The two-hour season finale of CBS’ Survivor: Redemption Island beat all comers Sunday night, scoring a preliminary 13.1 million viewers and a 4.0 in the adults 18-49 demographic to help CBS win the evening overall. The Survivor reunion show also scored well, earning a 3.5 in the demo. The block took its toll on the two-hour season finale of ABC’s Desperate Housewives, which grew only slightly week-over-week to a 3.0 rating and 10 million viewers, though it was the night’s most-watched scripted show and gave the network its best total viewers and demo numbers on Sunday with regular programming since early January. Meanwhile, Fox’s animated comedy block was mostly flat with last week, with the season ender of The Cleveland Show (2.3) up a tenth. A two-hour episode of NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice (2.4) also was flat.
Bubble shows are getting their final chance to make a case for renewal this week, and ABC’s comedy Better with You did its best last night. The multi-camera comedy, considered a long shot for renewal, drew a 1.9/6 in adults 18-49, up 19% from last week for the biggest week-to-week gain among all programs last night. ABC’s Wednesday comedy block was up across the board last night except for the other series that needed it, freshman Happy Endings (1.7/4) at 10 PM, flat with last week despite a stronger lead-in. At 10:30 PM, the comedy pulled a 1.4/4, also even with last week. The Middle (2.1/7) was up 5%, Modern Family (4.2/11) up 8% and Cougar Town (2.4/6) up 9%.
Fox’s American Idol (6.9/20, 22.4 million) was up 8% from last week’s fast national demo number (because of Idol‘s rise in the finals, the apples-to-apples comparison is with its fast national results.) Breaking In (2.4/6) held steady, even with last week. The network once again won the night in all key measures. CBS’ Survivor: Redemption Island (3.0/9) was down a tenth from last week for a series low but may bounce back a tenth in the finals. Criminal Minds (3.3/9) was up a tenth while Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior (2.1/6) was down 5%. Following a new Minute to Win It (0.9/3, down 10%) and a Minute to Win It repeat (1.1), which actually did better than the original, Law & Order: …
After a promising 17% week-to-week ratings increase last week, ABC’s 10 PM comedy Happy Endings dropped alarmingly last night just as the networks are getting close to making their pickup decisions for next season. The midseason series (1.7/4) was down 19% from last week despite its lead-in, Cougar Town (2.2/6), being up a tenth. The difference? Happy Endings faced original competition in the 10 PM hour vs. repeats last week. The second Happy Endings original at 10:30 PM did worse, 1.4/4. Like Cougar Town, Better With You (1.6/5) was up a tenth from last week when both series followed repeats. A new The Middle (2.0/6) was up 5% from April 20, while a fresh Modern Family (3.8/10) was flat.
Law & Order: SVU‘s first original in a month, which guest starred John Stamos, did a 2.5/6, up a tenth from April 6. The veteran NBC crime drama won the 10 PM hour against ABC’s Happy Endings and CBS’ Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior (2.2/6), which was also hit by facing a new SVU, down 15% from April 16. Criminal Minds (3.2/8) was down 8%, while Survivor: Redemption Island (3.0/9) was flat with its fast national number last week. (Both Survivor and Fox’s American Idol always rise in the finals, so comparing fast nationals to finals is not completely fair.)
Speaking of Idol (6.4/18, 24.8 million), the reality series was down 7% from its fast national demo result last week, once again dominating the night in 18-49 and total viewers.
Nice Week 3 bump for ABC’s midseason comedy series Happy Endings (2.1/5 in adults 18-49). After falling 30% in its move from 9:30 PM to 10 PM last Wednesday, the new comedy bounced back, up 17% in the demo from last week. And that despite the fact that its lead-in, Cougar Town (2.1/5), was down 9% from last week as it followed a repeat Modern Family vs. an original last Wednesday. Happy Ending also held 100% of its Cougar Town lead-in vs. 75% last week. The only other original offering on ABC was freshman Better With You (1.5/4) at 8:30 PM, which was down a tenth from last week when it aired behind a new The Middle.
Fox (5.8/16 in 18-49, 18.2 million) once again dominated the night with American Idol (6.9/19), which was up a tenth in the demo from last Wednesday’s fast national number (the reality juggernaut is always adjusted up in the finals, so vs. that it was down 3%). Idol was also on par with the comparable telecast last season. New Fox comedy Breaking In (2.6/6) was flat with its fast national rating last week and up 4% vs. the final.
CBS’ Survivor: Redemption Island (3.0/9), even with its fast national demo result and down 3% from the final, was followed by reruns of Criminal Minds and Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior. NBC aired an NBC News Royal Wedding special (1.2/3) and a rerun of the promising two-hour premiere …
ABC’s established comedies, Modern Family (3.8/10) and The Middle (1.8/6), returned with originals lower. Modern Family was down 14% from its last first-run episode March 23, The Middle down 10%. Sandwiched between them was Better With You (1.5/4), which aired its first original in more than a month, since March 2, and was down 12% from that. All three series hit season lows. In its quest to successfully launch a new comedy series, ABC is premiering two new hopefuls behind Modern Family this midseason. Following the short run of Mr. Sunshine, it was Happy Endings‘ turn last night. At 9:30 PM, the premiere of the new single-camera comedy drew a 2.7/7 in 18-49. That was down 27% from the debut of Mr. Sunshine in the slot and down 7% from the premiere of the short-lived comedy series Romantically Challenged last April. (Though thats series launched after Dancing with the Stars.) Also last night, ABC kicked off its three-hour Wednesday comedy block. A second new episode of Happy Endings in its regular 10 PM slot fetched a 2.3/6. It was followed by a Modern Family rerun (1.8/5).
Fox’s American Idol (7.1/20, 22.4 million viewers) once again dominated the competition. Its numbers were identical to the reality juggernaut’s fast nationals last week. (Idol always goes up in the finals.) Versus the comparable telecast last year, Idol was down 3% in 18-49 and up 9% in viewers. At 9:30 PM, new comedy Breaking In (2.8/7) …
A two-hour American Idol (7.5/21 in adults 18-49, 23.6 million viewers) delivered another dominating Wednesday win for Fox. The Top 11 performance show (redux) was down 5% from last week’s Top 11 performance episode and 1% in total viewers. But in the apples-to-apples comparison to last week’s fast national numbers for the show, which always climbs in the finals, Idol was down 3% in 18-49 and up a fraction in total viewers.
CBS’ Survivor: Redemption Island (2.9/9) was down 6% from last week and is the show’s lowest-rated regular telecast ever. Criminal Minds (3.4/9) was down 6% from its last original two weeks ago. With a new Criminal Minds as a lead-in vs. a repeat last week, Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior (2.3/5) was up 5%.
Following reruns of The Middle and Modern Family, Mr. Sunshine (1.4/4) was down a steep 33% from last week when it followed a new Modern Family for a new series low. Midseason drama Off the Map (1.3/4) was down 13% to tie its series low.
NBC aired a new Minute to Win It (1.1/3), down 8% from last week, a rerun Law & Order: SVU and a new SVU (2.4/6), down 8%.
For a second time this week, Univision finished third for the night in adults 18-49. Last night, it outpaced ABC and NBC.
RATINGS RATE RACE: Solid Debut For ‘Criminal Minds’ Spinoff, ‘Survivor’ Premiere Hurt By ‘Idol’, ‘Mr. Sunshine’ Takes Dive
The premiere of CBS’ Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior drew a 3.3 rating/10 share in adults 18-49 and 12.9 million viewers last night. It dominated the 10 PM hour, built slightly on its lead-in, mothership Criminal Minds series (3.2/9, 12.8 million) and ranked as CBS’ top-rated program of the night. Vs. the premiere of The Defenders in the same slot in September, Suspect Behavior was up 14% in the demo.
CBS’ Survivor was impacted by its new regular competition, Fox’s American Idol. The debut of Survivor: Redemption Island (3.2/9, 11.2 million), the first season premiere of the veteran reality show to face Idol, was down 29% from the show’s spring premiere last season in its old Thursday 8 PM slot. It was Survivor‘s lowest-rated opener and lowest-rated regular telecast ever. Survivor didn’t go down without a fight. It dinged Idol a bit, with the 8-9 PM portion of the singing competition slipping 14% from last Wednesday.
Fox’s American Idol aired a two-hour episode (8.1/23, 22.8 million), which was down 4% from last week’s hourlong show. Vs. the comparable episode last season, Idol was down 21% but that episode was highly promoted as it featured the debut of Ellen DeGeneres as new judge. Extending Idol from an hour to two-hour this week pushed the 9 PM shows down. For instance, Criminal Minds was down 11%.
CBS just announced that the upcoming 22nd season of Survivor, Survivor: Redemption Island, will premiere on February 16 in the series’ new Wednesday 8 PM time slot. The spring cycle of Survivor will feature a new twist, with castaways who have been eliminated from the game given an opportunity “to seek redemption and return for a chance to win the million dollar prize.” When a castaway is voted off, they will be sent to an isolated island called “Redemption Island,” where they will live alone until the next person eliminated comes and the two compete in a duel, with the loser being sent home. The winner earns the right to remain on the island and continue fighting for an opportunity to return to the game. Sunday’s finale of Survivor: Nicaragua, won by Jud “Fabio” Birza, improved CBS’ Wednesday 8 PM period by 83% each in viewers (13.4 million) and adults 18-49 (4.2). Survivor was also up +1% in viewers compared to its Thursday performance last season.
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