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President Obama’s Appearance on Leno Nets Highest Ratings in Four Years March 21, 2009 2:21 am

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in News, Nielsen TV Ratings, Television.
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barackobamajayleno-032109President Barack Obama’s appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno Thursday night gave the show its highest ratings in four years.  The episode drew an 11.2/26 HH rating/share (in the overnight metered markets), matching the number that Leno pulled in a January 2005 tribute episode following the death of Johnny Carson.

The highest rated episode of the series came on the night of the Seinfeld finale in May 1998 (a 12.4 HH rating). To put the number in perspective, it’s 187% above the show’s average this season of a 3.9 HH rating.  The episode also lifted lead-out Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to its highest numbers in three weeks (a 3.9/13 HH rating/share in the overnights).

Source: Variety

Broadcast TV Ratings for Thursday, March 19, 2009 March 20, 2009 8:01 pm

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031909piechart-viewers_eDon’t forget to click through the jump to check out the night’s full ratings and breakdown’s, including week-to-week comparisons, etc.

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Broadcast TV Ratings for Wednesday, March 18, 2009 March 19, 2009 5:44 pm

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The American Idol results show and another solid performance by Lie to Me at 8:00pm kept Fox way in front of its competition last night, nearly doubling up its nearest competitor among adults 18-49 (5.7 rating vs. a 2.9 rating).

CBS then, was steady in second, paced by the night’s #2 and #3 programs, Criminal Minds and CSI: NY.

Finishing in third place was ABC, which while not so competitive among viewers, did stay in the competitive loop among adults 18-49 finishing just a tenth of a point behind CBS in the demo.  Overall though, it was mostly bad news.  The series premiere of comedy Better off Ted drew just 5.64M viewers, while once power house Lost returned from its one-week hiatus with a season low 9.08M viewers (Note: These numbers may change some due to Lost running approximately 2 minutes into the 10:00 pm time period).  Life on Mars perked up a bit from last week, but only managed a few more than 5 million viewers and even though there was some good news to report in the time slot premiere of Scrubs–up nearly 40% among viewers from its last original episode — it still drew a disappointing 5.8 million viewers.

In fourth place was NBC, who is just having problems all over the place.  Failed reality series opened the night for the network with a dismal 3.46M viewers and 1.3 A18-49 rating, while likely-to-be-canceled drama Life hit a series low.  Law & Order improved a bit in the 10:00pm hour, but remains below average.

And lastly, The CW’s America’s Next Top Model failed to hold last week’s improved audience, falling by double-digits across the board.

Full ratings and breakdown’s, including my full analysis, week-to-week comparisons, etc., follow after the jump.

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Casting Bites: Kevin Costner, Tommy Lee Jones, Justin Long and more March 19, 2009 5:04 pm

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in ABC, Movies, New Line, News, Television.
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tommyleejones-031909Here are some of the latest casting hires for film and television.

  • Eric McCormack (Will & Grace) is returning to comedy, landing the starring role in the untitled Tad Quill half-hour pilot for ABC. [THR]
  • Kevin Costner and Tommy Lee Jones have been cast in The Company Men, an independently financed drama about the impact of corporate downsizing.  They join Ben Affleck, who was cast last fall. [Variety]
  • Alexandra Daddario has landed the female lead in 20th Century Fox’s Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief, a fantasy/adventure movie bieng directed by Chris Columbus. [THR]
  • Nanette Burstein’s romantic comedy Going the Distance, has landed Justin Long to play the lead role.  [Variety]

Broadcast TV Ratings for Tuesday, March 17, 2009 March 18, 2009 7:35 pm

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Full ratings and breakdown’s, including my full analysis, week-to-week comparisons, etc., follow after the jump.

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CBS Hands Out Multi-Year Renewals for Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory March 18, 2009 7:30 pm

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in CBS, News, Television.
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cbslogo-513CBS and Warner Bros. television have announced a multi-year broadcast agreement for Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory.  The agreement renews the Two and a Half Men through the 2011-2012 season and The Big Bang Theory through the 2010-2011 season.  There was news of this development about a week ago.  The full press release follows after the jump. (more…)

Casting Bites: Brad Pitt, Natalie Portman, Freddie Prinze Jr. and more March 18, 2009 6:54 pm

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in ABC, Movies, News, Paramount Pictures, Television, The CW, Walden Media.
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natalieportman-031809Here are some of the latest casting news for television and film.

