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Broadcast TV Ratings for Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Eight shows made their season premieres last night — three of which were series premieres — and the big winners on the night were CBS and ABC. Both networks tied for the night among households and adults 18-49 (CBS was slightly ahead among viewers).

CBS got solid premieres for its entire lineup, with the fifth season premiere of The New Adventures of Old Christine and the second season premiere of Gary Unmarried opening up the evening at 8:00 & 8:30 pm, followed by the fifth and sixth season premieres of Criminal Minds and CSI: NY from 9:00-11:00pm.ABC meanwhile, took first place for the 8:00pm hour with the Dancing With the Stars results show, followed by very successful premieres of Modern Family and Cougar Town. ABC didn’t get as strong of results as it likely was looking for from the series premiere of Eastwick at 10:00pm, although it did finish ahead of NBC’s The Jay Leno Show.

Speaking of NBC, the network didn’t have a very good start with the series premiere of Mercy, which could only manage a third place tie with CBS among adults 18-49 for the hour.  That led into Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, which had a weaker than expected debut for its 11th season, while the aforementioned The Jay Leno Show could only muster a last place (for the hour) 2.0 A18-49 rating.

Rounding out the rest of the night, So You Think You Can Dance and Glee held steady from the week prior (although Glee is a stronger position while ‘SYTYCD‘ is showing that it clearly doesn’t belong on the fall lineup) and The CW remained in last place with its horribly performing America’s Next Top Model/The Beautiful Life: TBL combo.

Full ratings and breakdown’s, including week-to-week comparisons, etc., follows after the jump.

CBS finished in a tie for first place for the evening with a 7.7/13 household rating/share, was alone in first among viewers with 12.50 million and was tied for first place among adults adults 18-49 with a 3.5/10 rating/share.

Last Week:

4.2/7 HH rating/share [#2]
viewers [#2]
A18-49 rating/share [#4]

  • 8:00 p.m.: The fifth season premiere of The New Adventures of Old Christine (4.9/8 HH rating/share, 7.68M viewers, 2.3/7 A18-49 rating/share) kicked off CBS’s winning night and managed some solid growth from last year’s premiere, especially among viewers where it was up by over 1 million/18%.  The show’s A18-49 performance (a category that historically it hasn’t been a strong performer in) managed a nice 10% boost.  More importantly, it tied the series premiere of NBC’s Mercy which also drew a 2.3 rating.  While it’s certainly not a power player, ‘Old Christine’ does a serviceable job opening up the night for CBS.

Season premiere comparison (9/24/2008 – fourth season premiere):

Households – 4.3/7 to 4.9/8 (+14%)
Viewers – 6.52M to 7.68M (+18%/+1.16M)
Adults 18-49 – 2.1/6 to 2.3/7 (+9.5%)

  • 8:30 p.m.: That led into the second season premiere of Gary Unmarried (4.6/7 HH rating/share, 7.37M viewers, 2.4/7 A18-49 rating/share) which pretty much matched last season’s premiere.  One important note to make is the strong compatibility with The New Adventures of Old Christine, with 94% retention among households, 96% among viewers and a 4% boost among adults 18-49.

Season premiere comparison (9/24/2008 – series premiere):

Households – 4.5/7 to 4.6/7 (+2%)
Viewers – 6.82M to 7.37M (+8%/+0.55M)
Adults 18-49 – 2.4/7 to 2.4/7 (n/c)

  • 9:00 p.m.: The fifth season premiere of Criminal Minds (9.4/15 HH rating/share, 15.42M viewers, 4.2/11 A18-49 rating/share) may have been hurt by the competition (perhaps the two half-hour series premieres Modern Family and Cougar Town) because the show was off about 10% on average among households, viewers and adults 18-49…

Season premiere comparison (9/24/2008 – fourth season premiere):

Households – 10.5/16 to 9.4/15 (-10.5%)
Viewers – 17.01M to 15.42M (-9%/-1.59M)
Adults 18-49 – 4.7/12 to 4.2/11 (-11%)

  • 10:00 p.m.: …That wasn’t the case for the sixth season premiere of CSI: NY (9.0/16 HH rating/share, 14.57M viewers, 4.0/11 A18-49 rating/share) which stayed steady from the year prior and managed impressive retention rates of 96% among households, 95% among viewers and 95% among adults 18-49 from Criminal Minds.  Regardless of the slight year-to-year declines, both shows were very competitive, with each finishing in first for the hour among total audience and second (Criminal Minds) and first (CSI: NY) in the key A18-49 demo.

Season premiere comparison (9/24/2008 – fifth season premiere):

Households – 9.2/16 to 9.0/16 (-2%)
Viewers – 14.59M to 14.57M (-0%/-0.02M)
Adults 18-49 – 4.0/11 to 4.0/11 (n/c)

ABC followed in a tie for first place for the evening with a 7.7/13 household rating/share, was second among viewers with 11.86 million viewers, but managed a first place tie among adults 18-49 with a 3.5/10 rating/share.

