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Cable Ratings: ‘Khloe & Lamar’ Starts OK, ‘Merlin’ Ends Solid, ‘Killing’ Holds Up Well

By | Monday April 11, 2011 @ 5:20pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

The series premiere of Khloe & Lamar on E! last night drew almost 2.6 million total viewers. The show, starring Kardashian and L.A. Lakers forward Odom, fell short of the recent debut of Kourtney & Kim Take New York, which logged a record 3 million total viewers, but was in line with the first- and second-season premieres of another Keeping Up with the Kardashians spinoff series, Kourtney & Khloe Take Miami, which drew 2.7 million and 2.6 million, respectively.

The Season 3 finale of Merlin on Syfy on Friday posted 1.9 million viewers, a series high, as well as 621,000 adults 18-49, also a season high.

In Week 2, AMC’s crime drama The Killing drew 2.6 million viewers, on par with the 2.7 million who tuned in for the two-hour premiere last week, an encouraging hold for a serialized series. However, its cumed audience for the night’s three airings, 4 million, was down from the 4.7 million total viewership for the premiere night. In persons 25-54, The Killing (993,000) was down 10%.

Also in its second week, Starz’s Camelot posted 850,000 viewers, down 23% from its two-hour premiere.

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HRTS Cable Chiefs Panel: Serialized Dramas Face Uncertain Future On Basic Cable

By | Wednesday February 23, 2011 @ 5:12pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

No big headlines from today’s HRTS luncheon featuring several cable chiefs: FX’s John Landgraf, Showtime’s David Nevins, USA Network’s Jeff Wachtel and BET’s Loretha Jones.

Landgraf spoke candidly about the difficulty of making serialized dramas work on basic cable. He noted that viewers seem to watch only reality series and sports live and prefer to view serialized shows in blocks of several episodes at a time on their DVRs. That hurts ratings tremendously and puts a lot of pressure on scripted programming, which doesn’t come cheap – Landgraf quoted a $200 million figure for keeping a basic cable drama series on the air for 7 years. Looking back at a show like Damages, while proud of it, Landgraf acknowledged that it didn’t work for FX and he wouldn’t do such serialized series in the future.

Other tidbits from the luncheon: Nevins spoke about broadening Showtime’s audiences, Wachtel called the final season of Law & Order: Criminal Intent a “victory lap” and Jones admitted even she was surprised by the huge success of the BET’s sitcom The Game.

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CABLE RATINGS: Amanda Knox Does OK But No Match For Craigslist Killer

Nellie Andreeva

Amidst controversy, Lifetime’s original movie Amanda Knox: Murder on Trial in Italy debuted last night with solid though unspectacular 2.8 million viewers. That was up 5% over the 2010-11 Lifetime original movie average but down from Lifetime’s first original movie of the year, The Craigslist Killer, which drew 5.4 million viewers last month, 2.7 million of them in the 25-54 demographic. (Amanda Knox‘s 25-54 tally was 1.4 million. The hour-long documentary, Beyond the Headlines: The Amanda Knox Story, which immediately followed the movie, drew 1.9 million viewers vs. 3.7 million for docu Beyond the Headlines: Catching the Craigslist Killer, which followed the Craigslist Killer movie. The Amanda Knox movie, which chronicles the trial against U.S. student Amanda Knox (Hayden Panettiere) who, along with her boyfriend, was found guilty in the murder of her roommate in the Italian town of Perugia, was a hit online, driving the most Web traffic ever for a Lifetime movie.

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FX’s ‘Justified’ Returns To Solid Numbers

By | Thursday February 10, 2011 @ 4:26pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

Much needed good ratings news for drama series at FX following the so-so numbers for Terriers and Lights Out: the second season premiere of network’s series Justified last night drew 3.5 million viewers, 1.7 million of them in the 18-49 demographic. That is down from the highly-rated series premiere last year, which drew 4.1 million viewers, 1.4 million of them in 18-49, but 43% higher than the series’ first-season average. Justified got help from its strong lead-in, the broadcast premiere of the feature Wanted, which averaged 1.5 million 18-49 viewers, Justified’s biggest lead-in to date, up 49% from Justified’s year-ago series premiere lead-in, Live Free or Die Hard (1.0 million).

