The Programming Insider: New ABC, Fox Comedies Sluggish

Idol leads Fox to victory

In Today's Issue:

Prime-Time Metered Market Wednesday Ratings: Fox Wins; Lackluster Midseason Sitcoms on ABC and Fox

Ratings Box: What’s Hot/What’s Not

On the Air Tonight: Prime-Time Programming Options

TV Tidbits: Notes of Interest

TV Trivia Time: Harry Stone’s Obsession 


PRIME-TIME METERED MARKET WEDNESDAY RATINGS: Fox Wins; Lackluster Midseason Sitcoms on ABC and Fox

Wednesday 4/27/11

Note: The overnight data now includes DVR playback until 3 a.m. local time. One year earlier it was based on Live data only.  All times are ET/PT.

Household Rating/Share

Fox: 12.0/19, CBS: 5.8/ 9, NBC: 4.2/ 7, ABC: 3.5/ 5, CW: 1.4/ 2

Percent Change from the Year-Ago Evening (Wednesday 4/28/10):

Fox: +43, CBS: +12, NBC: – 5, ABC and CW: -22 each

Yesterday’s Winners:

American Idol (Fox), Survivor: Redemption Island (CBS), Criminal Minds R (CBS)

Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats):

Better With You (ABC), Breaking In (Fox), Happy Endings (ABC)

Ratings Breakdown:

Led by American Idol, it was another easy overnight Wednesday victory for Fox, which more than doubled No. 2 CBS. A 90-minute edition of Idol stood well above anything else with a 14.5 rating/22 share in the overnights from 8-9:30 p.m., and the half-hour breakdown as follows: 13.7/22 – 14.9/23 – 14.9/22.  American Idol led into week four of sitcom Breaking In, which sank to a series-low (and third place) 4.5/ 7 at 9:30 p.m.  Four-week overnight track for Breaking In: 6.4/10 – 5.1/ 8 – 5.0/ 8 – 4.5/ 7. Comparably, retention for Breaking In out of the 9 p.m. portion of American Idol was a mere 30 percent. That said, tick, tock…the cancellation clock is ticking.

Over at CBS, still healthy Survivor: Redemption Island was on the map, with a second-place 6.6/11 at 8 p.m. The remainder of the evening on CBS—Criminal Minds (#1: 5.9/ 9) and on-the-fence spinoff Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior (#1: 4.9/ 8)—were repeats, and they still managed to dominate. As for Survivor, Redemption Island has gotten awfully crowded. If there is any justice, deserving Matt will continue to reign supreme.

NBC opened this final Wednesday in April with 8 p.m. special, Inside the Royal Wedding, which finished third with a 4.2/ 7 in the overnights at 8 p.m. That led into a repeat of the highly rated first episode of music competition The Voice, which averaged a 4.2/ 7 from 9-11 p.m. Considering this aired just one night earlier, a 4.2 is definitely respectable. And NBC definitely has a much-needed hit on its hands. In this day and age, all a network needs is one (or two) big new hits to reverse its fortunes.

Over at ABC, a repeat of underrated The Middle (#4: 3.5/ 6 at 8 p.m.) led into an original telecast of on-the-fence Better With You, which dipped to a 3.3/ 5 (#4) at 8:30 p.m. The exposure out of Dancing With the Stars on Monday, no doubt, did not help weak Better With You.  Next on ABC was a repeat of Modern Family (#3: 4.0/ 6 at 9 p.m.), followed by Cougar Town (#4: 3.8/ 6 at 9:30 p.m.), which held 95 percent of the encore lead-in.  Recent entry Happy Endings (#3: 3.3/ 5 at 10 p.m.), which was equal to one week earlier, and another encore telecast of Modern Family (#3: 2.8/ 5 at 10:30 p.m.) capped off the night for ABC from 10-11 p.m. Mirroring NBC on Thursday, there is absolutely no need for a three-hour sitcom block. Viewers traditionally are not programmed to watch network comedies in the 10 p.m. hour.

Last, and very least as usual, was The CW care of a repeat of America’s Next Top Model (#5: 0.9/ 1) and an original installment of the tired reality/competition (#5: 2.0/ 3), which is hoping that bringing back former contestants next fall will be beneficial.

Source: Nielsen Media Research data


RATINGS BOX: What’s Hot/What’s Not

Solid Start for The Voice on NBC:

For anyone wondering if there are too may singing competitions on the air, apparently the answer is no. That said, NBC’s The Voice kicked off with a hefty 11.78 million viewers and a dominant 5.1 rating/13 share among adults 18-49 in the Tuesday 9-11 p.m. block on April 26. Comparably, The Voice is now the top-rated series premiere on any network since Undercover Boss debuted on CBS following the Super Bowl on Feb. 7, 2010. And it built from lead-in The Biggest Loser (Viewers: 7.45 million; A18-49: 2.6/ 8) by a hefty 4.33 million viewers and 96 percent in the demo.

