Tuesday was a mostly steady night for returning series and a down one for freshmen. CBS’ NCIS (3.5/10 in 18-49, 19 million viewers) and NCIS: LA (3.0/8, 16.4 million) were flat with their most recent originals three weeks ago. NCIS was the top program of the night in 18-49 and total viewers, while NCIS: LA drew its largest audience since the season premiere. CBS’ rookie Unforgettable (2.1/6) was down 5% for a season low. At Fox, Glee (2.9/8) was even with its fast national last week, down a tenth from the final. New Girl (3.3/8) was down a tenth, while Raising Hope (2.3/6) was up 6%. CBS (2.9/8, 15.5 million) and Fox (2.9/8, 6.5 million) finished tied for No. 1 in 18-49, with CBS tops in total viewers. ABC’s freshman Last Man Standing (2.2/6) at 8 PM was down 19% from last week for a series low. It was the only original offering on ABC last night. Following a news special on Prince William and his wife Kate on NBC, the season finale of The Biggest Loser (2.7/7) posted a season high, up 23% from last week. But it was down a steep 33% from last fall’s closer to post the reality franchise’s lowest-rated finale ever.
It may have started off as a joke — models prancing down the catwalk in their underwear — but Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show has transcended its status as a voyeuristic spectacle for young men to become a pop culture phenomenon and a formidable franchise for CBS. Last night’s special drew an eye-popping 4.9 rating/12 share in adults 18-49 and a 5.2/14 in 18-34 at 10 PM, the highest ever for the franchise in both categories. In 18-49, Victoria’s Secret was up a whopping 35% from last year’s telecast. In total viewers, it averaged 10.3 million, the largest audience since the show made its debut on CBS in 2002. In today’s TV universe, where 10 PM viewership levels on the broadcast networks are depressed by DVR viewing and cable competition, such demo ratings are almost unheard of. I can think of only one 10 PM show that has reached such highs in the past year or so, NBC’s The Voice, which aired several 10-11 PM episodes. Overall, Victoria’s Secret posted the best 18-34 rating at 10 PM so far this season and the second best in 18-49 behind the last hour of the CMA Awards, though the difference is only a tenth of a rating point and may be erased in the finals.
CBS aired a bizarre mix of programming last night, running the gamut from kids and toddler favorite Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer at 8 PM to the racy Victoria’s Secret lingerie show at 10 PM, bridged by an NCIS rerun. Rudolph (4.0/11, 12.7 million) was up 3% from last year and ranking as the second highest-rated program of the night in 18-49 behind Victoria’s Secret. The NCIS rerun (2.9/7, 13.4 million) was the most-watched program of the night. CBS (3.8/10, 12.1 million) was No. 1 in 18-49 and total viewers.
CBS (3.2/8 in adults 18-49, 15.4 million viewers) chalked up another Tuesday win in adults 18-49 and total viewers, paced by NCIS (4.0/11, 19.9 million), which was once again the top program of the night in both measures. The veteran procedural and its spinoff, NCIS: LA (3.3/8, 15 million), were both down a tenth in the demo from last week, while Unforgettable (2.4/6, 11.2 million) was flat.
The damage to hot Fox freshman comedy New Girl from its forced four-week hiatus after an initial three-week run appears to be long-term as the series last night posted a 3.5 18-49 rating for a third straight week — 20% lower than the show’s ratings just before the break, which was used for 2 baseball and 2 X Factor pre-emptions. This is a shame as last night’s episode, which introduced recurring guest star Justin Long, was particularly strong. At 8 PM, Glee (2.9/8) was down two tenths, or 6%, from last week, while Raising Hope (2.2/5) at 9:30 PM rose a tenth. All three series grew slightly in total viewers week-to-week, with Fox (2.9/8, 6.5 million) finishing second for the night in 18-49 and third in viewers.
Anna Kournikova confirmed today that she is leaving the NBC competition series The Biggest Loser after one season. The former tennis pro came on as a trainer to replace Jillian Michaels for the most recent 12th cycle and has appeared alongside fellow trainers Bob Harper and Dolvett Quince. Harper and Quince already are shooting the next season of the series. Here’s Kournikova’s statement released today:
“I enjoyed my time on the Biggest Loser ranch. Although I will not be returning as a full time trainer on season 13, I will always be a part of The Biggest Loser family and my commitment to bettering lives through health and fitness will continue.”
Fox’s decision to pull red-hot new comedy New Girl after only three weeks on the air for a 4-week hiatus is coming back to haunt the network. Two weeks into New Girl‘s return, the freshman comedy (3.5/9) is still some 20% below the pre-break ratings levels. It matched its fast national number from last week. The enormous publicity surrounding Glee‘s teen sex-themed episode (3.1/8) resulted in a 0.2 increase from last Tuesday as the musical dramedy too is facing an uphill battle to return to its ratings levels before the 4-week hiatus. While Glee and New Girl are stable and in the case of Glee even slowly regaining ground, sophomore Fox comedy Raising Hope (2.1/5) is falling, down 16% from last week on top of the 14% drop it posted in its return from break last Tuesday.
Fox’s entertainment president Kevin Reilly had a point when he exclaimed “Can somebody kill NCIS?” at last month’s HRTS network chiefs luncheon. Last night, the veteran CBS drama posted a 4.1/11 in 18-49 and 20.3 million viewers. It was up 5% in the demo from last week and hit a season high in total viewers, crossing the 20 million-viewer mark in fast nationals/Live+Same Day for the first time this fall. NCIS: LA (3.4/8, 15.6 million) was even with last week and tied New Girl in the 9-9:30 half-hour among 18-49, while Unforgettable (2.4/7, 11.6 …
What happens if you take a new series that is blazing-hot in its first three airings and put it on ice for four weeks? That’s a sure way to sap momentum, and that’s exactly what happened to Fox’s comedy New Girl. The network’s entire Tuesday lineup returned low last night after a four-week hiatus, only half of which was for baseball coverage — for the past two weeks, Fox held New Girl and Glee on the bench to accommodate Simon Cowell’s The X Factor. New Girl (3.5/9) and Glee (2.9/8) were both down 19% from their most recent originals on October 4. Raising Hope (2.5/6) was down 14%. This is the first time since its premiere that New Girl didn’t win Tuesday night in 18-49. Fox insiders expect the series to recover within a couple of weeks. Still, after all the marketing muscle the network put into New Girl‘s launch, to take it off the air for four weeks after only three weeks was risky.
With New Girl trying to make up lost ground, CBS veteran NCIS (3.9/11, down a tenth from last week; 19.4 million viewers) topped the night in 18-49 and total viewers. NCIS: LA (3.4/9, 15.6 million) and Unforgettable (2.3/6, 11.3 million) were both down 8%. CBS (3.2/9, 15.4 million) won the night (and every hour of primetime) in 18-49 and total viewers.
The live show stage brought the long-awaited ratings bump on The X Factor. The first live performance edition of the reality series last night posted a 4.3/10 in 18-49 from 8-10:30 PM, a series-high fast national result. The show’s premiere posted a 4.2 fast national before rising to a 4.4 in the finals, so X Factor is on track to at least match that when the Live+Same Day ratings are released later today. (UPDATE 2 PM: X Factor rose to a 4.4 in the finals.) Compared with last Tuesday, X Factor was up 10% in 18-49 and 13% in total viewers to 11.8 million. Fox won the night in 18-49 and finished second to CBS in total viewers.
Is this the news CBS needed to give rookie Unforgettable a back order? After inching down the past few weeks, the freshman procedural last night reversed the ratings trend with a 9% bump in adults 18-49 to a 2.5/6. Its lead-in NCIS: LA (3.3/8, 15.3 million) was flat, while NCIS (3.8/10, 19 million) was down a tenth from last week’s fast national and tied Fox’s The X Factor as the highest-rated program of the night in 18-49. (It won outright in total viewers.) CBS (3.2/8, 15.4 million) was second for the night in 18-49 and No. 1 in total viewers.
It seems like most of the TV action last night was on TNT and TBS, which carried the baseball playoffs. The Big 4 broadcast networks didn’t deliver any major ratings bombshells this morning, with most series down just a notch from last week — a possible effect from baseball — while the CW dramas took a blood bath.
Fox’s Glee (3.5/10 in adults 18-49) and New Girl (4.3/11) were each down a tenth from their fast national demo ratings last week, while Raising Hope (2.9/7) was flat. New Girl once again ranked as the top-rated program of the night in 18-49 as did Fox (3.6/9, 7.9 million) in the network race.
All CBS dramas — NCIS (4.1/12, 18.9 million), NCIS: LA (3.4/8, 14.7 million) and Unforgettable (2.4/6, 11.3 million) — were also down a tenth each from last week’s fast nationals. CBS (3.3/9, 15 million) was No. 1 in total viewers and second in 18-49.
ABC’s Dancing With The Stars result show (2.8/7) matched its fast national result from last week, while sophomore drama Body Of Proof (2.1/5) reversed its downward ratings trend, up 11% from its preliminary number last week. (Because of regular Dancing overruns, the ratings for its lead-outs are always approximate.)
Its big premiere was not a fluke as Fox’s New Girl cemented its status of a breakout hit with a very strong Week 2 showing. The comedy starring Zooey Deschanel (4.4/11 in adults 18-49) was down only 6% from the fast national demo rating for its debut last week. (Along with Glee, New Girl will probably be adjusted up in the finals like last week, so a fast nationals-to-fast nationals comparison is more accurate.) For a second consecutive week, New Girl was the top program of the night in 18-49, and for a second straight week it built onto its Glee lead-in. The high school musical dramedy (3.6/10) was down 5% from its fast national last week. New Girl‘s lead-out, sophomore comedy Raising Hope (2.9/7), was down 6% from last week’s season premiere, holding onto a so-so 66% of the big New Girl numbers. Fox (3.6/9, 8.1 million) was No. 1 in 18-49 for a second week in a row.
CBS’ NCIS franchise continues its impressive fall run. At 8 PM, the mothership series (4.2/12, 19.2 million), which is in its ninth season, didn’t skip a beat, matching its fast national rating from the season premiere last week. (It too was adjusted up in the finals.) For a second straight week, NCIS topped time-slot rival Glee in 18-49 and was the most watched program of the night. NCIS: LA (3.5/9, 16.1 million) was down a tenth in the demo week-to-week. But new procedural Unforgettable (2.5/8, 12.3 million) couldn’t keep up, dropping 14% from its debut. It still won the 10 PM hour, but Unforgettable is already approaching the ratings levels of the series it replaced, The Good Wife, and the question is whether the show will continue to slide before bottoming out. CBS (3.4/9, 15.9 million) won the night in total viewers and was second to Fox in 18-49.
ANALYSIS: Behind ‘New Girl’s Surprisingly Big Opening And The iTunes Experiment
We may have the first breakout hit of the season. Fox’s quirky new comedy New Girl far exceeded ratings expectations with a huge debut, drawing a 4.7 rating/12 share among adults 18-49 to rank as the top program of the night by a wide margin. (UPDATE 9:15 AM: In the time-zone-adjusted Nielsen numbers just released by Fox, New Girl‘s premiere climbed to a 4.8/12.) In total viewers, the comedy starring Zooey Deschanel averaged 10.1 million viewers. Compared with the series premiere of Raising Hope in the same slot last fall, New Girl was up 52%. It posted Fox’s highest-rated live-action fall comedy debut in a decade, since Bernie Mac (5.7/14) in 2001. It even eclipsed the premiere of TV’s highest-rated comedy at the moment, ABC’s Modern Family, which opened with a 4.3 demo rating in 2009. It also paced Fox (3.9/10, 8.7 million) to a nightly win in the 18-49 demo. That is a nice validation for Fox’s marketing team, whose controversial decision to make the show’s pilot available on iTunes and VOD before the premiere raised concerns that the exposure might hurt ratings for the opener. (Unofficial estimates peg the number of streams at about 2 million.) New Girl also shot up from its lead-in, Glee (3.8/11, 8.9 million), whose third-season premiere was down sharply from the big Season 2 opener, by 31%. (All comparisons in this story are fast nationals to fast nationals. UPDATE 9:15 AM: In the time-adjusted numbers, the Glee premiere rose to a 4.0/11.) Following New Girl, the second season of Raising Hope (3.1/8, 6.9 million) was even in the demo with its premiere last fall when it followed Glee.
TNT’s new legal dramedy Franklin & Bash premiered with 2.7 million viewers last night, 1.1 million of them in the 18-49 demographic. That is a tad higher than the premiere of Season 2 (and first on TNT) of critical darling Southland (2.5 million) but lower than the debuts of other recent TNT series, including the now-canceled Dark Blue (3.5 million) and last year’s Rizzoli & Isles (7.6 million) and Memphis Beat (4.3 million). However, all those had lead-ins, while Franklin & Bash, which did well with younger male demographics, was a self-starter in the 9 PM spot. It was used to launch the third season of dramedy Men of a Certain Age (1.8 million, 591,000), which dropped alarmingly from its lead-in and was far older-skewing. It was also down 33% from the Season 2 premiere in December.
CMT has renewed country singing competition CMT’s Next Superstar for a second season to launch in late 2011/early 2012. Nigel Lythgoe and his son Simon are executive producing.
Trainer Dolvett Quince, whose clients have included Justin Bieber, has been added as a third trainer on the upcoming 12th season of NBC’s The Biggest Loser alongside veteran Bob Harper and fellow new addition Anna Kournikova.
EXCLUSIVE: NBC’s weight-loss reality series The Biggest Loser will be going into its upcoming 12th season without co-producing company 3 Ball Prods., which has been suspended from the show. J.D. Roth and Todd Nelson’s 3 Ball was brought in by Reveille and 25/7 at the very beginning to run physical production on the series created by Reveille’s Ben Silverman and Mark Koops and 25/7′s Dave Broome. “We can confirm that 3 Ball Prods. are not serving as active producers on The Biggest Loser for the time being,” Reveille said in a statement to Deadline. “Reveille will be assuming all production responsibilities for the long running franchise, with 25/7 Productions also continuing to serve as executive producers.“ (Since they first partnered on Loser, both Reveille and 3 Ball have been acquired, by Shine Group and Eyeworks, respectively.) Neither Reveille or 3 Ball would comment on the reasons for the split, which, at least for now, is temporary. There are 2 theories floated by sources. One is tied to a recent audit of the backend participation on The Biggest Loser, which Roth and Nelson allegedly raised questions about. The other is connected to Reveille’s recent shift in strategy to bulk up its executive ranks with creative and production executives. The company’s new president, Eden Gaha, is a veteran reality series showrunner. Reveille also tapped Linda Giambron as …
The two biggest reality series on TV, Fox’s American Idol and ABC’s Dancing With the Stars, carefully choreographed their finales last night with no overlap, while NBC’s The Voice got its first taste of what is in store for next season when it scheduled to air against Dancing on Mondays. The hourlong performance finale of American Idol (6.2/18, 20 million viewers) was down 6% from the fast national result for the comparable show last spring. (Because of Idol‘s regular gain in the finals, this is an apples-to-apples comparison.) The drop is far more modest than the 23% year-to-year dive Idol’s performance finale took last May. In total viewers, Idol was even with last year’s show. But vs. last week’s Top 3 performance episode, Idol was down 14% in the demo (fast nationals to fast nationals). At 9 PM, the season finale of Glee (4.6/11) was down 4% from the episode, which aired after the final Idol performance show. (This is also a fast nationals-to-fast national comparison as the post-Idol shows are often adjusted down in the finals.) But it was on par (-2%) with its season finale last year, which aired in June, and vs. last week, when Glee aired in its regular Tuesday 8 PM slot, the dramedy was up 28%. Idol and Glee finished as the two top programs of the night in 18-49, leading Fox (5.4/15, 16 million) to victory in the demo.
EXCLUSIVE: Is fitness guru Jillian Michaels the next daytime talk show star? The popular Biggest Loser trainer has signed a multi-year deal to join the daytime syndicated talk show The Doctors as a co-host next season. Additionally, she will serve as a special correspondent on Dr. Phil. Both talk shows are distributed by CBS TV Distribution and executive produced by Phil McGraw. When she announced in December that she would leave The Biggest Loser after the current 11th season, Michaels tweeted that she was planning to “focus on becoming a mommy.” While that is still very much in the cards, Michaels said that she had been open to doing something in the daytime space. Since announcing her exit from Loser, she fielded multiple job offers but immediately sparked to the idea of joining The Doctors, created and exec produced by Jay McGraw, as well as Dr. Phil. “This was an opportunity to do something that I love and help so many people, so I couldn’t possibly pass it up,” said Michaels, who has appeared about a dozen times on The Doctors in the past three seasons. She also relishes the opportunity for “people to see the 360-degree version of me” vs. the somewhat “caricature” character that she plays on Loser, where she is known for being very tough on the contestants. “I will still take a tough-love approach when necessary, but this is a platform that will allow me to have a direct connection with the viewers and provide them with information, motivation and support.” Also appealing to Michaels was the chance to work with Phil McGraw, whom she called “the ultimate mentor” in daytime, especially with Oprah Winfrey leaving the arena later this month. While The Doctors started off as a show for advice from medical professionals, it has evolved, and recruiting Michaels is part of that, Jay McGraw said. “We’re broadening the type of information we are going to provide to viewers,” he said. “Jillian is the best at what she does and has the ability to form an incredible bond with the viewers.” Here is the release announcing Michaels’ new jobs:
ABC’s midseason drama Body of Proof, starring Dana Delany, got off to a promising start last night with a 3.0/8 fast-national rating in adults 18-49 and 13.9 million viewers. It dominated the 10 PM hour against original competition, pushing CBS’ The Good Wife (1.9/5, 10 million) to a season low in the demo. NBC’s Parenthood (1.9/5, 4.8 million) was flat. Body of Proof qualifies as TV’s second-most-watched series premiere this season behind CBS’ Hawaii Five-0 and ABC’s second-highest-rated premiere in 18-49 behind No Ordinary Family. At ABC, which has been struggling to launch a successful drama series in the past few years, Body of Proof was most watched midseason drama debut in four years and the top rated among 18-49 in two years. Body of Proof benefited from a strong lead-in, Dancing with the Stars‘ first result show this cycle (4.2/11, 18.8 million), which was down 5% from the corresponding show in the fall but up sharply (40% in 18-49, 31% in viewers) from the results premiere last year to rank as the top program of the night. Body of Proof’s numbers may have been inflated a bit from a Dancing overrun, so its performance will be more properly judged when final ratings are released later today. ABC, which opened with a Dancing recap (2.7/8, 12.7 million), won the night in 18-49 (3.3/9, 15.1 million), edging traditional Tuesday ratings victor CBS (3.1/8, 14.5 million with an all-original lineup).
With Fox’s Glee in repeat, CBS’ NCIS (3.8/12 in adults 18-49, 19.1 million viewers) easily ruled the primetime roost last night, ranking as the top program in the demo and total viewers. It was flat vs. its most recent original March 1. Ditto for NCIS: LA (3.2/9, 16.5 million), while The Good Wife (2.1/6, 11.6 million) was down 5% in the demo. CBS won the night in 18-49 (3.0/9) and total viewers (15.7 million)
NBC was second with The Biggest Loser (3.0/9) from 8-10 PM, up 11% from last week and marking a six-week high. (Parenthood was a repeat.)
ABC’s No Ordinary Family (1.5/5) was up 25% from its last original March 1, when it faced American Idol. From 9-11 PM, the Greatest Movies of Our Time special (1.8/5) did better than V and Detroit 1-8-7 in the time period last week. ABC logged its most-watched Tuesday since December. On Fox, only Traffic Light (1.1/3) was new, down significantly from last week with no original lead-in.
Gwyneth Paltrow returned to Glee last night, and the Fox dramedy (4.6/14 in adults 18-49, 12 million viewers) went up 5% in the ratings from its most recent original 2 weeks ago. After finishing tied for first place in 18-49 with CBS’ NCIS for the first time on Jan. 22, Glee returned to its status of sole demo winner on Tuesday night, with CBS’ lineup in repeats. Both Fox live-action comedies got extra sampling behind American Idol last week. That seems to have helped Raising Hope (2.8/8), which was up 17% from its last original 2 weeks ago. However, with the post-Idol exposure and a higher Raising Hope as lead-in, Traffic Light (1.5/4) was down 6% from its last original on Jan. 22, a pretty ominous sign for the midseason comedy. Fox (3.4/10, 8.6 million), the only network to air all-new programming last night, won Tuesday in 18-49, while CBS’ all-repeat lineup (2.1/6, 11.7 million) was No.1 in total viewers.
After taking a ratings hit from facing American Idol last week, NBC’s reality veteran The Biggest Loser (2.9/8) rebounded nicely, up 21%. (Parenthood was a repeat.) Following a No Ordinary Family repeat, ABC’s V (1.7/5) was down a tenth (6%) from last week to tie its series low. Detroit 1-8-7 (1.1/3), whose days are clearly numbered, was down 8% from its last telecast 3 weeks ago after getting pre-empted for the Charlie Sheen 20/20 special last week.
NBC just released the dates for the season finales of its series. The way some of them are floundering (The Event, Chuck, Outsourced, Perfect Couples), those may as well be series finales. Three of the network’s comedies, flagship The Office, Parks & Recreation and Community, will have hourlong closers. Here is the list, from the newest drama, Harry’s Law, on Apr. 4 to the oldest reality series, The Biggest Loser, on April 24:
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