Week of April 6, 2009
On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options
Uncle Sam Wants Archie
Fox Wins, but Rushed Idol Leaves this Critic Balking
CW 1.4/ 2
-Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Tuesday, April 15, 2008):
CBS: +53, CW: + 8, Fox: – 2, ABC: – 9, NBC: -32
Note: The fast affiliate results for Tuesday will be posted at PIFeedback by 12 p.m. ET. Go to the website, click on Ratings Box (the first category), then Last Night’s Results, and Tuesday, April 14, 2009.
American Idol (Fox), NCIS R (CBS), Dancing With the Stars (ABC), The Mentalist R (CBS), Without a Trace (CBS)
-Yesterday’s Losers (Excluding Repeats):
According to Jim (ABC), Reaper (CW), Cupid (ABC), 90210 (CW)
Fox, of course, led the Tuesday troops with old faithful American Idol at a powerful 13.5 rating/22 share in the overnights from 8-9 p.m. But if anyone at Idol is looking for a high five on a job well done, splitting the judges in pairs of two was absolutely horrific. We watch American Idol to hear what they all have to say about each contestant (Simon, in particular). Looking ahead, there are two solutions to dealing with the time issue:
a) Pare the judges back down to three.
b) Make the performance show 90 minutes.
How is that for a solution? As for the bottom three tonight, my picks are: boring Anoop, underrated Matt and spunky Lil. Since Lil spoke back to Simon, I predict she will be departing tonight. While she has every right to defend herself, the performance was just not good.
American Idol led into Fringe, which finished third in the 9 p.m. hour, with a 7.1/11 in the overnights. Comparably, retention out of the second half of lead-in American Idol (14.0/22 at 8:30 p.m.) was just 51 percent. No, this is not a breakout hit.
CBS was on the map last night despite airing repeats from 8-10 p.m., with its combination of an encore telecast of NCIS (#2: 8.7/14), an encore telecast of the biggest new hit this season, The Mentalist (#2: 7.9/12), and Without a Trace (#1: 8.7/14). Opposite a repeat of NBC’s Law & Order: SVU (#2: 5.0/ 9), Without a Trace is also poised for victory among adults 18-49. As for the rumor that CBS may be moving The Mentalist to another time period next season (Thursday at 10 p.m. is what I am hearing), which try to fix something that is not broken?
ABC was on the map from 9-10 p.m., of course, with the live Dancing With the Stars Results Show at a dominant 9.9/15. Adios, Steve-O. But the network crawled out of the gate care of two episodes of According to Jim (#4: avg. 2.9/ 5 from 8-10 p.m.) and the unnecessary remake of Cupid at 10 p.m. finished third with a 4.3/ 8. Retention for Cupid out of the second half of lead-in Dancing With the Stars (10.2/15 at 9:30 p.m.) was a painful 42 percent. Rule of thumb to the networks: never remake a show that did not work the first time around.
Over at NBC, another two-hour edition of The Biggest Loser averaged a 5.4/ 8 from 8-10 p.m., building by half-hour as follows:
The Biggest Loser (NBC)
8:00 p.m.: 4.7/ 7 (#3)
8:30 p.m.: 5.2/ 8 (#3)
9:00 p.m.: 5.5/ 8 (#4)
9:30 p.m.: 6.1/ 9 (#3)
As I say every week, The Biggest Loser always flexes some muscle among key adults 18-49, particularly at 9:30 p.m. And that led into a repeat of the aforementioned Law & Order: SVU at a second-place 5.0/ 9 at 10 p.m. For more on SVU, see TV Tidbits below.