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Cable Ratings: SAG Awards, ‘Shameless’ Up

By | Tuesday February 1, 2011 @ 11:29am PST
Nellie Andreeva

Sunday SAG Awards may have been predictable and even a tad boring with no upset wins but they scored solid ratings for TNT and TBS. The simulcast of the 17th Annual SAG Awards, highlighted by the surprise appearance of Dicky Eklund alongside winner Christian Bale, who portrays him in The Fighter, and a little-known Boardwalk Empire actress hijacking the show’s best ensemble acceptance speech, was watched by a little over 5 million viewers combined on TNT and TBS, up 6% from last year. (TNT’s viewership averaged 2.8 million, up 6%, TBS’ 2.2 million, also up 6%). The gains were larger in the young demos. The combines TNT/TBS delivery in adults 18-49 was 2.2 million, up 13% from last year and 1.2 million, up 30%.

Airing against the SAG Awards was the fourth episode of Showtime’s new drama Shameless, which averaged 1.5 million viewers at 10 PM, 1.1 million of them in the 18-49 demographic. that is a new high for the series, which has been building steadily since its impressive premiere, which drew 982,000 viewers.

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‘Daily Show’ Claims First Weekly Ratings Victory Over ‘Conan’ In Young Demos

Nellie Andreeva

Possibly boosted by State of the Union coverage, Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart posted its first weekly win over TBS’ Conan in adults 18-34, according to the network. Conan had a huge premiere in November, dominating the cable and broadcast late-night field for its first couple of weeks on the air, but The Daily Show has been steadily chipping away at Conan‘s ratings lead for the past two months. It has beaten Conan in total viewers every week since the beginning of December and in 18-49 every week since the beginning of January. For the month of January, The Daily Show is tops in viewers and 18-49, while Conan still has the edge in the 18-34 demo. However, Conan is hourlong and The Daily Show is a half-hour. If compared to the Daily Show/Colbert Report combo that airs in the same 11 PM-12AM slot, Conan is ahead in 18-34 and 18-49 while behind to the Comedy Central shows in total viewers. An interesting footnote – Versus January 2010, The Daily Show is up 9% in total viewers, while Conan is down 3% vs. the January 2010 performance of Lopez Tonight. Here are the standings of the cable late-night talk shows for January as released by Comedy Central (only original telecasts are included as Conan returned from the holiday a week later than most of the other shows, including The Daily Show): Read More »

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CABLE RATINGS: Solid Debut For ‘Working Class’, ‘Jerseylicious’ Sets Record

Nellie Andreeva

CMT’s new sitcom, the Melissa Peterman/Ed Asner starrer Working Class, drew 1.2 million viewers and a .50 rating in adults 18-49 in its Friday premiere to rank as the highest rated and most watched series debut in the network’s history. Of course, Working Class is CMT’s first scripted series, so that means it outperformed all of the network’s reality series debuts. Working Class didn’t come close to the blockbuster summer premiere of TV Land’s first original sitcom, Hot In Cleveland (4.8 million), but  is nevertheless off to a solid start, especially given its 8 PM timeslot and the lack of sitcom tradition on CMT.

Meanwhile, the second season finale of Style Network’s reality series Jerseylicious averaged 925,000 viewers, a series high and the most watched telecast in the network’s history.

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CABLE RATINGS: ‘Archer’ & ‘Jersey Shore’ Slightly Down, Piers Morgan Not So Slightly

Nellie Andreeva

The second season premiere of FX’s animated comedy Archer last night drew 1.5 million viewers, 986,000 of them in the adults 18-49 demographic. It was down 16% from the series premiere last year but significantly outperformed its first season average. Interesting footnote: Archer‘s lead-in, a rerun of Two and a Half Men, logged 1 million 18-49 viewers on the day Charlie Sheen made headlines with his hospitalizations following a wild party at his house. That was one of the show’s most watched telecasts on FX ever.

Airing against Archer, MTV’s Jersey Shore finally cooled off, but just a tiny bit. After a series of ratings records, the hit reality series averaged 8.83 million viewers last night, a fraction below the record 8.87 million who tuned in last week. The show kept steady in the 12-34 demo with a 8.8 rating and once again ranked as the second highest-rated program on any network behind Idol.

Meanwhile, CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight sunk to a new low last night, and that’s not only a reference to his choice of Kim and Kourtney Kardashian as guests. Morgan’s interview with the Kardashian sisters drew his smallest audience to date by a wide margin, 498,000. That is well below the 2.1 million he attracted in his debut last Monday and below the 674,000 his predecessor Larry King averaged in 2010. How small was Piers Morgan’s audience? It was … Read More »

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MSNBC’s Post-State Of The Union Address Coverage Down 24% Without Olbermann

Nellie Andreeva

MSNBC did pretty well with its State of the Union telecast, drawing 2.5 million viewers, up 4% from last year’s address, and the only cable news network to increase its audience year-to-year. It was also on par with last year’s ratings for the analysis immediately following President Barack Obama’s speech. But then things went downhill. From 11 PM-12 AM, MSNBC averaged 1.1 million viewers, down 24% from last year. The difference? Last year, the network had Keith Olbermann anchoring the hour. (To be exact, Countdown with Keith Olbermann aired from 10:45-11:45PM last January.) So 3 days after Olbermann’s abrupt exit on Friday night, MSNBC brass may be missing him already.

