RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘The Voice’ Hits Performance Finale Low, ‘Almost Human’ & ‘Mom’ Down To Low, ‘Mike & Molly’ Up

ALMOST HUMAN DEC 16Just over a week before those presents under the tree are opened, Tuesday’s primetime was full of holiday specials and more year-enders but not a lot of cheer for some. Almost Human (1.6/5) wrapped up the first … Read More »

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Dan Dierdorf Retiring From Broadcast Booth After NFL Season

By | Wednesday November 20, 2013 @ 3:34pm PST

The burly, mustachioed color man who followed a Hall of Fame football career with a three-decade stint in the broadcast booth is hanging up his microphone. Dan Dierdorf will retire from CBS after this season, … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Almost Human’ Down In Move To Monday

By | Tuesday November 19, 2013 @ 9:46am PST
Nellie Andreeva

UPDATE: Sleepy Hollow went up a tenth in the finals to 2.6, as did NBC’s The Voice (to 3.5). The NFL-inflated Dancing (2.0) dropped .3, Castle (1.9) dived .4.

PREVIOUS: With football season in full swing, the top attraction on TV last night was ESPN’s Monday Night Football game between the Patriots and Panthers, which drew a big 11.2 overnight rating, up 42% from last Monday and the second highest this season. Surprisingly, the big game had little impact on most shows, including Fox’s Sleepy Hollow (2.5 in adults 18-49), which matched its fast national from last week, and the entire CBS comedy block as all half-hours were even with last Monday. But Fox’s new drama Almost Human (2.2) tumbled 29% in its move to Monday after a Sunday premiere behind an NFL double-header. A drop had been expected, but this is likely more than Fox brass had hoped for as the Sunday debut also faced an NFL game in the second half-hour. On the bright side, Almost Human still outperformed Fox’s Monday 8 PM slot by 5% and held its audience from the first to second half-hour. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE UPDATE: ESPN Wins Night As ‘Monday Night Football’ Hits New Highs

UPDATE, 3:30 PM: The final numbers are in, and it was a touchdown for ESPN last night. The sports network’s Monday Night Football doubleheader not only took Monday primetime among all broadcast and cable networks in key demos and viewers but also set some opening-game records. The Philadelphia Eagles’ 33-27 victory over the Washington Redskins pulled in a 10.1 rating last night. That 6:58-10:45 PM ET game was watched by 16.52 million viewers, another record for MNF since its 2006 debut on ESPN. The Eagles-Redskins game hit its peak from 10-10:15 PM with a 12.7 rating and 20.92 million viewers. The previous ESPN MNF season-opener record holder was the 2010 New York Jets-Baltimore Ravens game, which got a 9.4 rating and had 14.97 million viewers.

Related: Arsenio Hall Gets Good Sampling In Return To Late-Night TV
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RATINGS RAT RACE: Presidential Debate Battles Football, Baseball; ‘Voice’ Drops

By | Tuesday October 23, 2012 @ 9:32am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Last night, President Obama and Mitt Romney faced their biggest debate challenge yet. No, it wasn’t moderator Bob Schieffer’s questions or trying to restrain themselves from punching each other when seated within arm’s reach. For the first time in three Presidential and one Vice Presidential debate, it aired against football: Monday Night Football on ESPN. To make things even more competitive, the San Francisco Giants needed a Game 7 in the National League Championship Series to clinch a spot in the World Series, so the debate faced that face-off too on the East Coast. Because the NCLS went the distance, Fox did not carry the debate last night, the first time it’s done so this fall. Because of that, cume ratings for the third Presidential debate on the broadcast networks are running down double digits from the second debate in early estimates. Time-adjusted ratings for the debate will be available in a few hours. (UPDATE: Fox News set a viewership record.)

To accommodate the debate, NBC’s The Voice and ABC’s Dancing With The Stars were condensed to an hour, running from 8-9 PM. For Dancing (2.4/6), that actually boosted ratings as the dancing competition rose 14% from last week’s two-hour edition. However, ABC carried an NFL game in Detroit, so the the network’s fast nationals are likely inflated. The Voice (4.2/11) suffered from going down to one hour, dropping 29% from last Monday’s 8-10 PM telecast. It also was down 10% from its Tuesday edition last week, which, like last night’s episode, aired from 8-9 PM. Read More »

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Monday Night Football’s Officiating Farce

