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Broadcast TV Ratings for Tuesday, February 10, 2009


CBS’s impressive procedural lineup of NCIS, The Mentalist and Without a Trace managed to push the network to first place for the evening among households, beating Fox by nearly one full rating point (10.9 vs. 10.0).  Among viewers, the network was second, but just barely (17.39M vs. 17.49M).

Moving to Fox, American Idol declined from last week’s numbers  but it was the numbers of Fringe that were more concerning.  The show’s retention fell to below 50% among both viewers and adults 18-49 with week-to-week declines of 18% among viewers and 14% among adults 18-49.

Although in third place overall, NBC was competitive among adults 18-49, finishing in a tie for second place with CBS in the demo thanks in large part to another solid outing from the two-hour Biggest Loser and better-than-normal numbers from a special episode of Dateline.

Rounding out the rest of the evening, ABC was in fourth place with two ‘Charlie Brown‘ specials, each of which performed poorly, back-to-back episodes of Scrubs (which has unfortunately not been able to capture any significant audience) and True Beauty, which away from normal lead-in The Bachelor, performed very poorly.  The CW’s lineup of 90210 and Privileged failed to break even 2 million viewers.  My full analysis of the night’s ratings follow after the jump.

CBS finished in first place for the evening with a 10.9/17 household rating/share, but was second among viewers with 17.39 million and was tied for second among adults 18-49 with a 3.8/10 rating/share.

Last Week:

8.7/13 HH rating/share [#2]
13.80M viewers [#2]
2.9/7 A18-49 rating/share [#3]

  • 8:00 p.m.: NCIS (11.3/17 HH rating/share, 17.97M viewers, 3.7/10 A18-49 rating/share) was the only CBS show to lose viewership from its most recent airing, but the decline was very minimal.  Overall, the show continues to performing strongly against Fox’s American Idol and proves to be a valuable player for CBS.  There’s no question that NCIS was smart to commission a spinoff based on the series.

Episode-to-episode numbers (1/27/2009):

Households – 11.6/17 to 11.3/17 (-3%)
Viewers – 19.20M to 17.97M (-6%/-1.23M)
Adults 18-49 – 4.0/10 to 3.7/10 (-7.5%)

  • 9:00 p.m.:  As impressive as its lead-in was, The Mentalist (12.1/18 HH rating/share, 19.66M viewers, 4.2/10 A18-49 rating/share) was the big winner for CBS for the evening.  The show grew from its last original episode (which aired on a Sunday) by an impressive 20% among viewers.  Oddly enough, there was a slight decline in adults 18-49 (-9%–likely attributed to Football that aired on that Sunday evening two weeks ago).  Another impressive statistic worth noting was growth from the already strong NCIS lead-in of 9% among viewers and 13.5% among adults 18-49.  The only problem I can see is the less impressive performance in terms of attracting the younger demo.  The show was the second-most watched for the evening among viewers and households, but was actually third in its time slot among adults 18-49, falling behind the second hour of The Biggest Loser on NBC and Fox’s Fringe.  Just a little over 1/4 of its audience is composed of viewers within the A18-49 demographic, indicating a very large segment of its audience is compromised of older viewers.  But honestly, that’s a small complaint.  A 4.2 in the demo is still strong, and you can’t help but be impressed by the show’s ability to attract nearly 20 million viewers.  CBS has found a perfect companion to NCIS.  I wouldn’t be surprised if the network uses The Mentalist as a lead-in to the NCIS spinoff on a new night.

Episode-to-episode numbers (SUN; 1/18/2009 – 10:34pm):

Households – 10.0/17 to 12.1/18 (+21%)
Viewers – 16.39M to 19.66M (+20%/+3.27M)
Adults 18-49 – 4.6/12 to 4.2/10 (-9%)

  • 10:00 p.m.: With an original lead-in, Without a Trace (9.2/15 HH rating/share, 14.55M viewers, 3.5/9 A18-49 rating/share) improved by double-digits — an impressive 30% among adults 18-49 — from the week prior.  The show easily won it’s time slot among households and viewers.  Among adults 18-49, however, the show was behind NBC’s Dateline (3.5 rating vs. a 4.0 rating).