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UPDATE: State Of The Union Address Draws 42.8 Million, Down 11% From Last Year

Nellie Andreeva

Nielsen just released aggregated numbers for President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address last night. The speech drew 42.8 million viewers across 11 networks on broadcast and cable. This is Obama’s least watched State of the Union address – down 11% from last year and 18% from his 2009 speech. But  it was up 14% vs. George W. Bush’s final State of the Union address in 2008. Read More »

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OPRAH RATINGS: Her Syndication Show Is Up, Her Cable Network Is Down

Nellie Andreeva

It was a case of good news-bad news for Oprah Winfrey today when the ratings for the heavily hyped Monday edition of her syndicated show as well as last week’s ratings for her cable network OWN came in. The Monday episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show, in which Oprah revealed that she has a half-sister, drew a 9.7 household rating/22 share in the metered markets, the show’s highest numbers in 6 years, since the after-Oscars broadcast on Feb. 28, 2005, which posted a 10.8/23.

Meanwhile, according to the basic cable ratings for last week released today, OWN’s ratings continued to slide in its third full week on the air. For the week of Jan. 17, OWN averaged 297,000 viewers in primetime, down 4% from the previous week. (The network launched on Jan. 1, with an average of 1.1 viewers in primetime for its debut weekend, then averaged 387,000 in its … Read More »

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CABLE RATINGS: ‘Jersey Shore’ Hits A New Record, USA’s ‘Fairly Legal’ Debuts OK

Nellie Andreeva

Another week, another ratings record for Jersey Shore. The red-hot MTV reality phenomenon drew 8.9 million viewers last night, beating last week’s record of 8.6 million. In adults 18-49, it averaged a 4.7 rating, also a new record, making it the second highest-rated program on TV last night behind Fox’s American Idol.

Facing Jersey Shore at 10 PM was the premiere of USA’s new light drama Fairly Legal (3.9 million viewers). That was lower than USA’s most recent series premiere, Covert Affairs, also featuring a female lead, which posted 4.9 million viewers in its July debut. However, it’s hard to make apples-to-apples comparisons as Fairly Legal is the first USA series to debut in the winter. The series, starring Sarah Shahi as a mediator, held onto a solid 87% of its lead-in, the Season 3 premiere of Royal Pains (4.4 million).  That was down from the 5.9 million audience for the third season opener but that too aired in the summer as this is Royal Pains‘ first winter season premiere. Elsewhere on cable, the season finale of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills on Bravo averaged 2.8 million viewers.

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Piers Morgan Falls To Third Place On Day 3

Nellie Andreeva

Piers Morgan started off promisingly as a close No. 2  cable news program at 9PM in its Monday premiere, then fell 40% on Tuesday but still finished second. Last night, Piers Morgan Tonight (1 million total viewers, 239,000 of them in the 25-54 demographic) slipped further to finish behind the time slot leader, Fox News’s Sean Hannity (2 million, 565,000 in 25-54) and MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow (1.1 million, 221,000 in 25-54). In the demo, Morgan edged Maddow to finish second after topping Hannity with the Howard Stern interview on Tuesday. Between his premiere and his third airing, Morgan lost half of his audience (1 million viewers.) Last night, Morgan featured his first non-showbiz guest, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Tonight he is back to entertainment with controversial Golden Globes host Ricky Gervais. Here are the standings at 9 PM for the past 3 nights: Read More »

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Solid Ratings Start For Piers Morgan On CNN: 2.1 Million Viewers Tune In

Nellie Andreeva

In his heavily publicized debut last night, CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight drew 2.1 million viewers, 520,519 of them in the 25-54 demographic. Morgan couldn’t dethrone the reigning king in the 9 PM slot, Fox News’s Sean Hannity (2.4 million, 599,800 in 25-54), who had Sarah Palin on, but crushed MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show (1.1 million, 342,013), which had been Hannity‘s runner-up in the 9 PM hour. Morgan’s premiere, which featured an interview with Oprah Winfrey, came very close to the farewell episode of his predecessor, Larry King, who averaged 2.2 million for the final Larry King Live last month, and is head and shoulders above CNN’s primetime average, including Larry King Live‘s 674,000 viewer average for 2010.

