The Simpsons” (2.8/8, 6 million) and “King of the Hill” (2.4/6, 5.4 million) remained flat over last week. “Family Guy” (3.6/9, 7.2 million) was down a tick and came in as the night’s No. 3 show, while “American Dad” (2.9/7, 5.8 million) was up 7% from the prior week. In the 7 p.m. hour, Fox kicked off the night with back to back episodes of “Hole in the Wall” (0.7/2, 1.9 million and 0.9/3, 2.4 million).

The two-hour premiere of NBC’s “Kings” came in at a not-so-royal 1.6/4 (6 million). Last night’s telecast tied as the network’s second lowest-rated premiere of the season, behind last week’s debut of “The Chopping Block” and tying last fall’s “Crusoe.” At 10 p.m., “The Celebrity Apprentice” pulled a 2.7/7 (6.7 million), down 16% from its two-hour telecast last week. The network opened the night with “Dateline” (1.1/4, 4.3 million), and wrapped up fourth with a 1.8/5 (5.7 million).

The CW aired “Jericho” (0.2/1, 0.7 million) and a presentation of the film “Moonstruck” (0.3/1, 1.2 million), averaging a 0.2/1 (1 million) for the night.

Guest Stars Lift NBC’s ‘ER’ but ABC, CBS Dramas Win Night

March 13, 2009 11:16 AM

ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” and CBS’ “CSI” may have scored the top spots Thursday night, but both took significant tumbles from their most recent original episodes. Meanwhile, CBS’ “Survivor” continues its new season on a strong pace, while some superstar cameos helped “ER” continue its countdown-to-finale surge.

Grey's Anatomy

A new episode of “CSI” in the 9 p.m. hour scored a 4.2 rating/10 share among adults 18-49 and 17 million viewers, according to preliminary Nielsen figures. While still the No. 2 show, last night’s episode was down 21% both from last week (when music star Taylor Swift made a guest appearance) and from its season-to-date average. “CSI” matched its lowest rating ever for an original episode, tying a special Thanksgiving episode from November 2007. “Survivor” kicked off CBS’ night with a 4.1/12 (12.9 million), posting an 8% increase from last week. At 10 p.m. a new “Eleventh Hour” was down a tick to score a 2.8/7 (11.8 million). CBS averaged a 3.7/10 (13.9 million) to win the night.

ABC finished the night second with a 3.5/9 (9.9 million). At 8 p.m. a new “Ugly Betty” climbed 24% from last week’s low to score a 2.1/6 (7.2 million), on par with the previous season-to-date average. The night’s top show, “Grey’s Anatomy,” came back after repeat episodes with a 4.9/12 (13.5 million), the show’s lowest rating ever for an original telecast. Last night’s episode was down 18% from the previous season average and down 17% from its last original episode on Feb. 19, a crossover with “Private Practice.” At 10, that drama (3.4/9, 9.1 million) posted similar dips, down 17% from its season average and down 23% from its last original telecast, also on Feb. 19.

With guest appearance from alums George Clooney and Julianna Marguiles as the show nears its finale, NBC’s “ER” bounced back with a 3.9/11 (10.7 million), up 15% from the previous week and scoring its biggest audience in over two years. The season finale of “Kath & Kim” went out with a 1.7/5 (4 million), down a tick from last week and off 23% from the show’s season-to-date average. (No word yet on whether the show is getting picked up for a second season.) In the 9 p.m. hour “The Office” (4.0/10, 7.5 million) was down 11% from last week to a new season low; “30 Rock” (3.3/8, 6.4 million) also was down 11% from the week before. “My Name Is Earl” was a repeat at 8 p.m. The network tied for third with a 3.1/8 (7.3 million).

Fox also finished the night with a 3.1/8 (8.7 million). “Bones” was down a tick from its last original episode on Feb. 19 to score a 2.8/8 (9.6 million). “Hell’s Kitchen” (3.5/9, 7.8 million) matched its highest rating this season, despite not having an “American Idol” lead-in. Both programs have been performing better than the season-to-date averages for their time periods, with “Bones” up 43% at 8 p.m. and “Hell’s Kitchen” up 60% at 9 p.m.

The CW came in with an average 1.3/4 (3.3 million) for the night. A new “Smallville” (1.6/5, 3.7 million) matched its previous performance for an original episode, while “Supernatural” (1.1/3, 2.8 million) was down 21% from its last original. The network averaged a 1.3/4 among women 18-34.