Last Week:

2.8/5 HH rating/share [#4]
viewers [#4]
A18-49 rating/share [#3]

  • 8:00 p.m.: The first edition of Dancing With the Stars: The Results (9.8/16 HH rating/share, 14.96M viewers, 3.2/10 A18-49 rating/share) held steady from day two of the premiere from the day prior, with only minimal loss across the three key categories.

Episode-to-episode numbers (MON; 9/21/2009 (premiere), TUES; 9/22/2009 (premiere, day two)):

Households – 11.3/17 to 10.1/16 (-11%) to 9.8/16 (-3%)
Viewers – 17.79M to 15.37M to (-14%/-2.42M) to 14.96M (-3%/-0.41M)
Adults 18-49 – 4.1/10 to 3.5/9 to (-15%) to 3.2/10 (-9%)

Last week’s numbers (Wipeout):

Households – 3.4/6
Viewers – 6.01M
Adults 18-49 – 2.1/7

  • 9:00 p.m.: The big news of the evening were the very strong launches for the network’s two new comedies, beginning with Modern Family (8.0/13 HH rating/share, 12.74M viewers, 4.3/12 A18-49 rating/share).  These numbers will change some due to the ‘Dancing’ overrun, but this is a very, very solid start.  Retention was about where it needs to be among households (85%) and viewers (82%) but where I really want to zero in is among Adults 18-49.  Who knows if it’ll hold over the course of its run, but a 34% boost from its lead-in among adults 18-49 is very impressive and should bode well for the future of the series.

Last week’s numbers (Crash Course – 9:00-10:00pm):

Households – 2.0/3
Viewers – 3.51M
Adults 18-49 – 1.4/4

  • 9:30 p.m.: The good news continued with the series premiere of Cougar Town (7.2/11 HH rating/share, 11.44M viewers, 4.3/11 A18-49 rating/share) which held onto nearly all of its Modern Family lead-in among households (90%) and viewers (90%) and did about as well as ABC could have hoped for among adults 18-49, with a full 100% retention.  As I said with Modern Family, it’s too early to say whether this will hold over the course of the year, but at first glance, this is a very promising start.
  • 10:00 p.m.: About the only negative news — although it’s not too bad — came with the series premiere of Eastwick (5.6/10 HH rating/share, 8.53M viewers, 3.0/8 A18-49 rating/share).  The show fell off a good deal from its lead-in (-22% among households, -25% among viewers and -30% among adults 18-49) for a so-so second place finish on the hour across the three categories. Still though, retention levels of 78, 75 and 70 percent, respectively, aren’t too far away from where it needs to be and could be improved upon with a nice marketing push.  With that said, I have a feeling it won’t hold up as well as it needs to…but we’ll see.

Last week’s numbers (Primetime: Family Secrets):

Households – 2.7/5
Viewers – 4.11M
Adults 18-49 – 1.4/4

NBC finished in third place for the evening with a 5.0/8 household rating/share and 7.68 million viewers, but was fourth among adults 18-49 with a 2.3/6 rating/share.

Last Week:

9.1/15 HH rating/share [#1]
viewers [#1]
A18-49 rating/share [#1]

  • 8:00 p.m: The series premiere of Mercy (5.2/9 HH rating/share, 8.25M viewers, 2.3/7 A18-49 rating/share) didn’t do all that well. As you can see, Mercy improved upon the numbers achieved by the season premiere of Knight Rider last season, but where it counts (in the demo) the show actually performed slightly worse.  Not only that, but it could only manage a tie with third place CBS for the hour among adults 18-49.  It’s not a good sign when a series premiere can only manage a tie with fifth and second year comedies The New Adventures of Old Christine and Gary Unmarried.

Series premiere comparison (9/24/2009 – Knight Riderseries/season one premiere):

Households – 4.5/7 to 5.2/9 (+16%)
Viewers – 7.35M to 8.25M (+12%/+0.90M)
Adults 18-49 – 2.5/7 to 2.3/7 (-8%)

Last week’s numbers (America’s Got Talenttwo-hour third season finale):

Households – 9.5/16
Viewers – 15.79M
Adults 18-49 – 3.5/10

  • 9:00 p.m: The 11th season premiere of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (5.5/9 HH rating/share, 8.36M viewers, 2.5/7 A18-49 rating/share) had an even more disappointing performance though.  Not sure what was at the root of the yearly decline (could have been the ABC comedies), but a 34% slide in adults 18-49 is concerning.

