RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Undercover Boss’ Surges, ‘Shark Tank’ & ABC Comedies Up, ‘MasterChef Jr.’ Down, CBS Win Night
Ratings Rat Race: NBC Bags Bump With ‘The Little Prince’, But Titled Tot Most Improves ABC’s Evening News
UPDATED, 9 AM: The broadcast network that seemed to go the most ga-ga over the Royal Baby Birth in daytime yesterday enjoyed the biggest spike in its evening newscast crowd. ABC‘s evening news attracted nearly 650,000 more viewers than it had the previous Monday; NBC attracted an additional 545,000. And taking the high road left CBS at the back with an additional 125,000. Still, NBC’s evening news scored the biggest overall audience — 8 million viewers — followed by ABC’s 7.8 mil, and CBS’s 6.6 mil.
PREVIOUS: The Royal Baby bestowed regal ratings on NBC last night at 10 PM. Metered-market household ratings for NBC’s Dateline special, The Little Prince jumped 47% compared to the numbers Siberia clocked in the same hour the prior Monday. The Little Prince was up 22% compared to the network’s prior three-week average at 10 on Mondays since hockey’s Stanley Cup Finals. The special hung on to its ratings half-hour to half-hour – “flat” being the new “up” at 10 p.m. these days.
(Still, the titled tot was no Stephen King, TV-ratings-wise. While Dateline logged an average of 3.05 million viewers at 10, CBS’s King event-series, Under the Dome bagged 11.4 million Monday night. Dome enjoyed its second straight week of ratings growth and its best numbers since its second week, Royal Baby competition notwithstanding.)
There wasn’t a lot new on television Sunday night and no new drama. ABC had Secret Millionaire (1.5/5) at 8 PM, which was up 25% compared with last week. That was followed by a two-hour Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition (1.5/4) which was also up 25% from the previous week. NBC had a new Dateline (1.1/4) at 7 PM, which was down 8% from the last new show two weeks ago that aired at 8 PM. CBS won the night in total viewers with 5.48 million, and ABC won in adults 18-49.
It wasn’t the NBA Finals or golf’s U.S. Open, but there was world-class sports in primetime on Sunday. NBC had the second day of the U.S. Olympic Trials: Track & Field (1.2/4) from Eugene, Ore.’s Hayward Field. Though they pulled in 4.5 million viewers overall, this year’s Sunday night trials were down 20% from 2008′s comparable coverage. A new Dateline (1.2/4) followed, mostly flat with the news magazine’s show two weeks ago. The rest of NBC’s night was dual America’s Got Talent repeats at 9 PM (1.2/3) and 10 PM (1.2/3). On ABC, there was a different kind of exertion, with a two-hour Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition (0.9/2) repeat. ABC began the night with repeats of America’s Funniest Home Videos (1.0/4) at 7 PM and Secret Millionaire (1.1/3) at 8 PM. NBC took the night among adults 18-49; CBS won in overall viewers.
Last time we checked on Grimm the week before the Thanksgiving holiday, the rookie NBC drama seemed to be bottoming out, holding steady week-to-week to stop its post-premiere slide. But then the fairytale procedural was benched once for the holiday, which is understandable, and then again last night for original movie Game Of Your Life, which is not so much. Last night, the latest of the Procter & Gamble/Walmart-funded family movies that air on NBC as time buys drew a meager 0.5/2 in adults 18-49 from 8-10 PM and 2.2 million viewers. It is tied as the lowest-rated such movie to air on NBC on Friday or Saturday, in- or off-season. The first one, Secrets Of The Mountain, averaged a respectable 1.3/5 in 18-49 and 7.8 million viewers in April 2010. The Jensen Project posted a 0.9 and 3.9 million in summer 2010. Both aired on Friday. Field Of Vision (0.5/2, 2.7 million) and A Walk In My Shoes (1.3/4, 4.9 million) aired on Saturday this past summer. To keep airing those movies, NBC no doubt is making money on the time buys (and let’s face it, it’s not that NBC has cupboards stacked with originals after a brutal fall riddled with cancellations). But I’d question the scheduling choice for Game Of Your Life, which extends unnecessarily the hiatus of a freshman series so early into its run. With Dateline (1.0/3, 4 million) at 10 PM, NBC finished fourth for the night in 18-49.
