Like last week’s announcement that David Letterman was retiring in 2015, yesterday’s news that Stephen Colbert would take over CBS’ Late Show overshadowed Thursday’s primetime as the big action on TV. But that didn’t mean there was a lot going on last night. With its penultimate episode before next week’s Season 3 finale, Scandal (3.0/9) not unexpectedly ramped it up with more tension and potentially explosive outcomes. The Shonda Rhimes-produced drama also bopped up 3% among adults 18-49 compared with last week’s season low. Lead-in Grey’s Anatomy (2.5/8) dipped 7% from its April 3 episode. With Once Upon A Time In Wonderland wrapped up for good last week, ABC kicked off its Thursday primetime with a special Shark Tank (1.6/6). The first of a two-nighter, the entrepreneurial reality series was down 20% from its last regular Friday airing on April 4 but gave ABC a six-month high in adults 18-49 for the 8 PM slot. With a 2.4/8 rating, ABC was tied with CBS for the 18-49 top spot, but the latter finished first in total viewers with 9.76 million.
RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Shark Tank’ & ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ Fall, ‘Scandal’ Steady, ‘Elementary’ Rises, ‘Reign’ & ‘Community’ Hit Lows
RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘American Idol’ & ‘Survivor’ Steady, ‘Criminal Minds’ & ‘Mixology’ Down, ‘SVU’ Rises
Last night on American Idol (2.0/6) the ’80s were truly back in force. The two-hour live performance show saw the Top 8 belt out tunes from Blondie, Journey, Joan Jett, and Cyndi Lauper among others, some advice from Season 7 winner David Cook, a new hairdo from judge Keith Urban, plus an impromptu Madonna tune from Harry Connick Jr. It also saw the long-running reality competition series remain pretty steady with last week in adults 18-49 with a 5% dip and even with its total viewership of 8.8 million on April 2.
Idol again came up short against Survivor (2.4/8) in their common hour. Airing between 8-9 PM and the highest-rated show of the night, the veteran CBS competition series bopped up 4% from last week in the key demo. The Fox show drew a 1.9 among the 18-49s in the one-hour overlap. That’s the worst Idol has done against Survivor in adults 18-49. The CBS show topped the Fox show for the first time ever in the common hour on March 12. The victory lap continued March 19 and saw Survivor beating Idol in total viewers in the 8 PM slot for the first time. On March 26, the one-hour Survivor bested the 2-hour Idol in total viewers overall.
RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Wonderland’ Finale Down, ‘The Millers’ Surges, ‘Surviving Jack’ Slips & ‘Community’ Hits Series Low
David Letterman’s announcement yesterday of his retirement was the big news in TV and certainly the end of an era for late night. However, in primetime, there was another end. Officially cancelled last week by ABC, limited run Once Upon A Time In Wonderland (0.9/3) wrapped its first and only season last night. Having debuted on October 10 last year with 1.7 rating among adults 18-49 and soon dipping below a 1.0, the fantasy drama spinoff of Once Upon A Time was down 10% from its result of last week. The rest of ABC’s night with dramas Grey’s Anatomy (2.6/7) and the ever intrigue-filled Scandal (2.8.9) saw the Shonda Rhimes-produced shows even and down 10% respectively from last week. That’s a season low tie for Scandal.
RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Surviving Jack’ Soft In Debut, ‘Vampire Diaries’ Hits Low, ‘Scandal’ & ‘Parenthood’ Rise
If launching drama series in midseason is hard, launching comedy series in midseason is daunting. Fox’s Surviving Jack was the latest example, debuting to a 1.3 in 18-49 and 5.1 million viewers at 9:30 PM last night despite mostly positive reviews based on the standout performance of star Chris Meloni. Surviving Jack followed American Idol (1.9), which, in its switch to half-hour result shows, tied last week’s series low. For comparison, at 8 PM, with no lead-in and scathing reviews, Fox’s fall comedy Dads premiered to a 2.1 fast national demo rating in September. American Idol and The X Factor have never been compatible lead-ins for comedies. The previous comedy series to launch behind Idol was the 2011 Breaking In, which opened with a 3.5 demo rating but on a 7.3 Idol 18-49 lead-in (Yes, Idol was pulling in that kind of numbers only three years ago) for a 48% retention. Surviving Jack‘s was 68%. At 8 PM, Hell’s Kitchen (1.8) was up a tenth from last week’s fast national.