Morgan is getting a great lucky break in his premiere week. A previously scheduled interview with British comedian Ricky Gervais, slated to air on Thursday, has the potential to become a big newsmaking event following Gervais’ much talked about hosting performance at the Golden Globes. Could Gervais do for Morgan what another Brit, Hugh Grant, did for Jay Leno, fueling a ratings upswing? And speaking of noisemakers, Morgan has Howard Stern tonight.

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‘Tosh.0′ Makes Record-Breaking Return

By | Thursday January 13, 2011 @ 9:40am PST
Nellie Andreeva

It’s a new season, new time slot, and the same red-hot Tosh.0. After posting a string of ratings records during its summer run, the third season premiere of the Comedy Central series in its new Tuesday 10 PM slot drew 3.6 million viewers, eclipsing its previous series high of 2.7 million set in July by a whopping 33%. Tosh.0 also set series highs in adults 18-49  (2.8 million or a 2.5 rating) and men 18-34 (1.2 million or a 4.4 rating). In fact, in 18-49, Tosh.0 beat the broadcast competition in the hour, CBS’ The Good Wife (2.3) and NBC’s Parenthood (2.2)

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Slow Start For FX’s Latest ‘Lights Out’

Nellie Andreeva

FX’s latest series Lights Out premiered to mostly disappointing ratings last night. The boxing drama starring Holt McCallany, which had gotten strong reviews, averaged 1.5 million viewers at 10 PM, 793,000 of them in the adults 18-49 demographic. The audience was a bit below the September premiere of the now-defunct FX dramedy Terriers (1.6 million, 659,000 in 18-49), which at the time marked the lowest-rated drama series debut for FX, though Lights Out did better in the demo. Marketing can’t be blamed for misleading viewers this time – there were no dogs, and the posters made it clear this is a boxing series.

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DVR Viewing Boosts ‘Conan’ To The Top In Young Demos

Nellie Andreeva

According to TBS, Conan got a significant lift from DVR viewing for the period from its Nov. 8 premiere til the end of the year, adding some 361,000 18-49 viewers and 236,000 viewers in the 18-34 demographic. With the time-shifted viewer numbers included, Conan is topping the rankings of all late-night shows on broadcast or cable in the 18-49 and 18-34 demos. (He is behind his broadcast counterparts in total viewers.) Here are the lists: Read More »

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Solid Start For Showtime’s Sunday Series

Nellie Andreeva

Showtime’s series were off to a good start last night. Leading the way was new racy drama Shameless, a remake of the acclaimed British series, which drew 982,000 at 10 PM (1.3 million overall for the 2 runs) to rank as the most watched Showtime drama series premiere in 7 years, since  Dead Like Me (1.11 million). It topped the debuts of The L Word (2004) – 936,000; The Tudors (2007) – 869,000; Dexter (2006) – 603,000.

Californication (848,000) at 9 PM delivered the dark comedy series’ best series premiere, topping the Season 3 premiere’s 821,000 which had the benefit of a Dexter lead-in. For the two airings combined, Californication averaged 1.12 million viewers.

At 9:30 PM, the showbiz-centric new comedy series starring Matt LeBlanc Episodes garnered 768,000 viewers (902,000 total), retaining 91% of its Californication audience. The premiere numbers are expected to get a boost from the pay cable network’s free cable and satellite previews this past weekend. The above numbers only factor in subscribers.

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CNN To Post Lowest Rated Year In 2010

Nellie Andreeva

The pressure on CNN’s new primetime anchor Piers Morgan to deliver ratings can’t be bigger – according to preliminary Nielsen estimates, 2010 will mark CNN’s lowest rated year since at least 1997 in total viewers and the target demographic of adults 25-54 after the beleaguered news network posted steep double-digit year-to-year declines. More bad news for new CNN chief Ken Jautz: In 2010, MSNBC will beat CNN in primetime for the first time ever in total viewers and for the second consecutive year in adults 25-54. (MSNBC will also log its first ever demo victory over CNN in total day.) Overall, Fox News Channel was once again head and shoulders above the cable news competition, drawing more viewers than its three competitors, CNN, MSNBC and HLN, combined. With its established programs sliding and new shows, most recently Parker Spitzer, fizzling, CNN posted the sharpest ratings declines, down 34% in prime time from 2009. Its sibling network HLN was also deep in the double-digit drop area while Fox News and MSNBC posted modest single-digit declines. Here are the numbers:

Nielsen Media Research (Live+SD)

P2+

P25-54Read More »

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