On the heels of getting a three-episode back order this week, CBS’ freshman drama A Gifted Man (1.3/4 in adults 18-49, 8.2 million viewers) posted a ratings uptick of a tenth of a point in 18-49. Since premiering with a …
The fast nationals for last night were delayed by Nielsen this morning … or was it sabotage at the hands of Fringe fans trying to delay the bad ratings news? The Fox sci-fi drama (1.1/3 in adults 18-49) was down 15% from last week to post a series low. That was despite its lead-in, Kitchen Nightmares (1.6/5), rising a tenth. You can’t blame slot rival NBC’s Grimm (1.5/5) for Fringe‘s misfortune — the fairytale-themed NBC drama continued its slide following the strong premiere three weeks ago, down 17% from last Friday. At 8 PM, NBC’s Chuck (0.9/3) was up a tenth from last week’s fast national, flat with the final. Dateline (1.4/4, 4.9 million) was up 17%. CBS’ A Gifted Man (1.2/4, 8.3 million) matched its soft performance from the past few weeks. CSI: NY (1.7/5, 10.2 million) was up a tenth and beat Grimm in the demo after losing to the rookie in their first face-off last week. Blue Bloods (1.7/5, 11.2 million) was down 19% in 18-49 from last Friday’s season high. CBS (1.5/5, 9.9 million) won the night in both 18-49 and total viewers. It edged in the demo Fox (1.4/4, 3.5 million), which finished second; NBC (1.3/4, 4.4 million); and ABC (1.1/3, 5.2 million).
Following its surprisingly strong debut against Game 7 of the World Series last week, NBC’s new fairytale-themed drama Grimm (1.8/5 in 18-49, 5.92 million viewers) dropped a modest 14% in its second airing. It won the 9 PM hour in the demo and ranked as the second-highest-rated program of the night behind the CBS drama Blue Bloods. Things looked much gloomier for NBC’s departing dramedy Chuck (0.8/3, 3.1 million), which was the lowest-rated and least-watched program on the Big 4 — down 20% in the demo from its season premiere last week for a new series low. Dateline (1.2/4, 4.1 million) closed out the night for NBC, down a tenth from last week.
How bad is the current economic recession? Viewers are flocking to fairy tales, one of the most popular entertainment genres during the Great Depression. After the surprisingly strong launch on Sunday of ABC’s Once Upon A Time — which became the top-rated new drama series with a 4.0 Live+Same Day 18-49 rating — the other fairytale-themed new series, NBC’s Grimm, also exceeded expectations, premiering on Friday and against Game 7 of the World Series no less. The drama drew a 2.1/6 fast national rating among adults 18-49 last night (6.5 million total viewers), which is certain to go up in the finals. It was by far the highest-rated NBC drama premiere this season and the highest-rated Friday non-sports telecast on any network since Dec. 31, 2010 (ABC’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve). For NBC, it was the highest 18-49 rating in the Friday 9 PM slot in almost two years. And Grimm accomplished that with no help from its lead-in, the final season premiere of Chuck, which managed only a 1.0/3 in 18-49 and 3.4 million viewers, a series low.
Just like it happened the same time last year, once ABC dropped repeats on Friday to go for a lineup of reality series and newsmagzines, it became an instant formidable rival to CBS for the top spot on the night among adults 18-49. Last year, it started with a tie before ABC posted a couple of outright victories in the demo. And last night, in its first outing with an all-original Friday lineup, ABC (1.6/5 in 18-49, 6.2 million) tied CBS in 18-49. ABC also boasted the highest-rated program of the night among adults 18-49: newsmagazine 20/20 (2.1/6, 7.6 million total viewers), which was up a whopping 75% in the demo from last week with headline-grabbing interviews featuring the daughter-in-law of convicted Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff and Nick Cannon, Mariah Carey and their twins. 20/20 also was helped by a stronger lead-in from Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. The veteran reality series started its Friday debut slow, posting a 1.1/4 in 18-49 at 8 PM. But its second episode at 9 PM (1.7/5) picked up significantly, off only by two tenths from the series’ most recent airing on Sunday last week.