Season premiere comparison (TUES; 9/23/2008 – 10th season premiere):

Households – 6.4/10 to 5.5/9 (-14%)
Viewers – 9.68M to 8.36M (-14%/-1.32M)
Adults 18-49 – 3.8/10 to 2.5/7 (-34%)

  • 10:00 p.m: The Jay Leno Show (4.3/7 HH rating/share, 6.43M viewers, 2.0/5 A18-49 rating/share) continues to meddle along with just so-so ratings.  While not at series lows, the show is performing more like an 11:00 pm late-night show than a 10:00pm primetime series.  I believe the show is at the point of stabilizing and will more than likely hover around the 5.5-7.0M viewer/2.0-2.5 A18-49 rating level over the foreseeable future, although I expect it to gain/drop dependent on the talent booked for the show.

Episode-to-episode numbers (TUES; 9/22/2009):

Households – 4.6/8 to 4.3/7 (-6.5%)
Viewers – 6.91M to 6.43M (-7%/-0.48M)
Adults 18-49 – 2.5/7 to 2.0/5 (-20%)

Week-to-week numbers:

Households – 8.5/15 to 4.3/7 (-49%)
Viewers – 13.36M to 6.43M (-52%/-6.93M)
Adults 18-49 – 3.5/10 to 2.0/5 (-43%)

FOX followed in fourth place for the evening with a 3.8/6 household rating/share and 6.11 million viewers, but managed a third place finish among adults 18-49 with 2.8/8 rating/share.

Last Week:

3.9/6 HH rating/share [#3]
viewers [#3]
A18-49 rating/share [#2]

  • 8:00 p.m.: So You Think You Can Dance (3.6/6 HH rating/share, 5.60M viewers, 2.5/8 A18-49 rating/share) should not be airing during the fall season.  That much is clear after seeing the ratings notched over the past few weeks.  It appears to have stabilized, but these levels are nowhere near the show’s summer levels.

Week-to-week numbers:

Households – 3.6/6 to 3.6/6 (n/c)
Viewers – 5.67M to 5.60M (-1%/-0.07M)
Adults 18-49 – 2.4/7 to 2.5/8 (+4%)

  • 9:00 p.m.: Glee (4.1/7 HH rating/share, 6.62M viewers, 3.0/8 A18-49 rating/share) on the other hand, continues to grow out of its weak lead-in, this week by a significant 18 and 20 percent, respectively, among viewers and adults 18-49.

Week-to-week numbers:

Households – 4.3/7 to 4.1/7 (-5%)
Viewers – 6.69M to 6.62M (-1%/-0.07M)
Adults 18-49 – 3.2/9 to 3.0/8 (-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:

1.5/3 HH rating/share [#5]
viewers [#5]
A18-49 rating/share [#5]

  • 8:00 p.m.:  America’s Next Top Model (1.9/3 HH rating/share, 2.84M viewers, 1.3/4 A18-49 rating/share).  Oh where to begin, where to begin.  Has the novelty worn off?  The series held mostly steady from the week prior, but what it really needed a boost.  Here’s the issue, compared to last season (2.8/4 HH rating/share, 4.13M viewers and a 2.1/6 A18-49 rating/share) ‘Top Model’ is down a hefty 32% among households, 31% among viewers and 38% among adults 18-49.  Not good.

Week-to-week numbers:

Households – 2.0/3 to 1.9/3 (-5%)
Viewers – 2.79M to 2.84M (+2%/+0.05M)
Adults 18-49 – 1.4/4 to 1.3/4 (-7%)

  • 9:00 p.m.: That makes The Beautiful Life: TBL (0.8/1 HH rating/share, 1.09M viewers, 0.5/1 A18-49 rating/share) look even worse.  The CW certainly didn’t expect to have to worry about its power player (‘Top Model’) being such a weak lead-in to ‘TBL’, but that’s the situation they’re in. These numbers are horrible enough, but when you start to make some comparisons, they look even worse.  Just to put things in perspective, a repeat of 90210 in this timeslot last year drew a 1.5/2 HH rating/share, 2.27M viewers and a 1.1/3 A18-49 rating/share.  Look for the show to be pulled from the schedule/canceled sooner rather than later.  To that effect, I wouldn’t be surprised to see The CW overexpose one of their new shows, perhaps The Vampire Diaries, and run a repeat of the series in this time slot.  And for any fans out there…I’m sorry but there’s really no incentive to keep a show on the air that can only manage retention levels of 42% among households and 38% among both viewers and adults 18-49.  Even though ‘Top Model’ isn’t as strong as it use to be, they’re still wasting a valuable time slot.

Week-to-week numbers (series premiere):

Households – 1.0/2 to 0.8/1 (-20%)
Viewers – 1.38M to 1.09M (-21%/-0.29M)
Adults 18-49 – 0.6/2 to 0.5/1 (-17%)


Notes: 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 “Criminal Minds” will be reported in next weeks report for Wednesday, September 30, 2009. Also keep in mind that because these are fast affiliate numbers, when the finals are released there may be noticeable changes.

And lastly, there may be some errors in the data due to rounding/human error. I’ll do my best to limit those mistakes and correct them in time for the next week’s report.

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.