RATINGS RAT RACE UPDATE: ‘Modern Family’ Beats ‘American Idol’ In Viewers For First Time, ‘The 100′ Down In Week 2
UPDATE, 2:28 PM: The final numbers are in and it’s a solid victory for Modern Family in terms of viewers. The ABC comedy held onto its first-ever overall viewership win over American Idol with 10.09 million watching Wednesday. That makes Modern Family the night’s most watched show. Although Idol also saw a rise in its audience from the early numbers’ 9.15 million to 9.33 million, it was also beaten by Survivor, which ended up with 9.85 million watching. That’s the first time the CBS show has beaten the Fox show in total viewers. Despite two previous weeks of demo wins, Survivor had failed to hold its viewership lead in the final numbers. In terms of demo adjustments, Idol, Suburgatory and Modern Family were all up a tenth.
PREVIOUS, 9:15 AM: It was a night of quitters, rockers, gamblers, royals and winners on primetime on Wednesday. The quitting came on CBS’ Survivor (2.3/7), where the latest season saw its first self-deporter as well as the standard elimination. Dipping 8% from last week’s show to a season low among adults 18-49, but with its biggest viewership (9.76 million) of the cycle so far, Survivor was also once again the winner in the battle of the veteran reality shows as it bested American Idol (2.1/6) for the third week in a row in their common hour.
Turns out people love their stars on Twitter almost as much as they love their stars on TV, according to a new study by companies with an intense interest in the results.
Just as importantly for the TV business, fans also like the brands that back the shows they tweet about, according to the study by Twitter, Fox and industry-backed group the Advertiser Research Foundation.
More generally, the TV-related tweets most likely to motivate a viewer to watch will come from an actor on the show or other cast member (40%). That’s well ahead even of tweets from the user’s friends and family (26%), the social-media source that conventional wisdom suggests would be most influential. Perhaps less surprising is the finding that tweets from a show’s official Twitter account motivate barely more than one in six users (just 18%).
More than 90% of those who see show-related tweets have at some point taken immediate action to watch, search for, or share content, the study says. The majority of those exposed to TV-related tweets immediately take action around the show, are highly likely to watch a show they’ve never watched before, or to resume watching a show that they’d previously stopped watching.
That finding would significantly bump up the importance of Twitter as a way to market and build audience for TV shows, presuming that the program’s stars are engaged in that effort. A few shows have been particularly effective in this regard, such as ABC’s Scandal, whose cast members routinely live tweet and respond to fans through Twitter as each week’s show plays.
Remember when Thursday was the biggest night on television with the top networks drawing 18-49 ratings in the double digits? That was all a distant memory last night. With CBS’ regular lineup led by The Big Bang Theory benched for NCAA basketball, the highest-rated broadcast network Thursday night was ABC with a 2.0 average in 18-49. Only two series — ABC dramas Grey’s Anatomy (2.4, up 0.1 from last week) and Scandal (2.9, +0.2) — crossed the 2.0 demo rating threshold.
Among those that didn’t was Fox’s American Idol (1.9), its first time ever below 2.0. The singing competition continued its downward spiral, off 14% from last Thursday and this Wednesday’s series low to a new series low. Its lead-in, Hell’s Kitchen (1.7), was down 11% in its second week.
The 100 trailer was probably the best received one at the CW upfront presentation. With high hopes for the Lost-meets-Lord Of The Flies sci-fi drama, the network cleared one of its best launching pads for it, the post-Arrow Wednesday 9 PM slot, sending freshman The Tomorrow People to Mondays. The move has worked for now — The Tomorrow People retained its numbers in the transition to a new night while The 100 premiere improved on Tomorrow People. In its debut, The 100 drew 2.7 million viewers to become the CW’s most watched midseason premiere in four years, since Life Unexpected in 2010 though that also is reflective of the fact that the CW’s highest profile new series usually launch in the fall. In the demos, The 100 posted a 0.9 in adults 18-49 and 0.7 in 18-34. It outperformed the fall debut of The Tomorrow People in the slot (2.3 million, 0.8 in 18-49, 0.5 in 18-34 per fast nationals) despite having a weaker lead-in. What’s even more impressive, The 100 built on its Arrow lead-in (2.4 million, +17% from last week; 0.8 in 18-49, +14%; 0.8 in 18-34, +17%) in total viewers and 18-49, the first show to do so in total viewers.
RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ Return & ‘Scandal’ Steady, ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ & ‘Community’ Tie Lows, ‘Idol’ Even
He’s back and already it’s like Gordon Ramsay never left. The Season 12 premiere of Hell’s Kitchen (1.9/7) last night saw Fox’s favorite screaming cook return to train, torture and systematically eliminate another set of aspiring chefs. With a move from last year’s Tuesday debut to Thursday and down to one hour from the two-hour premiere last year, Hell’s Kitchen was basically steady last night compared with the Season 11 opener. Dipping just 5% from the 2.0/7 of March 12, 2013, HK actually saw a 4% bop up in viewership from last year to 5.3 million. However, last night was down 13% from the 2.2 rating of its two-hour Season 11 finale on July 25 last year — a Thursday. In another move announced last week for Thursdays on Fox, American Idol (2.2/6) shifted from 8 PM to the 9 PM slot previously occupied by the floundering Rake. The move was neither a benefit nor hindrance for the one-hour live results show as Idol was even with last’s week’s all-time low among the key demo. Overall, CBS won the night with a 2.5/8 rating and 10.60 million viewers.
Related: ‘Big Bang Theory’ Gets 3-Year Pickup
RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Survivor’ Tops ‘Idol’ For First Time Ever, ‘Mixology’ & ‘Suburgatory’ Hit Lows, ‘SVU’ & ‘Modern Family’ Steady
In its third week of its 28th season, CBS’ reality veteran Survivor finally topped Fox rival American Idol head-to-head for the very first time in the key adults 18-49 demo and in viewers. Survivor pulled in a 2.5/8 rating and 9.86 million viewers Wednesday night, with a live two-hour Idol drawing a 2.3/8 rating and an audience of 9.57 million in their common hour of 8-9 PM. The real question now is if those numbers will hold, with pre-emptions on CBS in about 2% of the country due to ACC and SEC college basketball games. Survivor: Cagayan was up 4% from last week in the demo and up 2% in viewers on a night that saw one of the tribes actively throw a challenge and still beat another tribe that stumbled from bad to worse. All of which means that there was a lot of bad blood when the inevitable came and a contestant was sent home.
Criminal Minds (2.3/7), Survivor‘s lead-out and the night’s most-watched show with 10.72 million viewers, fell 12% from last week. On the other hand, after going down last week, CSI (2.0/6) was up 18% this week.
RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Scandal’, Grey’s Anatomy’ & ‘Crazy Ones’ Down, ‘Two & A Half Men’, ‘Elementary’ & ‘Reign’ Up, ‘Wonderland’ Returns Even
Returning strong last week after a long winter break, both ABC’s Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy took a hit last night. Back for the second week since its break, the Shonda Rhimes produced political intrigue series drew a 2.8/8 among adults 18-49 last night. That’s a sharp 18% drop from last week’s results. The Washington D.C.-based show was led in by Rhimes’ Seattle-based Grey’s, which also had returned on February 27. The medical drama pulled a 2.6/7 in the key demo – a 16% slide from last week. ABC started the night with the return of another show that had taken a long hiatus. Back with its first new show since December 12, 2013, Once Upon A Time In Wonderland (0.8/3) was even with that last original. That left the fantasy-drama tying a series low.
RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘American Idol’ Steady, ‘SVU’, ‘Chicago PD’ & ‘Arrow’ Fall, ‘Criminal Minds’ & ‘Suburgatory’ Rise
It was all American Idol (2.7/8) as usual last night on Fox with things up a bit from last week. The 2-hour live show saw this season’s Top 12 belting out tunes, including Emily Piriz taking on Jennifer Lopez’s “Let’s Get Loud” right in front of the judge herself. It also saw Idol bopping up 4% from last week’s demo rating and steady in total viewers with 10.5 million, in line with the 10.6 million total from the show’s February 26 episode. Fox won the night among the key demo and among total viewers. CBS’ Criminal Minds was tops for the night in total viewers with 11.37 million and second in the key demo with a 2.6/7, an 18% rise over last week. Criminal Minds did beat Idol again in viewers head-to-head, as the Fox show pulled in 10.58 million during their common hour. The demo result was also the closest the CBS show has ever gotten to Idol.