Another Friday with mostly minor adjustments of a tenth of a 18-49 rating. CBS’ 10 PM drama Blue Bloods (1.7/5 in adults 18-49, 10.9 million viewers) posted the biggest drop from last week — two tenths in 18-49. It …
Last November, when ABC beat CBS’ scripted Friday lineup multiple times in adults 18-49 with a mix of reality shows and newsmagazines, I wondered whether the concept of putting scripted series on Friday was doomed. Well, looking at the numbers last night, it certainly seems that way, particularly if you program for the advertiser-friendly adults 18-49 set. Fox’s reality series Kitchen Nightmares (1.6/6 in adults 18-49, 4 million viewers) and ABC’s newsmagazine 20/20 (1.2/4, 4 million) were the only programs on the Big 4 networks last night not to drop from premiere week in adults 18-49, with all scripted shows down. While this may not be particularly disconcerting for CBS — which is putting an older-skewing fare on the night that can pack 10 million viewers despite low 18-49 numbers — it has got to be alarming for NBC, which is about to unspool two younger-skewing shows on the night, Chuck and Grimm.
Following Kitchen Nightmares, Fringe (1.2/4, 3.1 million viewers) was down 20% from its low season premiere last week. Granted the series grows some 50% in DVR viewing, this is still a very low base to start from, making it unlikely that the sci-fi drama can cheat cancellation one more time.
Like Fringe, CBS’ rookie A Gifted Man (1.2/4, 8.1 million) is fading, down 14% from its debut last week and tied with Fringe and 20/20 as the lowest-rated first-run program last night. CSI: NY (1.6/5, 10 million) was down 11% from last week in 18-49, while Blue Bloods (1.8/6, 11.2 million) was down 10% but still ranked as the highest-rated program on Friday in both 18-49 and total viewers.
Maybe Ghost Whisperer was the only scripted series able to get a demo number at 8 PM on Fridays. CBS is trying a second consecutive drama with ghosts in the slot following the cancellation of Ghost Whisperer, to similar modest results. In its premiere last night, A Gifted Man (1.4/5) matched the season debut in the hour of Medium last year. (Medium was canceled a couple of months later.) That was down 39% from the season opener of Ghost Whisperer the year before. In total viewers, Gifted Man represented a vast improvement vs. last fall with 9.3 million viewers vs. 6.1 million for Medium. That was CBS’ largest audience in the hour since May 2009 when the network had Ghost Whisperer on. At 9 PM, veteran CSI: NY (1.8/6, 10.7 million) was down 10% in the demo from last season’s debut in the slot but finished No. 1 in the hour. 10 PM anchor Blue Bloods (2.0/6, 11.8 million) was down 9% in the demo from its series premiere last fall. It tied NBC’s Dateline as the highest-rated program of the night in 18-49 and was tops in viewers. CBS (1.7/5, 10.6 million) edged the competition to finish No. 1 for the night in 18-49 and total viewers.
With an original Hell’s Kitchen (2.9/7) following a rerun of the cooking reality show (1.7/5), Fox easily topped Monday night in adults 18-49 (2.3/6, 5 million total viewers). The new Hell’s Kitchen was up 7% from last week to tie …
Another down-to-the-wire game between the Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat dominated broadcast primetime last night against virtually no original competition. Game 3 of the NBA Finals, won by Miami 88-86 after a controversial call in Miami’s favor early on, drew …
After taking last Friday off for the swan song of veteran Smallville, CW’s Supernatural returned last night for its own season closer. The finale drew 2.1 million viewers and a 0.8/3 in adults 18-49, down 20% in the demo from …
Last week, the penultimate episodes of both ABC’s Brothers and Sisters and CBS’ The Amazing Race were impacted by the news of Osama bin Laden’s death. This week, one of them, Brothers and Sisters, was up in its season finale, …
Fringe ended its third season last night in a ho-hum fashion. (Knowing their show is coming back, fans probably didn’t feel any urgency to see the finale right away.) It drew a 1.2 rating in 18-49, down a tenth from …
ABC (1.5/5 in adults 18-49, 4.9 million viewers) won Friday night among adults 18-49 with a consistent ratings performance, topping every night of primetime in the demo (including a tie with Fox’s Kitchen Nightmares at 8 PM). In the 8 …
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