Week-to-week numbers:

Households – 7.8/13 to 9.2/15 (+18%)
Viewers – 12.16M to 14.55M (+20%/+2.39M)
Adults 18-49 – 2.7/7 to 3.5/9 (+30%)

Fox followed in second place for the evening with a 10.0/15 household rating/share, but as first among both viewers (17.49 million) and adults 18-49 (6.7/17 rating/share).

Last Week:

11.2/17 HH rating/share [#1]
19.66M viewers [#1]
7.5/18 A18-49 rating/share [#1]

  • 8:00 p.m.: American Idol (13.8/21 HH rating/share, 24.51M viewers, 9.1/24 A18-49 rating/share) may have faced a slightly weaker performing episode of NCIS, but it didn’t benefit any.  The program lost a little more than 2 million viewers on a week-to-week basis (and roughly the same from Wednesday’s episode) and about 9% of its A18-49 demo.  That loss of viewership may not have effected ‘Idol’ by a significant degree in terms of percentage drop, but it did seem to hurt lead-out…

Week-to-week numbers:

Households – 14.7/22 to 13.8/21 (-6%)
Viewers – 26.60M to 24.51M (-8%/-2.09M)
Adults 18-49 – 10.0/25 to 9.1/24 (-9%)

Episode-to-episode numbers (WED; 2/4/2009):

Households – 14.8/23 to 13.8/21 (-7%)
Viewers – 26.38M to 24.51M (-7%/-1.87M)
Adults 18-49 – 9.9/27 to 9.1/24 (-8%)

  • 9:00 (9:01) p.m.: …Fringe (6.2/9 HH rating/share, 10.46M viewers, 4.3/11 A18-49 rating/share), which lost more than 2.3 million viewers (18%) and 14% among adults 18-49 from the week prior.  The show had been performing more impressively in recent weeks, despite below average retention levels, but this week’s numbers are not at all encouraging.  The show fell below 50% retention among both viewers (43%) and adults 18-49 (47%).  In the event Fox decides to separate the show from its strong American Idol lead-in, I fear the results will not be good.

Week-to-week numbers:

Households – 7.5/11 to 6.2/9 (-17%)
Viewers – 12.78M to 10.46M (-18%/-2.32M)
Adults 18-49 – 5.0/12 to 4.3/11 (-14%)

NBC finished in third place for the evening with a 6.4/10 household rating/share and 9.97 million viewers, but managed a tie for second place among adults 18-49 with a 3.8/10 rating/share.

Last Week:

6.6/10 HH rating/share [#3]
10.44M viewers [#3]
3.9/10 A18-49 rating/share [#2]

  • 8:00 p.m.: The Biggest Loser: Couples (5.9/9 HH rating/share, 9.31M viewers, 3.7/9 A18-49 rating/share) took a bit of a dip from last week, but a strong second-hour kept the show afloat.  In the end, it’s hard not to commend the show for holding its own against very, very stiff competition (NCIS and American Idol).

Week-to-week numbers:

Households – 6.4/10 to 5.9/9 (-6%)
Viewers – 10.35M to 9.31M (-10%/-1.04M)
Adults 18-49 – 4.0/10 to 3.7/9 (-7.5%)

  • 10:00 p.m.: A special Dateline (7.6/13 HH rating/share, 11.29M viewers, 4.0/11 A18-49 rating/share), which featured an interview with octuplet-mother, Nadya Suleman, did well, not at all unexpected, in the ratings.  The show managed a first place finish for the time slot among adults 18-49 (#2 to CBS’s Without a Trace among households and viewers).  In terms of time slot performance, the program drew 9% more viewers and an 8% better rating among adults 18-49 from last week’s episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

Last week’s numbers (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit):

Households – 6.8/11
Viewers – 10.34M
Adults 18-49 – 3.7/10

ABC followed in fourth place for the evening with a 2.7/4 household rating/share, 4.35 million viewers and a 1.7/4 rating/share among adults 18-49.

Last Week:

3.5/5 HH rating/share [#4]
5.44M viewers [#4]
2.0/5 A18-49 rating/share [#4]

  • 8:00 & 8:30 p.m.: Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown/A Charlie Brown Valentine (2.7/4 HH rating/share, 4.88M viewers, 1.5/4 A18-49 rating/share) proved to be less popular than most Charlie Brown specials, drawing even less viewers than normal time slot occupant Homeland Security USA.