Ratings Rat Race: Strong Return For ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ & ‘Scandal’; ‘American Idol’, ‘Rake’ Hit New Lows; Tweaked CBS Lineup Debuts
This is the much-needed good ratings news ABC had been desperately waiting for after the string of disastrous premieres for The Assets, Killer Women, Mind Games and most recently Mixology. It came courtesy of Shonda Rhimes, who’s become the network’s single most important producer. Both Rhimes dramas, Grey’s Anatomy (3.0) and Scandal (3.3), returned up from their two-and-a-half-month-long hiatuses, bringing a sigh of relief to ABC brass who took on a risky experiment by doing cable-style split seasons with a long break for all of their top serialized dramas this season. Grey’s Anatomy was up 11% from its last original on December 12, Scandal was up a tenth. That’s with virtually no lead-in as ABC aired a low-rated Oscar special at 8 PM (1.0).
Fox’s American Idol (2.3 in 18-49) was down a tenth from last week to hit an all-time demo low for a second consecutive Thursday. It ticked up in total viewers, from 9.2 million to 9.8 million. Rake (0.8) tumbled 20% from last week to a new series low en route to cancellation.
CBS introduced its tweaked Thursday comedy lineup, with Two And A Half Men and The Crazy Ones switching time periods.
RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Mixology’ Soft In Debut, ‘Chicago P.D.’ Hits Series High With ‘SVU’ Crossover, ‘Survivor’ Steady In Return
After so many duds this season, you start to root for a new ABC show to open. Upcoming drama Resurrection now remains the network’s last and only hope after back-to-back disappointments from the launches of drama Mind Games and comedy Mixology this week. Last night’s debut of Mixology (1.8 in adults 18-49) ranked as ABC’s lowest-rated comedy premiere this season and the third lowest overall for a Monday-Thursday comedy, only behind NBC’s now defunct Welcome To The Family (1.1) and Sean Saves The World (1.4). And that’s with one of the best comedy lead-ins on television, Modern Family, marking the lowest-rated debut following ABC’s flagship comedy. Yes, Modern Family is not the ratings powerhouse it used to be, with last night’s episode (3.1) down 11% from the last original to a season low. But still, Mixology‘s premiere rating was down a big 38% from the short-lived How To Live With Your Parents that premiered behind Modern Family last spring. The rest of ABC’s series also were down from their pre-Olympics originals. The Middle (1.8) was down 18%, Suburgatory (1.5) down 12% and Nashville (1.2) down 8%, all tying season lows.
First the good news — Fox’s American Idol won’t have to face Olympics coverage for another four years (assuming the singing competition sticks around that long.) Now the bad news. In its last showing against the Sochi games last night, Idol (2.4 in adults 18-49) hit its lowest rating ever on any night. It was down 8% from Wednesday and down 17% from last Thursday. New drama Rake (1.0) also continued to slide, hitting a new low.
With the Canadian women taking the hockey gold away from the Americans in a heartbreaking fashion and the figure skating judges eagerly handing the gold to the one host country contestant that didn’t tumble over defending champion Yuna Kim for yet another figure skating judging controversy, NBC’s primetime Olympics coverage drew a 4.9 in 18-49, down 17% from the comparable night in Vancouver. The finale of ABC’s The Taste (0.9) was flat, tying a series low.
UPDATE, 12:43 PM: Never underestimate the power of the ladies’ figure skating short program plus a gold medal win in the giant slalom to attract eyeballs to Olympics TV coverage. The final numbers are in and NBC‘s tape-delayed primetime coverage out of Sochi scored the network’s best result in 12 years. With a 12.2/20 national household rating and 20.2 million viewers, Wednesday has bested both the virtually live Vancouver 2010 coverage and the tape-delayed Torino 2006 broadcast on comparable nights. Last night’s result was up a slight 2.5% and 2%, respectively, from the 11.9/20 rating and 19.2 million viewers of 2010 but rose 22% and 25% from the 10.0/15 rating and 16.0 million viewers in 2006. Which means the last time a second Wednesday of a Winter Games did that well on TV for NBC was February 20, 2002 — during the last U.S.-based games in Salt Lake City. That second Wednesday pulled in a 19.5/31 rating with an audience of 32.0 million. Yes – impressive.