  • Brad Pitt and Natalie Portman have signed on to a film based on the new Leanne Shapton book Important Artifacts and Personal Property from the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris, Including Books, Street Fashion, and Jewelry.  The film, from Paramount Pictures, will be developed as a romantic comedy, with Pitt to play Morris and Porman to play Doolan. [Variety]
  • Jessica Lucas (Cloverfield) has landed a lead role on the CW’s new Melrose Place series.  Lucas will play Riley Richmond, a wealthy and beautiful 24-year-old who works as an inncer-city elementary school teacher. [THR]
  • Freddie Prinze Jr. is returning to ABC for the network’s comedy pilot No Heroics.  The pilot is about four B-list superheroes living among us.  Prinze’s character, Bradley aka Ultimatum, is the nemesis to the group’s leader Pete aka Chillout. [THR]
  • Walden Media has signed Ellen DeGeneres as Mother Nature in a currently untitled comedy that is being produced by the company.  Walden says that DeGeneres “will return to Earth for the first time since the planet’s creation.”  The film will co-star Jim Carrey.[First Showing]

Broadcast TV Ratings for Monday, March 16, 2009 March 17, 2009 8:44 pm

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Week two of the new season of Dancing With the Stars held mostly steady from last week’s premiere, leading ABC to a first place finish with an audience of nearly 21.1 million viewers and a 5.3 A18-49 rating.  Perhaps the more important bit of news coming from ABC though, was the performance of the new Nathan Fillion drama Castle.  Week two was nearly identical to week one, which is actually pretty good news.  We’ll see where the show heads in the coming weeks, but ABC must definitely be pleased that there was no decline in viewership from the week prior (despite the still weak retention levels). Update: Final numbers show that the episode increased slightly over last week’s premiere among viewers (but was down slightly among adults 18-49–click through the jump for more analysis).

There was a tie for second place, with CBS coming out on top among households thanks to consistent performances from its comedy and CSI: Miami line-up and Fox taking second place among viewers and adults 18-49 with solid performances from House and 24.

Fourth place belonged to NBC, which saw abysmal numbers for its complete repeat lineup and fifth place went to The CW, which saw weak numbers for returning dramas Gossip Girl and One Tree Hill.

Full ratings and breakdown’s, including my full analysis, week-to-week comparisons, etc., follow after the jump. (more…)

Lost Season Finale “Nickname” Will Be Decided by Fans March 17, 2009 8:03 pm

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in ABC, News, Television.
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lostkate-031709In this week’s official Lost podcast, to be posted on ABC.com on Thursday, executive producers Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof will formally invite viewers to suggest a nickname for the season’s final moment.

From TV Guide:

In seasons past, that head-scratcher has been dubbed “Bagel” (Walt is abducted by the Others!), “Challah” (Penny’s research team locates the island!), “The Rattlesnake in the Mailbox” (Jack is flashing forward!) and “Frozen Donkey Wheel” (which, quite literally, Ben rotated to move the island).

The script for the finale has recently been completed and filming on the episode is at least a week away.  Submissions can be directed to ABC.com/asklost.  The pick will be announced on ABC’s March 26th podcast.

Andy Samber to Host 18th Annual MTV Movie Awards March 17, 2009 5:28 pm

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in Movies, MTV, News, Television.
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andysamberg-031709Saturday Night Live comic Andy Samberg has been tapped by MTV to host the 18th annual MTV Movie Awards, the network announced:

“I’m super excited to host the movie awards,” Samberg said in a statement released to Usmagazine.com. “I grew up watching the show and a lot of the past hosts are heroes of mine. Plus my friends and I were writers for the show prior to working at SNL, so it will be a sweet and satisfying homecoming.

MTV says they’re giving the comedian free range to do whatever he wants to parody this year’s movies.

“Andy’s connection with the MTV audience is so strong…it’s electric,” said Stephen Friedman, General Manager of MTV. “We can’t wait to see what subversive take he’ll have on our audience’s favorite movies of the year. We, like Andy’s many fans, are thrilled he’s decided to grace MTV with his unique talent.”

Broadcast TV Ratings for Sunday, March 15, 2009 March 16, 2009 6:48 pm

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Full ratings and breakdown’s, including week-to-week comparisons, and individual program analysis, etc., follows after the jump. (more…)

David Chase Working on HBO Miniseries March 16, 2009 3:11 pm

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davidchase-031609David Chase, creator of the hit HBO series The Sopranos, is returning to HBO to develop a miniseries about the history of the Hollywood film industry.  A Ribbon of Dreams, also reunites Chase with ‘Sopranos’ executive producer Brad Grey, who is now chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures.