Final Tuesday Nationals:

Led by The Voice, NBC dominated this final Tuesday in April among adults 18-49, while the home of Dancing With the Stars, ABC, was first in total viewers. Here are the overall results for Tuesday, April 26:

Total Viewers:

ABC: 14.44 million, NBC: 10.33, CBS: 9.82, Fox: 7.60, CW: 1.20

Adults 18-49:

NBC: 4.3 rating/11 share, Fox: 3.0/ 8, ABC: 2.8/ 7, CBS: 1.9/ 5, CW: 0.6/ 1

Source: Nielsen Media Research data


ON THE AIR TONIGHT: Prime-Time Programming Options

Thursday 4/28/11


8:00 p.m. 20/20 – The Royal Family – A Modern Fairytale, 9:00 p.m. Grey’s Anatomy, 10:00 p.m. Private Practice


8:00 p.m. The Big Bang Theory, 8:30 p.m. Rules of Engagement, 9:00 p.m. CSI, 10:00 p.m. The Mentalist


8:00 p.m. Community, 8:30 p.m. The Office (R), 9:00 p.m. The Office (two episodes, including the departure of Steve Carrel at 9:30 p.m.), 10:00 p.m. Parks and Recreation, 10:30 p.m. 30 Rock


8:00 p.m. American Idol Results Show, 9:00 p.m. Bones


8:00 p.m. The Vampire Diaries, 9:00 p.m. Nikita


TV TIDBITS: Notes of Interest

Demi Moore Signs Deal With Lifetime:

Lifetime Television and actress-producer-director Demi Moore have entered into a multiproject development deal that kicks off with a talk show hosted by British television personality and photographer Amanda de Cadenet. The Conversation, which is expected to debut later this year, is described as a platform for de Cadenet to sit down with some of the world’s most famous women to discuss topics that relate to all women. In addition to The Conversation, Moore is developing two scripted dramas for Lifetime that she will executive produce.

Upcoming on Cartoon Network:

Cartoon Network’s newest animated comedy, The Amazing World of Gumball, which follows the misadventures of 12-year-old Gumball and his family and combines 2-D and 3-D animation in a live-action setting, will premiere on Monday, May 9 at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT. The Amazing World of Gumball is the first U.K.-produced full-length animated series out of Cartoon Network Development Studio Europe.

Spike TV to Relaunch Coal:

Coal, the recently launched reality series on Spike TV that focuses on coal miners, has been temporarily removed from the Wednesday lineup following a series-low 680,000 viewers on April 20. The cable net will relaunch it on Sunday, May 8 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

Also at Spike TV:

Spike TV has renewed its first-ever original scripted comedy, Blue Mountain State, for third season with an order for 13 new episodes.  Blue Mountain State, which focuses on a college football team, features former Hill Street Blues star Ed Marinaro and recent entry Denise Richards.

Discovery Announces Launch Date for Wild Animal Repo:

Wild Animal Repo, which focuses on animal rescuer Scott Lope and was supposed to debut on Discovery Channel in January, will make its long-awaited entry on Sunday, May 15 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

90-Minute Undercover Boss:

CBS Television Distribution will pitch the off-network sale of Undercover Boss with an additional half hour added to each episode. The extra 30 minutes will feature updates on the CEOs and employees, plus previously unseen footage.

CBS in May:

CBS has announced the following season-finale dates in the May 2011 sweeps, which officially begins this evening and concludes on Wednesday, May 25.  All times are ET/PT.

Undercover Boss: Sunday, May 1, 9 p.m.

The Amazing Race: Sunday, May 8, 8 p.m. (two hours)

CSI: Miami: Sunday, May 8, 10 p.m.

CSI: Thursday, May 12, 9 p.m.

CSI: NY: Friday, May 13, 9 p.m.

Blue Bloods: Friday, May 13, 10 p.m.

Survivor: Redemption Island: Sunday, May 15, 8 p.m. (two hours), live reunion show at 10 p.m.

How I Met Your Mother: Monday, May 16, 8 p.m.

Mad Love: Monday, May 16, 8:30 p.m. (expected series ender)

Mike & Molly: Monday, May 16, 9:30 p.m. ET

Hawaii Five-O: Monday, May 16, 10 p.m. ET

NCIS: Tuesday, May 17, 8 p.m.

NCIS: Los Angeles: Tuesday, May 17, 9 p.m.

The Good Wife: Tuesday, May 17, 10 p.m.

Criminal Minds: Wednesday. May 18, 9 p.m.

The Big Bang Theory: Thursday, May 19, 8 p.m.

Rules of Engagement: Thursday, May 19, 8:30 p.m.

The Mentalist: Thursday, May 19, 9 p.m. (two hours)

Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior: Wednesday, May 25, 10 p.m. (expected series ender)


TV TRIVIA: Harry Stone’s Obsession

Note: To respond to the trivia, please click HERE. Do not click Reply

What singer did Judge Harry T. Stone on sitcom Night Court idolize?

a) Bing Crosby

b) Roy Orbison

c) Elvis Presley

d) Frank Sinatra

e) Mel Torme

The answer to yesterday’s question…

What was Lucy Ricardo’s middle name on classic I Love Lucy?

a) Anita

b) Bonita

c) Esmeralda

d) Gretchen

e) Tallulah

Is: c) Esmeralda, as in Lucy Esmeralda McGillicuddy Ricardo

Current kudos goes to:

John Beadle, Gerry Bixenspan, John Brooker, Larry Collins, Tom Condosta, JC Cummings Sr., Adam Giagni, Maureen Goldman, Martha Gonzalez, Geoffrey Gordon, Bob Ingersoll, Deb Kainer, Marie Lefevre Karp, Tom Kilgallon, Synda Kollman, Steven Kurtzer, Kathy Martin, Salima Merchant, Michael Murphy, David Primuth, Gordon Purcell, Colleen Roth, David Ruckman, Greg Salerno, Barb Shimp, Mindy Staley, Michelle Stanton, Joe Swaney, Ronnie Tallant, Rob Wilson