Last week’s numbers (Homeland Security USA):

Households – 3.5/5
Viewers – 5.61M
Adults 18-49 – 1.6/4

  • 9:00 p.m.: With a slightly weaker lead-in, Scrubs (2.8/4 HH rating/share, 4.60M viewers, 2.0/5 A18-49 rating/share) and…

Week-to-week numbers:

Households – 3.0/5 to 2.8/4 (-7%)
Viewers – 4.82M to 4.60M (-5%/-0.22M)
Adults 18-49 – 2.0/5 to 2.0/5 (n/c)

  • 9:30 p.m.: …another episode of Scrubs (2.7/4 HH rating/share, 4.23M viewers, 2.0/5 A18-49 rating/share) continued a downward trend that has started since the show’s somewhat positive season eight premiere.  Combining these two episodes to the back-t0-back episodes on January 6, 2009 (eighth season premiere), the show is off by 39% among viewers (from 7.26M to 4.42M) and 26% among adults 18-49 (from a 2.7 rating to a 2.0 rating).

Week-to-week numbers:

Households – 2.9/4 to 2.7/4 (-7%)
Viewers – 4.68M to 4.23M (-10%/-0.45M)
Adults 18-49 – 2.2/5 to 2.0/5 (-10%)

  • 10:00 p.m.: Away from its ‘Bachelor‘ lead-in, True Beauty (2.5/4 HH rating/share, 3.76M viewers, 1.6/4 A18-49 rating/share) failed miserably, likely effectively ending any chance for renewal.  The show not only fell off from its already weak lead-in by 11% among viewers and 20% among adults 18-49, but judged strictly from its most recent airing two Monday’s ago, the show was off by nearly 45% among viewers (-3.01M) and 47% among adults 18-49.  Not good.

Episode-to-episode numbers (MON; 2/2/2009):

Households – 4.4/7 to 2.5/4 (-43%)
Viewers – 6.77M to 3.76M (-44.5%/-3.01M)
Adults 18-49 – 3.0/8 to 1.6/4 (-47%)

Last week’s numbers (Primetime: What Would You Do?):

Households – 3.8/6
Viewers – 5.86M
Adults 18-49 – 2.3/6

The CW finished in fifth place for the evening with a 1.4/2 household rating/share, 1.95 million viewers and a 0.9/2 rating/share among adults 18-49.

Last Week:

1.4/2 HH rating/share [#5]
2.06M viewers [#5]
1.0/3 A18-49 rating/share [#5]

  • 8:00 p.m.: 90210 (1.7/3 HH rating/share, 2.38M viewers, 1.2/3 A18-49 rating/share) slight growth among households was offset by 4 and 8 percent declines among viewers and adults 18-49, respectively.

Week-to-week numbers:

Households – 1.6/2 to 1.7/3  (+6%)
Viewers – 2.49M to 2.38M (-4%/-0.11M)
Adults 18-49 – 1.3/3 to 1.2/3  (-8%)

  • 9:00 p.m.: Privileged (1.2/2 HH rating/share, 1.52M viewers, 0.7/2 A18-49 rating/share) continues to prove to be a poor lead-out for 90210 with retention levels at just 64% among viewers and an even worse 58% among adults 18-49.  Yes it’s true, The CW’s only reliable night of programming is Thursday, where Smallville and Supernatural manage 4 and 3 million viewers, respectively, on a consistent basis.

Week-to-week numbers:

Households – 1.2/2 to 1.2/2  (n/c)
Viewers – 1.65M to 1.52M (-8%/-0.13M)
Adults 18-49 – 0.8/2 to 0.7/2  (-12.5%)


Note: Network average numbers from the week prior are based on fast affiliate data. Comparison’s from the week prior (or episode-to-episode, etc.) on specific shows are based on final national data. Ratings for the current day are based on fast affiliate numbers. (Expect all three scenarios to be the case at all times, unless otherwise noted). The final rating for first-run episodes that aired this evening will be reported the following week. So for example, the final rating for tonight’s episode of “American Idol” will be reported in next weeks report for Tuesday, February 17, 2009. Also keep in mind that because these are fast affiliate ratings, numbers may increase or decrease when the final nationals are released.

Source: Fast Affiliate/Final National Ratings Data from Nielsen Media Research. Daily ratings figures can be found at PI Feedback, Zap2It and TV by the Numbers.

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