“It gives me pleasure to think of working, together with Brad, with HBO again,” Chase said. “These are all people who, obviously, occupy a special place in my heart.”

Here’s a little bit on the background of the series, via THR:

[W]ill begin in 1913 and follow two men, one a college-educated mechanical engineer, the other a cowboy with a violent past, who form an unlikely producing partnership. The duo will start off as employees of D.W. Griffith, and then cross career paths with such Hollywood greats as John Ford, John Wayne, Raoul Walsh, Bette Davis and Billy Wilder. Through the eyes of the two main characters — as well as their offspring — the mini will chronicle the growth of the film industry from the age of rough-hewn silent Westerns, to the golden era of talkies and the studio system, to the auteur movement, to television, and finally to the present day.

President Barack Obama Appearing on Leno This Thursday March 16, 2009 3:02 pm

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barackobama-031609The White House has announced that President Barack Obama, during a trip to Los Angeles on Thursday, will appear on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno.  NBC will tape the program and air it that night, after the president has returned to Washington.

SCI FI Channel Changing its Name to SyfY March 16, 2009 2:39 pm

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in News, SCI FI Channel, Syfy, Television.
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syfylogosmall-031409NBC Universal has announced that beginning this summer, the SCI FI Channel is changing its name to Syfy.  The switch will happen, on-air and online, beginning July 7th.  The network will also get a new tagline: Imagine Greater.  Now it may seem odd to change your network name to a name that is so similar to its original, but there is reason to it, explains Dave Howe, President of SCI FI:

“While continuing to embrace our legacy and our core audience, we needed to cultivate a distinct point of view with a name that we could own that invites more people in and reflects our broader range of programming,” said Dave Howe, who made announcement. “Syfy allows us to build on our 16 year heritage of success with a new brand built on the power that fuels our genre: the Imagination. Syfy ushers in a new era of unlimited imagination, exceptional experiences and greater entertainment that paves the way for us to truly become a global lifestyle brand.”

Also, the new name, while phonetically identical to the original, allows the network to have a brand name all to its own.

“We couldn’t own SciFi; it’s a genre,” said Bonnie Hammer, the president of NBC Universal Cable Entertainment and Universal Cable Productions. “But we can own Syfy.”

I’ve included the full press release, plus a high res version of the logo above, after the jump. (more…)

Broadcast TV Ratings for Saturday, March 14, 2009 March 15, 2009 9:40 pm

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Daily Show Gets Boost with Cramer Appearance March 14, 2009 11:51 pm

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in 17879034, Broadcast TV Ratings, CNBS, Comedy Central, News, Television.
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dailyshowstewartcramer-031409Thursday’s episode of The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, featuring the highly anticipated interview with CNBC’s Jim Cramer, drew the show’s second largest audience of the year.  An average audience of 2.3 million viewers tuned in, ranking second only to January’s inauguration day episode, which delivered 2.6 million viewers.

Overall, the episode ranks in the all-time top 10 for the show, which scored a record-high 3.6 million viewers for an October episode that had Stewart conduct a one-on-one interview via satellite with then-candidate Barack Obama.

Source: Variety

Broadcast TV Ratings for Friday, March 13, 2009 March 14, 2009 6:48 pm

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Broadcast TV Ratings for Thursday, March 12, 2009 March 13, 2009 6:14 pm

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The competition was surprisingly tight last night, especially among adults 18-49 where the top four networks were separated by just six-tenth of a point.

CBS was first for the evening, drawing the night’s most-watched show in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation at 9:00pm (#2 among adults 18-49) and placing first place for every hour of the evening among both households and viewers.  It wasn’t all good news, however, as ‘CSI’ actually declined by nearly 4 million viewers from last week’s episode.

That decline was partially a result of the return of Grey’s Anatomy on ABC (#2 for the night).  Grey’s Anatomy was number two for the night among adults 18-49, but it wasn’t all good for it either, as it was down by double-digits from its last original episode.  Elsewhere on the network, Ugly Betty opened stronger than usual, but still below average, at 8:00pm, while Grey’s Anatomy lead-out Private Practice suffered the same fate as its lead-in, declining by double-digits from its last original airing and falling to a last place finish in the hour among households and viewers.

Over on NBC, who finished in third place last night, the season (potential series) finale of Kath & Kim drew just 4 million viewers.  I don’t expect that show to return next season, while The Office was below average with under 8 million viewers.  3o Rock declined as well, but it’s retention was good.

