NBC’s Southland Opens Stronger Than Harper’s Island on CBS

Friday, April 10, 2009

CBS Wins; Ample Sampling for NBC’s Southland; Disappointing Harper’s Island on CBS

Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not

On the Air This Weekend:
Prime-Time Programming Options 

TV Tidbits:
Notes of Interest
TV Trivia Time:

An Easter Secret

Prime-Time Metered Market Thursday Ratings:

CBS Wins; Ample Sampling for NBC’s Southland; Disappointing Harper’s Island on CBS

Thursday 4/09/09


CBS   7.6/13

NBC   5.3/ 9

Fox     5.2/ 9

ABC   3.4/ 6


-Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Thursday, April 10, 2008):

NBC: + 4, CW: no change, ABC: -11, CBS: -23, Fox: -46

-Yesterday’s Winners:
CSI (CBS), Southland (NBC)
-Down But Far From Out:

Survivor: Tocantins (CBS)

-Honorable Mention:

Bones (Fox), The Office (NBC), Hell’s Kitchen (Fox)

Harper’s Island (CBS)

-Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats):

In the Motherhood (ABC), Samantha Who? (ABC)

-Ratings Breakdown:

CBS finished first in the overnights on this second Thursday in April, with a 43 percent advantage over second-place NBC. But the 10 p.m. battle of the two drama premieres — Harper’s Island on CBS versus Southland on NBC — was won by NBC. Third overall was Fox (one-tenth of a rating point behind NBC), followed by ABC and a night of repeats on the CW.


As the warmer weather makes its way, HUT levels continue to drop and ratings continue to decrease. With that in mind, CBS’ Survivor: Tocantins was still dominant, but below-average from 8-9 p.m., with a 6.1/11 in the overnights. One year earlier, Survivor: Micronesia (opposite a Thursday edition of Fox’s American Idol) was stronger at a 6.6/11. Not airing an original episode for two straight weeks (the clips show does not count) was not beneficial for Survivor. And what a disappointing ending that was, wasn’t it?

Right on the heels of Survivor: Tocantins was Fox’s underrated Bones at a 5.8/10. For more on Bones, see TV Tidbits below.

In series-premiere news, NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation finished third in the 8:30 p.m. time period, with a 4.5/ 8. Comparably, that built from an 8 p.m. installment of The Office (#3: 4.8/ 8) by five percent, and recent occupant Kath & Kim (avg. 3.4 rating in the metered markets) by 32 percent. While airing out of diluted My Name is Earl will not be beneficial to Parks and Recreation next week (and beyond), The Office always scores among adults 18-49 and Parks and Recreation was sampled. That’s all you can ask for in week one.


Rounding off the 8 p.m. hour were failing ABC sitcoms In the Motherhood (#4: 3.1/ 6) and Samantha Who? (#4: 3.2/ 5), which is struggling without the support of former lead-in Dancing With the Stars, and a repeat of the CW’s Smallville (#5: 1.6/ 3).


CBS stood well above the competition at 9 p.m. care of veteran CSI at a 10.2/17. Comparably, that built from the second half of lead-in Survivor: Tocantins (6.3/11 at 8:30 p.m.) by 62 percent. Finishing in the distant No. 2 spot overall were NBC’s The Office (#2: 4.7/ 8) and 30 Rock (#3: 4.5/ 7), followed by Hell’s Kitchen on Fox (#3: 4.6/ 8), which like the NBC comedies is always on the map among adults 18-49. Capping off the hour was a repeat of Grey’s Anatomy on ABC (#4: 3.8/ 6), which never repeats well, and a repeat of the CW’s Supernatural (#5: 1.6/ 3). 


NBC got a nice jolt of optimism at 10 p.m., with the debut if Southland at a dominant 6.9/12 share in the overnights. Comparably, that built by a hefty 53 percent from lead-in 30 Rock, while outdelivering former occupant ER in 14 out of the last 16 telecasts. The debut of Harper’s Island on CBS finished a close second, with a 6.7/12. But unlike Southland, which lost no audience at 10:30 p.m., Harper’s Island dipped by 14 percent (7.2/12 to 6.2/11). It also dropped from the second half of lead-in CSI (10.4/17) by a considerable 36 percent. And the season (or series) finale of Eleventh Hour one week earlier was stronger at a 7.2/12.