PREVIOUS, 8:54 AM: Aided by a menu including the always popular ladies figure skating and an on-ice appearance by heavily promoted U.S. champion Gracie Gold, NBC saw its Olympics coverage go up a bit compared with the night before. On a night with originals on all the other networks, NBC’s tape-delayed primetime coverage drew a 5.0/5 rating and 20.1 million viewers. That’s up from the 4.8/14 rating and 18.5 million viewers the Games had on Tuesday. However, it is a 9% slip from the comparable night of the Vancouver 2010 games 4 years ago, which had a 5.5.15. Night-to-night, the viewership of the second Wednesday of the Sochi Olympics was pretty much the same as the 20.3 million who watched the virtually live Vancouver Winter Games on NBC on February 24, 2010.
It might seem like ages ago but once upon a time American Idol winners and contestants regularly hit the Top 10 with their songs and become big stars and major moneymakers. Those days of almost assured hits out of Idol may be waning but there is still money on the table from those who hit the tune jackpot. Which is why the music company affiliated with Idol producers 19 Entertainment today took Sony Music to court for royalties that it alleges Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Chris Daughty, Clay Aiken and other Idol alumni are owed – especially in the digital realm. In the breach of contract compliant (read it here) filed today in federal court in NYC, 19 Recordings are seeking compensatory damages of more than $7 million, pre and post-judgment interest of “at least $3 million” plus legal and organizational costs and whatever else the jury will give them. ”It was very important to my clients to protect their artists, and we look forward to pursuing this,” attorney Richard Busch told me today after the suit was filed. The Nashville-based lawyer at King & Barlow is representing 19 Recordings in the matter.
“Sony has failed to comply with the terms of the Recording Agreements, and failed to fulfill its obligations under the Recording Agreements, by failing to properly account to and pay 19 royalties for licensing, sales, and other exploitations of the …
UPDATE: NBC Hits Second-Lowest Viewership Of Sochi Olympics As Second Tuesday Ratings Down From Vancouver & Torino
UPDATE, 3:44 PM: The second Tuesday of the Sochi Winter Olympics saw NBC’s coverage break the prevailing trend – and not in a good way. Whereas in general the network’s tape-delayed primetime package has been behind the virtual live coverage from Vancouver 2010 and basically steady with fellow tape-delayer Torino 2006, last night saw 2014 fall to third place. While not the low of February 15 (9.6/17) or even the second low of Valentine’s Day (11.0/19), last night’s national household rating of 11.2/18 and 18.9 million viewers was not pretty. For one thing, the audience for the 8:30-11 PM show was the second-lowest of the Sochi Games so far after the 17.1 million who watch this past Saturday. Last night’s results look even more bronzed when you compare them to the 12.6/20 rating and 21.3 million viewers of 2010 on the comparable night and the 15.5/23 rating and audience of 25.1 million who watched the second Tuesday of the Torino 2006 games.
So far, Sochi has been hitting by a hair historic Olympics lows among adults 18-49 compared with Torino. Of course with the popular women’s figure skating short program and the appearance by hyped U.S. champion Gracie Gold, those numbers could shoot up again like they did on Monday, when the network showed Meryl Davis and Charlie White’s gold medal ice dancing victory.
UPDATE, 1:39 PM: The final numbers for NBC’s Olympics coverage last night are in and it looks to be another close silver when compared against the past two Winter Games. With Today’s Matt Lauer stepping in again for the eye-infected Bob Costas, NBC’s 8-11:03 PM tape-delayed broadcast received a 13.4/21 national household rating, a 7% slip from the 14.5/24 that the almost live 2010 Vancouver Games got on the comparable night. It was a 13% jump from the 11.9/13 that the also tape-delayed Torino 2006 Winter Games drew for its first Thursday. Last night’s coverage also was up in the household rating by 18% over the 11.3/18 that the first bonus day of the Sochi Olympics drew February 6. NBC estimates that a total of 150.9 million Americans have watched the Olympics since their debut last week. That’s not on just NBC proper but across NBC Sports Network, CNBC, MSNBC and USA Network.
PREVIOUS, 8:45 PM: It was another night with Matt Lauer in the anchor chair for NBC‘s Olympics primetime coverage and another night of ups and downs in Sochi. One week after the soft launch of the Games, NBC drew a 5.9/17 rating in preliminary fast nationals and 22.89 million viewers.
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