The biggest news of the night, was the special episode of ER last night on NBC.  The network tried to keep the news of guest starring roles by former stars, including George Clooney, secret (for what reason I don’t know) but many knew regardless, resulting in the show performing the best it has in some time, drawing nearly 11 million viewers and a very solid 3.9 rating in the demo (+23 and +15 percent, respectively, from the week prior).

Rounding out the night’s programs, The CW was in last place with the return of original episodes of Smallville and SupernaturalSmallville performed well, with no loss in A18-49 viewership from its last original episode, but Supernatural?  Hmm…, not so much.  The show was down by more than 500,000 viewers and a disappointing 21% among adults 18-49.

Don’t forget to click through the jump to check out the night’s full ratings and breakdown’s, including week-to-week comparisons, etc. and even more analysis on an individual show-by-show basis.

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Fallon Finishes His First Week #1 March 13, 2009 3:56 am

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in CBS, NBC, News, Nielsen TV Ratings, Television.
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jimmyfallonlatenight-031309Jimmy Fallon’s first week as host of NBC’s Late Night was a successful one, with the late-night program beating all cable and broadcast competition as well as Conan’s season average.  For the week of March 2-6 the program averaged nearly 2.4 million viewers and more than 1.2 million adults 18-49, out-rating its nearest competitor (CBS’s Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson) by 25% among viewers and 60% among adults 18-49.

Additionally, Fallon’s debut week ranked as the most-watched ever in the last decade, besting the bows of The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson (2M viewers in January 2005), ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live (1.7M in January 2003) and The Late Show With Craig Kilborn (1.5M in March/April 1999).

Source: Variety

NBC Announces Summer Schedule March 12, 2009 5:48 pm

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in 2008/2009 TV Season, NBC, News, Television.
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nbclogo-513NBC has unveiled their summer schedule, announcing key dates for new scripted projects including The Philanthropist, overseas co-productions including the BBC series Merlin and the CTV (from Canada) series The Listener as well as two new miniseries (The Meteor and The Storm) and two new reality series (I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! and Great American Road Trip).  Here’s the schedule (shows in CAPS are new):

MONDAY, JUNE 1
“I’M A CELEBRITY…GET ME OUT OF HERE!” — premiere (8-9 p.m.)
“Medium” season finale (10-11 p.m.)

TUESDAY, JUNE 2
“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” — season finale (10-11 p.m.)

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 3
“Law & Order” — season finale (10-11 p.m.)

THURSDAY, JUNE 4
“THE LISTENER” — premiere (10-11 p.m.)

SUNDAY, JUNE 7 and JUNE 14
“METEOR” — miniseries (9-11 p.m.)

MONDAY, JUNE 8
“Law & Order: Criminal Intent” (NBC season premiere; 9-10 p.m.)
“Dateline NBC” (10-11 p.m.)

SUNDAY, JUNE 21
“MERLIN” (premiere 8-10 p.m.; June 28 airs 8-10 p.m.; July 5 resumes regular time 8-9 p.m.)

TUESDAY, JUNE 23 and WEDNESDAY, JUNE 24
“AMERICA’S GOT TALENT” (9-10 p.m. both nights)

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 24
“THE PHILANTHROPIST” – premieres (10-11 p.m.)

WEDNESDAY, JULY 1
“GREAT AMERICAN ROAD TRIP” — premieres (8-9 p.m.)

SATURDAY, JULY 4
“MACY’S 4TH OF JULY FIREWORKS SPECTACULAR” (9-10 p.m.)

SUNDAY, JULY 19 and SUNDAY, JULY 26
“THE STORM” – miniseries (9-11 p.m.)

The full press release, which includes official show descriptions, follows after the jump. (more…)

Jericho Comic on the Way March 12, 2009 5:26 pm

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in Comics, News, Television.
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jericho-031209Devil’s Due Publishing has announced that they’ve cut a deal with CBS Consumer Products to publish a comic based on the canceled-CBS series Jericho.  The comic will pick up where the series left off and pledges to answer many of the story’s still lingering questions.

“’Jericho’ is alive and well, thanks to the amazing fans who’ve driven us to find new and fresh ways to tell the Jericho story,” said Dan Shotz, co-executive producer of the show. “Josh Blaylock and the DDP team are great partners and have shown a true love for our show. We are so thrilled about this comic book series and the endless possibilities for the future of ‘Jericho.’”

This looks like it’ll be a faithful extension of the Jericho brand as the series’ original producing team of Jon Turteltaub, Carol Barbee, Karim Zreik and Jon Steinberg will be involved with Shotz.