(Updated: "ER" audience. 12:20 p.m.)

‘Chopping Block’ Has Clunky Debut as ‘Idol’ Cruises

March 12, 2009 12:23 PM

Fox won Wednesday night as “American Idol” bid farewell to the first two of its 13 finalists, while the debut of NBC’s “The Chopping Block” came up a bit rotten. Chopping Block

Fox opened the night with “Lie to Me” in its new 8 p.m. hour. The show scored a 3.4 rating/10 share among adults 18-49 and 11.1 million viewers. While the show had a 92% retention and 9% increase in total viewers from its post-“Idol” performance last week, “Lie” scored its lowest rating to date and was off 23% from its season-to-date average. “Idol” (8.8/22, 24.9 million) eliminated its first two finalists and introduced the new “judge’s save” rule last night. The show was up 13% from its week-ago performance, but down 15% from last year for the comparable night. Overall Fox finished on top with an average 6.1/17 (18 million).

New comedies and dramas on CBS gave the network second place for the night with an average 3.1/8 (11.8 million). “The New Adventures of Old Christine” (2.1/7, 7.6 million) posted a 17% increase from its last original telecast, while “Gary Unmarried” (2.3/7, 7.7 million) was in line with its season-to-date average. At 9 p.m. “Criminal Minds” (3.5/9, 14.1 million) was on the low side, while at 10 p.m. “CSI: NY” (3.5/9, 13.5 million) was average.

On NBC, the premiere of the cooking reality series “The Chopping Block” came in low with a 1.5/4 (4 million), down 12% from “Knight Rider’s” performance last week and down 17% from “Rider’s” season average in the same time period. The show placed fourth in its time period for the night, ahead of only repeats on ABC. A new “Life” (1.8/4, 5.3 million) matched its previous ratings high from December and scored its best rating when up against “Idol.” “Law & Order” (2.2/6, 7.6 million) was about average. Overall the network finished third with a 1.8/5 (5.6 million).

At 10 p.m. a new episode of ABC’s “Life on Mars” scored a 1.5/4 (4.6 million). Back-to-back repeats of “Scrubs” and “Lost” helped land the network in fourth place with an average 1.4/4 (4.1 million) for the night.

The CW’s “America’s Next Top Model” (1.9/6, 4.5 million) posted a 6% increase from last week’s two-hour debut, coming in as the second most watched episode of “Top Model” this season, behind the show’s fall finale. A “90210” repeat at 9 p.m. gave the network an average 1.2/3 (2.7 million) for the night. Among women 18-34, The CW averaged a 1.9/5.

13 Is a Lucky Number for ‘Idol,’ Fox

March 11, 2009 11:11 AM

“American Idol’s” top 13 contestants sang their way to a ratings win for Fox Tuesday night.

American Idol

Last night’s two-hour “Idol” scored a 9.2 rating/24 share among adults 18-49 and 25.2 million viewers, according to preliminary Nielsen Media Research figures. The show was up 2% from last week, but dipped 16% from the comparable night last year. (For the week so far, “Idol” edged out Monday’s premiere of “Dancing With the Stars” by about 2.4 million viewers, vs. “Dancing’s” final viewership average.)

NBC took second place (3.7/10, 9.9 million) with new episodes of “The Biggest Loser” (3.8/10, 9.3 million) and “Law & Order: SVU” (3.6/20, 11 million). “Loser” scored the network’s best rating in the demo while up against a regular two-hour “Idol,” excluding Olympics coverage, and the show’s highest in five weeks. “Loser” also posted a 9% gain from last week and a 27% increase from last year, when the show also was up against “Idol.” At 10 p.m., “SVU” won the hour while also logging the show’s biggest audience for the season to date.

CBS aired repeats of “NCIS,” “The Mentalist” and “Without a Trace” and landed in third place for the night, averaging a 2.5/7 (12.6 million).

On ABC, a new episode of “Homeland Security U.S.A.” (1.4/4, 5.1 million) opened the night, followed by back-to-back repeats of “Scrubs” and a new “Primetime: What Would You Do?” (1.9/5, 5.1 million), which came in low. ABC finished fourth with a 1.5/4 (4.4 million).

The CW finished fifth with a 0.6/2 (1.6 million). A new episode of “Reaper” (0.8/2, 2.2 million) was down a tick from its season premiere last week. A repeat of “90210” aired in the 9 p.m. hour. The network averaged a 0.8/2 among women 18-34 for the night.