By | Tuesday September 25, 2012 @ 4:20am PDT

This already is the best sitcom or reality show around. The NFL replacement refs may even exclipse the start of the Fall Primetime Season for comedy of errors. If you missed Monday’s hilarity, the Seahawks beat Green Bay 14-12. But after a Hail Mary pass, two replacement … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Rules’, ‘Parks & Rec’ Hit Lows; ‘Grimm’ Does OK In Thursday Test

By | Friday December 9, 2011 @ 11:59am PST
Nellie Andreeva

Another hard-to-untangle night, marked with local NFL preemptions. CBS posted big gains at 9 PM and 10 PM but they will likely be erased in the finals because the network’s fast nationals were inflated by a big football game in Pittsburgh. The Big Bang Theory (4.7/14) was the least impacted as the game started at 8:25 PM on the East Coast. The comedy returned after three weeks of repeats down 11%. Rules Of Engagement (3.2/9) was also down 11% from its last original three weeks ago to post a season low. Because of the game, Rules will likely be adjusted down, so the season low is expected to stick. Not expected to stick are the double-digit bumps for Person Of Interest (3.0/8, up 15% from three weeks ago) and The Mentalist (3.0/8, up 20%), which reflect game-related ratings inflation. For now, CBS is tracking as No.1 in 18-49 and total viewers for the night.

After an uptick last week, NBC’s soon-to-be-benched comedy Community (1.5/4) was down 12%. Parks And Recreation (1.7/6) was down 6% for a series low. The Office (2.9/8) and Whitney (1.9/5) were flat, tied with their season lows. With little promotion, a special airing of Grimm (1.6/4) in the 10 PM period matched the show’s most recent 18-49 delivery in its regular Friday 9 PM slot 3 weeks ago. It was up 23% from Prime Suspect‘s demo performance last week to post NBC’s highest 18-49 rating in the Thursday 10 PM hour in 11 weeks. Another Grimm original airs tonight. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: CBS Series & NBC’s ‘Rock Center’ Rise, Fox Dramas Slide

Nellie Andreeva

CBS’ Monday lineup posted across-the-board gains for a second straight week. How I Met Your Mother (4.5/12 in adults 18-49, 10.4 million total viewers) was up a tenth in 18-49 from last Monday, 2 Broke Girls (4.8/12, 11.7 million) was up 7% from its fast national last week to post its best 18-49 rating in the 8:30 PM slot, Two And A Half Men (5.3/12, 14.6 million) was up 4% to once again rank as the top program of the night in 18-49, and Mike & Molly (4.4/10, 12.2 million) was up 5%. Hawaii Five-0 (3.3/8, 11.5 million) flourished without scripted broadcast competition in the 10 PM hour, up 10% in the demo from its fast national last week to post its best demo and total viewer number since the season premiere. Hawaii will likely tie its season-high opener in the finals if it’s adjusted up a tenth as it normally is. CBS (4.2/10, 12 million) easily won the night in 18-49.

NBC’s Rock Center With Brian Williams (1.3/3, 4.5 million) last night boasted the biggest news “get” of the moment, an exclusive interview with former Penn State football coach and accused child molester Jerry Sandusky. The one-on-one with Bob Costas boosted the struggling newsmagazine to its highest rating to date, up 30% from the 1.0 Rock Center posted in its first two weeks. Still, the show was dwarfed in the 10 PM hour by another newsmagazine, ABC’s special edition of 20/20 (2.8/7, 13.4 million) featuring Diane Sawyer’s interview with recovering shooting victim U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, as well as CBS’ Hawaii Five-0. Rock Center also ranked as the lowest-rated program on the Big 4 networks, and its fast national numbers may have been inflated by a local NFL pre-emption in Minneapolis, so an adjustment down is likely. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: Series Rebound From Halloween Drops, ‘Rock Center’ Stays At 1.0

Nellie Andreeva

After Halloween festivities pushed TV usage and ratings down last Monday, most series rebounded last night. Fox’s family-friendly Terra Nova (2.6/6 in adults 18-49), which was hit hardest by trick-or-treating, posted the biggest week-to-week gain, 24%. House (2.7/6) was up 8%. (The two dramas also led all series in Live+3 increases for their Halloween episodes, up 48%.) Fox finished third for the night in 18-49.

