Sluggish Wednesday 8 p.m. Anchor Spot

Thursday, October 15, 2009
Prime-Time Metered Market Wednesday Ratings:

CBS Wins; Wednesday 8 p.m. a Sore Spot for Network Television

Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not

On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options 

TV Tidbits:
Notes of Interest
Executive Shuffle
TV Trivia Time:

Haven’t I Heard That Title Before?  


CBS Wins; Wednesday 8 p.m. a Sore Spot for Network Television

Wednesday 10/14/09


CBS   7.5/12
NBC 4.8/ 8
Fox    4.4/ 7
ABC 4.1/ 7
CW    1.5/ 2

-Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Wednesday, October 15, 2008):

Note: The year-ago week included game five of the National League Championship Series on Fox, and the final Presidential Debate on ABC, CBS and NBC from 9-10:30 p.m. ET (with the half-hour analysis at 10:30 p.m. ET).  

CBS: +32, Fox: -23, CW: -25, NBC: -27, ABC: -36
-Yesterday’s Winners:

Criminal Minds (CBS), Modern Family (ABC), CSI: NY (CBS)


-Honorable Mention:
Law & Order: SVU (NBC), Cougar Town (ABC), Glee (Fox)

-Nothing Stands Out in the Wednesday 8 p.m. Hour:

Hank (ABC), The Middle (ABC), The New Adventures of Old Christine (CBS), Gary Unmarried (CBS), Mercy (NBC), America’s Next Top Model (CW)

-Yesterday’s Losers (Excluding Repeats):
The Jay Leno Show (NBC), Eastwick (ABC)
-Ratings Breakdown:

CBS scored another Wednesday overnight victory, beating distant No. 2 NBC by a considerable 56 percent. Third overall was Fox, followed by ABC and, of course, The CW. Mirroring what I have been saying all season, Wednesday from 8-9 p.m. is one of the softest hours of the week in primetime. Take a look at the lackluster results on all five networks:


Wednesday 8 p.m.


Hank – 8:00 p.m.: 3.9/ 7 (#4)

The Middle – 8:30 p.m.: 4.0/ 7 (#4)


The New Adventures of Old Christine – 8:00 p.m.: 4.7/ 8 (#1)

Gary Unmarried – 8:30 p.m.: 4.3/ 7 (#2t)


Mercy: 4.3/ 7 (#2)


So You Think You Can Dance: 4.2/ 7 (#3)

America’s Next Top Model: 2.4/ 4 (#5)

Compared to one year earlier, erosion was visible everywhere. Hank and The Middle on ABC were down, on average, by 16 percent from former canceled occupant Pushing Daisies (4.7/ 7 on Oct. 15, 2008). The New Adventures of Old Christine and Gary Unmarried on CBS were off, on average, by 16 percent from their year-ago overnights (Old Christine: 5.4/ 9, Gary Unmarried: 5.3/ 8). NBC’s Mercy dipped by four percent from former failed occupant Knight Rider (4.5/ 7). And The CW’s veteran America’s Next Top Model declined by 11 percent from a clips edition (which always scores lower) last year at this time (2.7/ 4 to 2.4/ 4). Fox is excluded because baseball aired on the year-ago evening.


Considering how well ABC’s Lost once fared in the Wednesday 8 p.m. hour, the networks may want to retool what they currently have.   Since So You Think You Can Dance on Fox is expected to win the time period among adults 18-49 with ease, that is the one show not considered disappointing. Yes, it performs much better in the summer. But as fall time period filler it could be worse. 


CBS’ Criminal Minds stood well above the competition at 9 p.m., with an 8.6/13 in the overnights. Second was NBC’s relocated Law & Order: SVU at a 5.8/ 9, which is worthy of positive mention for building by 35 percent out of the 8:30 p.m. portion of lead-in Mercy (4.3/ 7). And the good news for ABC was week four of critically acclaimed comedy Modern Family, which built by six percent from one week earlier with a 5.4/ 9. Comparably, that was up by 35 percent from lead-in The Middle. Take a look at the four-week overnight track:


Modern Family (ABC)

9/23/09: 7.8/12

9/30/09: 5.8/ 9

10/06/09: 5.1/ 8

10/13/09: 5.4/ 8


Considering the strength of Modern Family falls within adults 18-49, expect a performance in the mid-to-high three rating range. Compatible lead-out Cougar Town, meanwhile, has also settled with a third-place 4.8/ 8. Here is the four-week overnight track:

Publish date: October 15, 2009 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT