NBC once again won Sunday night with football, but instead of Sunday Night Football it was the broadcast of the NFL’s Pro Bowl. Time-adjusted ratings won’t be available until tomorrow, but the game appears to be down from last year in the prelims. ABC’s America’s Funniest Home Videos (1.9/5 in adults 18-49) and Once Upon A Time (3.4/8) rebounded from their face-off with the NFC Championship Game last week. AFHV was up 73%, while Once Upon A Time was up 6% and hit an 11-week high in total viewers (10.8 million). But that was squandered by another underwhelming performance for a Hallmark Hall Of Fame movie, A Smile As Big As The Moon (1.5/4). CBS’ Undercover Boss (3.0/7) also bounced back from last week, up 30%. The Good Wife (2.2/5), which took last Sunday week off, was up 10% from two weeks ago, while CSI: Miami (2.2/6) was down 15% from its last original three weeks ago. Fox’s comedies all fell from their highs two weeks ago when they followed the big NFL playoff game. The Simpsons (2.4/6) was down 56%, Napoleon Dynamite (2.1/5) was down 52% and Family Guy (3.0/7) was down 32%. American Dad (2.4/5), which didn’t have a new episode the past two weeks, was up 9% from its last original.
ABC did well counter-programming originals against the big NFC Championship game on Fox, which dominated the night. Freshman Once Upon A Time (3.2/7 in 18-49, 9.3 million viewers) was down only a tenth from last week. Veteran Desperate Housewives (2.6/5, 7.5 million) also dropped only a tenth from last week, while Pan Am (1.3/3, 3.9 million) was even with its fast national and up a tenth from the final. CBS played it safe with reruns and a new Undercover Boss (2.2/5, 9.2 million) at 8 PM, which was down 27% from last week. After getting several lifelines early in its run, NBC’s Prime Suspect didn’t stand a chance in its final foray last night with two back-to-back originals against the big game. The series’ penultimate epiosde posted a 0.8/2, while the finale managed a 0.7/2, closing the show with a series low. The highest-rated entertainment program last night aired outside of primetime: The start of a special episode of American Idol (7.9, 19.8 million viewers) was pushed by the NFC Championship game’s overtime to a 10:57 PM start. Because of the delay, Fox will rerun the episode tomorrow night at 8 PM, pre-empting a Glee repeat.
RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Napoleon Dynamite’ Premiere Boosted By Football; ‘Once Upon A Time’, ‘Desperate Housewives’ Down
A huge primetime overrun from the Giants-Packers NFC Divisional playoff game easily won the night for Fox and lifted the network’s animation block. NBC is on track to finish second with the Golden Globe Awards, which were on par with last year in the metered markets. Fox’s football coverage ended at 8:12 PM, scrambling the ratings for the network’s comedies. From 8-8:30 PM, NFL/The Simpsons drew a 6.8/16. It is hard to tell what The Simpsons‘ final rating will be (mid 5s is probably a good guess), but it is expected to more than double the veteran comedy’s performance last week (2.3/5). From 8:30 PM-9 PM, The Simpsons and the series premiere of Napoleon Dynamite posted a 4.6/11. In the finals, Napoleon Dynamite is expected to be adjusted to about 4.5 to rank as the third-highest-rated new comedy premiere this season behind 2 Broke Girls and New Girl. The adaptation of the cult indie movie almost doubled the debut of the now-defunct Allen Gregory (2.4/6) in the 8:30 PM slot earlier this season. (Napoleon Dynamite‘s lead-in was about 40% higher than Allen Gregory‘s.) At 9 PM, Napoleon Dynamite/Family Guy averaged a 4.4/10, up from Family Guy‘s 3.1/7 last week, and at 9:30 PM, Family Guy and a second original episode of Napoleon Dynamite logged a 3.6/8.
When it announced its midseason plans last month, CBS slated reality series Undercover Boss as a bridge between the two cycles of The Amazing Race on Sunday, beginning Jan. 15. Today, the network set a return date for The Amazing Race, Feb. 19. After 3 original telecasts on Sunday, Undercover Boss will relocate to Fridays at 8 PM, taking the slot of struggling freshman drama A Gifted Man, which will shift to 9 PM. Beginning Feb. 17, the Friday 9 PM time period’s occupant, CSI: NY, will go on hiatus until March 30 after A Gifted Man, which received a short 3-episode back order, finishes its freshman run. Here is CBS’ tweaked midseason schedule for Friday and Sunday:
As usual, CBS will be making only minor tweaks to its schedule in midseason. The network’s new mulch-ethnic family comedy series ¡Rob! starring Rob Schneider will air in the Thursday 8:30 PM slot beginning January 12. To make room, CBS just cut the order for Rules Of Engagement, which airs in the time period; Rules will return later in the spring following ¡Rob!’s eight-week run. Based on Schneider’s real-life experiences, ¡Rob! stars the actor as a lifelong bachelor who just married into a tight-knit Mexican-American family. (Thus the Spanish-style punctuation of the title) Meanwhile, CBS’ reality series Undercover Boss will return to Sundays, serving as a bridge between the two cycles of The Amazing Race at 8 PM. It premieres on January 15. No word yet when and where CBS’ midseason drama The 2-2 will air.
OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network and TLC have acquired off-network rights to Undercover Boss from CBS Television Distribution, with the plan to schedule the CBS series beginning in fall 2012. The series averaged more than 17 million viewers an episode during its first season on CBS and was nominated for an Emmy in the Best Reality Show category. Its second season has averaged 12 million viewers. “Undercover Boss is a perfect fit for OWN and TLC as it focuses on improving lives, which very much reflects both networks’ missions,” said Scott Koondel, president, distribution, CBS Television Distribution. “We are excited that their viewers will have the chance to see this exceptional show.”
CBS has renewed its two Sunday reality series, The Amazing Race and Undercover Boss, for next season.
The Amazing Race, hosted by Phil Keoghan, is being picked up for a 19th cycle next fall. The recent fall edition of the 7-time Emmy-winning reality series delivered nearly 12 million viewers, matching the prior year’s performance, and was up 3% in adults 18-49. Jerry Bruckheimer, Bertram van Munster, Jonathan Littman, Elise Doganieri and Mark Vertullo are the executive producers.
Undercover Boss, which follows high level corporate executives as they slip anonymously into the rank and file of their own companies, is being renewed for a third season. The series premiered last February following the Super Bowl and went on to become the top-rated new series last season. The show has slipped in the ratings in its current second season but has still averaged a respectable 12.3 million viewers and a 3.4/09 in adults 18-49. Stephen Lambert, Eli Holzman and Chris Carlson are executive producing.
The ex-president of the CBS Network Television Group who’s now a CBS Inc consultant has become a non-executive director of the UK’s largest group of independent production companies. Tellem joins All3Media at an interesting time. The company is the last big independent UK TV producer left on the market. It’s expected to be sold next year to either a Hollywood studio anxious to get more into global TV production — such as Time Warner or Sony – or Brit broadcaster ITV, which needs to beef up its in-house production. Financiers I’ve spoken to expect the price tag to be around £500 million ($788 million). All3Media produces Undercover Boss for CBS and Skins for MTV.