Topping the night in that demo was CBS (4.0/10 in 18-49, 11.4 million viewers). How I Met Your Mother (4.4/12) and 2 Broke Girls (4.5/11) were both up 7% from their fast nationals last week, Two And A Half Men (5.1/12) was up 9% to rank as the top program of the night in the demo, and Mike & Molly was up 11%. Hawaii Five-0 (3.0/8) was up a tenth from its fast national, flat with the final. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: NBC’s ‘Rock Center’ Starts Low, ‘Castle’ Up In Sea Of Declines

Nellie Andreeva

UPDATED: Brian Williams’ new primetime newsmagazine Rock Center appears not to be the answer to NBC’s ratings woes. Halloween played a ratings trick on the new show, which opened with a low 1.0/3 in 18-49 and 4.1 million viewers at 10 PM last night. That is below the average for the canceled The Playboy Club that Rock Center replaced (down 38% in the demo from The Playboy Club premiere last month) and lower than the performance of NBC’s veteran newsmagazine Dateline on the less-trafficked Sunday night. It marked NBC’s lowest Monday debut ever. Rock Center‘s lead-in, The Sing-Off (1.4/4), was down 7% from last week to log its lowest rating ever. NBC (1.2/3, 4.3 million) once again finished fifth on Monday among adults 18-49 behind the other major English-language broadcast networks and Univision. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: Broadcasters Hit By Baseball Overrun/Football Double Whammy

Nellie Andreeva

This was supposed to be Fox’s strong baseball postseason year as it’s the network’s turn to carry the American League Championship Series, a big audience draw with marquee teams the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. But both the Yankees and Red Sox were eliminated early, and now the ALCS has been hit with bad weather. Game 2 was rained out Sunday, leaving Fox scrambling to fill primetime with repeats at the last minute. And then a 52-minute overrun from the rescheduled Game 2 wreaked havoc on the network’s Monday primetime lineup, with both rookie Terra Nova and veteran House significantly impacted. The currently available non-time-zone-adjusted fast nationals for 9-10 PM (2.6/6), where most of Terra Nova aired, and 10-11 PM (2.3/6), where the bulk of House ran, are both expected to rise in the finals.

It was a rough night all around as the broadcast networks had to deal with baseball overrun as well as a strong Monday Night Football game on ESPN, where the Chicago Bears vs. Detroit Lions posted a 11.3 metered market average, the second-best rating so far this season. ABC’s Dancing With The Stars (3.1/8, 17 million total viewers) was flat with last week but may end up being down in the finals. ABC’s fast nationals were possibly inflated as the network’s Detroit station carried the football game. That doesn’t bode well for Castle (2.4/6, 10.2 million), which currently runs 8% below its fast national from last Monday. ABC (2.9/7, 15.1 million) seems on track to top the night in total viewers, while CBS (3.9/9, 11.1 million) is projected to win in 18-49. Read More »

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UPDATE: ESPN Drops Hank Williams Jr Permanently; Singer Says It Was His Call

By | Thursday October 6, 2011 @ 8:14am PDT

UPDATED: ESPN cut Hank Williams’ traditional lead-in song from last week’s Monday Night Football telecast after the country singer compared President Barack Obama to Hitler during a spot on Fox News Channel’s Fox & Read More »

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Hank Williams Jr Apologizes For “Dumb Statement” Comparing Obama To Hitler

Hank Williams Jr apologized on his website today for using an odd President Obama/Adolf Hitler analogy. Williams’ comments on the Fox News Channel show Fox & Friends yesterday got him in hot water, and ESPN yanked his theme song from Monday Night Football over the controversy. Williams wrote the … Read More »

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Hank Williams Jr Song Pulled From ‘Monday Night Football’ After Singer’s Obama Remark

Tonight’s Monday Night Football game will not be preceded by Hank Williams Jr’s famous opening song. ESPN pulled the opening after Williams compared President Obama to Adolf Hitler this morning on Fox News Channel’s Fox & Friends. ”While Hank Williams, Jr. … Read More »

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Ratings Rat Race: ’2.5 Men’ Still Big, ‘Terra Nova’ Premiere Just OK, ‘Playboy’ Dives

Nellie Andreeva

PREMIERE WEEK: Comedies In Comeback, Dramas Mixed While NBC & CW Struggle
CBS’ comedies stayed red-hot in Week 2 of the season. Two and a Half Men (7.2/17 in adults 18-49, 20 million viewers) was down 30% from its gigantic season premiere for a demo number that is still way higher than any scripted series can score in Live+Same Day these days. It boosted the second-season premiere of Mike & Molly (4.9/11, 14 million) to series highs in 18-49 and total viewers, up 26% from its series premiere last fall. At 8 PM, How I Met Your Mother (4.4/12, 10.6 million) continues to excel in its seventh season, down only 6% from its biggest season premiere ever last week. 2 Broke Girls (4.5/11, 11.6 million) settled nicely in its new 8:30 PM slot. It was down 37% from its big debut behind Men last week but did something that CBS hammock shows have rarely done — build on its HIMYM lead-in. At 10 PM, Hawaii Five-0 (3.3/8) was down only a tenth from its season premiere last week. CBS (4.6/11, 13 million) won every half-hour in primetime in both 18-49 and total viewers.

The two-hour premiere of Fox’s dinosaur drama Terra Nova drew a 3.0/7 and 9 million viewers, which was OK but slightly below expectations. In its defense, the male-skewing drama had to face the Washington-Dallas Monday Night Football game on ESPN. And it stayed consistent throughout the night, logging a 3.0 rating at 8 PM, 8:30 PM and 9 PM and climbing to a 3.1 at 9:30 PM. Speaking of the MNF game, it drew a 11.9 metered market household average. UPDATE: In the finals, Terra Nova was adjusted up to a 3.1 rating in 18-49.

NBC’s Monday lineup already started very low last week. It dropped even further last night. The Sing-Off (1.7/4) was down a relatively modest 11%, but The Playboy Club (1.3/3) plunged 19% to reach Lone Star ratings levels and join fellow new NBC series Free Agents on the cancellation block. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Bachelor Pad’ Rises, ‘Kitchen’ Slips, ‘Miss Universe’ Hits Low

By | Tuesday September 13, 2011 @ 8:55am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

NFL games last night had opposite ratings effects on Fox and ABC in the fast nationals. Airing against Monday Night Football, Fox’s Hell’s Kitchen (2.4/6) at 9 PM was down 11% from last Monday, which was Labor Day. Still, Gordon … Read More »

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Pay TV Companies Say ESPN Fumbled With Its $15B NFL Deal

ESPN is already starting to face a major backlash from pay TV providers and some Wall Street analysts to yesterday’s $15B deal extending its rights to Monday Night Football for eight years to 2021. The … Read More »

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UPDATE: ESPN Leaves Open Possibility Of Price-Hike Battles Following $15B ‘Monday Night Football’ Renewal

UPDATE, 9:10 AM: There will be “no NFL surcharge” on cable and satellite companies as a result of the  Monday Night Football renewal deal, ESPN chief George Bodenheimer said in a conference call today. But he didn’t rule out the possibility that ESPN will cite the NFL agreement to seek higher payments for its channels when the company renews its contracts with cable and satellite companies. “The fee that we ask of our affiliates is based on the overall value of the ESPN service,” he said, adding that “this agreement enhances our value to our affiliates.” Bodenheimer hasn’t spoken to operators yet about the new terms but wishfully predicts that “this will be received very well by our distributors.” Research firm SNL Kagan says that pay TV companies typically pay $4.34 per month for every subscriber who receives ESPN and ESPN HD, $2.55 for ESPN 3D, and 58 cents for ESPN 2.

Credit Suisse analyst Spencer Wang says that the new deal will increase ESPN’s football-related programming costs by about 6% a year — a slower pace than the previous contract. But the company’s pay TV deals grow about 4% a year.

Meanwhile, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell says that he’s open to bringing playoff games to ESPN. But he adds that contracts with other broadcasters run through 2013, and he’s now negotiating renewal terms.

PREVIOUS, 6:53 AM: The new agreement will cost ESPN 73% more than its previous NFL deal, The New York Times says. That likely means the Disney-owned sports channel will ask cable and satellite companies to pay more — which could lead to some big fights: ESPN is already the most expensive basic cable service, and operators resent the roughly $4 per subscriber per month they have to shell out for what’s considered must-have programming. ESPN’s new NFL deal includes additional football-related shows and updates including streaming to Verizon phones. Some terms kick off immediately: Today, ESPN’s NFL Live expands to an hour from a half hour. A discussion show based on fan-submitted questions, Audibles, also joins the Thursday night lineup. This weekend, Sunday NFL Countdown will run three hours, up from two. On Tuesday, ESPN2 will introduce a weekly, hour-long show NFL 32, followed on Friday by another weekly hour-long show NFL Kickoff. Here’s the official release:

Monday Night Football, the most successful series in sports media history, will remain on ESPN through the 2021 NFL season under a new eight-year agreement between ESPN and the National Football League, it was announced today by ESPN and ABC SportsPresident George Bodenheimer and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. The broad multiplatform agreement, which begins in 2014, includes eight full seasons of MNF telecasts, expanded NFL studio programming (beginning this week), highlight rights for TV andESPN.com, the Pro Bowl, the NFL Draft, 3D rights, and enhanced international rights.

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