On the Air This Weekend:
Prime-Time Programming Options
It’s Only a Paper Moon
CBS Wins, NBC’s The Office Could Take the Adult 18-49 Crown
-Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Thursday, October 9, 2008):
Note: Fox aired the Los Angeles/Philadelphia Major League Baseball Playoff on the year-ago evening.
(Keep in mind, however, that most of these “winners” are down year-to-year)
Survivor: Samoa (CBS), CSI (CBS), Grey’s Anatomy (ABC), The Office (NBC), The Mentalist (CBS)
Community (NBC), Parks and Recreation (NBC), Fringe (Fox), The Jay Leno Show (NBC)
CBS finished first in the overnights on this third Thursday of the 2009-10 season — 26 percent above second-place ABC. But ABC is expected to rank first overall among adults 18-49. Regardless of who wins, though, the bigger (and sadder) observation was all five networks declining year-to-year. The biggest loser: NBC, with a loss of 32 percent despite an above-average performance for Pam and Jim’s wedding on The Office.
Beginning with 8 p.m., CBS’ down-trending Survivor: Samoa still managed to rank first, with a 6.1 rating/10 share in the overnights. A very close second was Fox’s always reliable Bones (5.9/10), which never gets the credit it deserves, followed by week three of ABC’s water-cooler worthy FlashForward (5.6/ 9), which dipped by 10 percent from one week earlier. Three week metered market track for FlashForward: 7.6/13 – 6.2/10 – 5.6/ 9. If FlashForward settles in now (which it likely will), ABC will still have a modest hit on its hands.
Over at NBC, sitcom Community moved into the 8 p.m. time period and disappointed, as predicted, with a fourth-place 3.0/ 5 in the overnights. One week earlier, Community averaged a 3.6/ 6 at 9:30 p.m. out of The Office (which translated into 5.86 million viewers and a 2.9/ 7 among adults 18-49, based on the final Live Plus Same Day ratings). Regardless, I still think patient NBC will renew Community for the remainder of the season. Community led into should-be-axed Parks and Recreation with an equal 3.2/ 5 in the overnights at 8:30 p.m. One year earlier, former failed occupant Kath & Kim debuted with a 4.9/ 7 on Oct. 9, 2008. And that was considered a “losing” overnight performance at the time.
CW drama The Vampire Diaries, a shoo-in for a full season renewal, capped off the 8-9 p.m. time period with a 2.1/ 3, which was equal to one week earlier.
Moving to 9 p.m., CBS’ aging CSI won the hour in the overnights with a 9.0/14. But potentially alarming was the loss of 36 percent from the 14.1/22 it notched for the season-opening episode one year earlier (on Oct. 9, 2008). ABC’s second-place Grey’s Anatomy (8.2/12) was also down, but the erosion was less severe at 19 percent (10.1/15 to 8.2/12). The real “winner” in the 9 p.m. hour, however, was the hour-long installment of NBC’s The Office (#3: 5.0/ 8), which could ultimately win the evening overall among adults 18-49. Move over, 30 Rock…it is time for The Office to be re-crowned Outstanding Comedy based on this insanely brilliant expanded episode. Note to Emmy voters: please take notice!
Rounding off the 9 p.m. hour was Fox’s Fringe (#4: 3.4/ 5), which is faltering opposite the heavy competition, and CW staple Supernatural (1.8/ 3), which held 86 percent of the 8:30 p.m. of The Vampire Dairies.