Broadcast TV Ratings for Wednesday, March 11, 2009 March 12, 2009 4:37 pm

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in Nielsen TV Ratings, Television.
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031109piechart-viewersLie to Me made a successful move to earlier in the evening.  The show made its time slot premiere last night at 8:00pm and actually managed to grow its audience from the week prior when it had the benefit of airing out of an episode of American Idol.  That’s very good news.  It must be noted that there was a slight decline in terms of the show’s A18-49 audience, but not enough to be concerned about, at least not at the moment.

American Idol also was a bit stronger than usual (although its still down from last season’s numbers), increasing by near double-digits among viewers and double-digits among adults 18-49 from last week’s episode.

Following in second place was CBS, which while well behind Fox, still managed to post solid numbers and showed no ill effects, with each of the show’s improving in viewers and adults 18-49 from the week (or episode) prior.

NBC finished in third place and the most noteworthy development was the poor performance for new reality series Chopping Block.  The show basically, to be put it bluntly, flopped, averaging less than 4 million viewers and a pultry 1.4 rating among adults 18-49, resulting in a dead-last place finish for the hour.  NBC saw better results for Life at 9:00pm and especially Law & Order at 10:00pm, but overall, it was a poor showingn for a struggling network.

ABC aired just one original program last night, the already-canceled Life on Mars in the 10:00pm time period.  Without the benefit of a Lost lead-in, the show dipped by double-digits and fell to below 5 million viewers and just a 1.5 rating in A18-49 rating.

That leaves us with The CW.  Week two of the new season of America’s Next Top Model did very well for the network, drawing nearly 4.5 million viewers and improving upon last week’s numbers.  The show also easily bested NBC’s premiere of Chopping Block in the hour and was very competitive (in A18-49 rating) with the two 8:00pm CBS comedies The New Adventures of Old Christine and Gary Unmarried. The viewer number reflected in the chart above is misleading due to a miserably performing 90210 repeat (which averaged just a touch over 1 million viewers) at 9:00pm.

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

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Skeet Ulrich ‘Back’ At CBS March 12, 2009 1:00 am

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in CBS, News, Television.
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skeetulrich-031209Jericho star Skeet Ulrich is back at CBS, landing a role as the lead in the network’s drama pilot Back.  From CBS Paramount, Back centers on a man (Ulrich) who returns home to discover he was reported missing eight years earlier, after September 11th.  He must reconnect with his family and a world that has moved on without him.

The pilot’s script was written by Dean Widenmann who will be executive producing with producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (Hairspray).  Mark Pellington is directing.

Cold Case and Without a Trace In Danger of Cancellation? March 11, 2009 8:03 pm

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in CBS, News, Television.
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coldcase-031109This may surprise some folks.  Multiple sources confirm to Michael Ausiello of EW that CBS has informed the producers of both Cold Case and Without a Trace are facing possible cancellation come May.:

“They no longer have the type of ratings that justify the massive overhead,” points out an Eye source, who adds that the Trace and Case bean counters at Warner Bros. are looking for ways to trim costs and avoid getting the axe. That includes convincing the casts of both shows to take salary cuts — or at the very least forfeit their annual raises.

Even if they can negotiate some of those changes, Ausiello’s insider stresses that “it’s not a given that either show will be back.” Reps for CBS and Warner Bros. declined to comment for this story.

The issue with both shows ratings, and many of CBS’s other shows as well, is that while they often average solid total viewer averages, they rate lower among the key A18-49 demographic.

CBS Orders Four Additional Scripts for ‘Mother’; Renewal Likely March 11, 2009 6:29 pm

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in CBS, News, Nielsen TV Ratings, Television.
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howimetyourmother-031109CBS has ordered four additional scripts for its comedy series How I Met Your Mother, a very positive first sign towards the likeilhood of the show receiving a renewal for next season.

The scripts are for the 2009-10 season and will give the show’s producers an opportunity to get a head start on the fifth season.  So yeah, it’s extremely likely that the show is coming back for another season.

In recent years a renewal has been much more in doubt, but the show, coupled with lead-in The Big Bang Theory, has helped put the network in a dominant position on Monday nights

The network is rumored to be in discussions with Warner Bros. (who produces the shows) over multiseason renewals for fellow Monday night comedies The Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men as well as another comedy on the network, The New Adventures of Old Christine, which is just a few episodes away from tallying up enough episodes for syndication.

If you’re interested, full season ratings data for the three key Monday night comedies (The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother and Two and a Half Men) follows after the jump. (more…)