The Programming Insider: Wednesday 2/25/04

Marc Berman

FEBRUARY 25, 2004 -

Primetime Metered Market Ratings

Tuesday 2/24/04

Primetime Metered Market Ratings

Note: Fast affiliate ratings were not available at press time.

-Yesterday's Winners:
American Idol (Fox), America's Next Top Model (UPN), Law & Order: SVU (NBC)

-Also Worthy of a Positive Mention:
Frasier (NBC), Super Millionaire (ABC), Judging Amy (CBS)

-Yesterday's Losers:
8 Simple Rules (ABC), Whoopi (NBC), Happy Family (NBC), I'm With Her (ABC),

-American Idol Update:
In a considerably better show than last week, the two obvious standouts were LaToya London and Leah LaBelle. How do you like that? A new LaToya and a new LaBelle! Worst overall was Jonah Moananu while "pen salesman" Jon Peter Lewis gets my vote for the dumbest after performance interview. Since personality is almost as important as the performance itself he totally blew it.

-Ratings Breakdown:
As expected, Fox led the Tuesday troops with its combination of American Idol (#1 for the evening: 16.3/23) and 24 (#3: 7.5/10) 32 percent above second place CBS. Once the nationals are released, however, CBS is expected to dip to fourth for the evening among adults 18-49 following Fox, NBC and ABC.

Second in the 8 p.m. hour (based on the overnights) was CBS' reliable Navy NCIS (9.0/13) followed by NBC sitcoms Whoopi (5.8/ 8) and Happy Family (4.7/ 7), ABC sitcoms 8 Simple Rules (5.6/ 8) and I'm With Her (4.5/ 6), the WB's Gilmore Girls (4.8/ 7), and One On One and All Of Us (3.5/ 5) on UPN.

Navy NCIS' still potent performance opposite American Idol is similar to former occupant (and parent show) JAG against ABC's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire in its heyday. Yes - there is nothing wrong with an alternative for older skewing viewers.

At 9 p.m., CBS' on-the-fence The Guardian (8.3/12) was first in the overnights followed by NBC's Frasier (8.7/12) and Scrubs (7.1/10), Fox's aforementioned 24 (7.5/11), ABC's According To Jim (6.5/ 9) and Less Than Perfect (5.9/ 8), UPN's America's Next Top Model (6.1/ 9) and the WB's One Tree Hill (4.2/ 6). Once the nationals are released, of course, The Guardian will fall to the number four spot among adults 18-49.

As for America's Next Top Model, growth of 74 percent out of All Of Us and a 45 percent advantage over the competing One Tree Hill keeps the red-hot reality hour in the winner's circle.

At 10 p.m., although ABC's Super Millionaire leveled off to a third place 9.4/14 in night three (with an expected second place finish among adults 18-49), the game show was up 59 percent from lead-in Less Than Perfect with a 24 percent advantage over the regularly scheduled NYPD Blue last Tuesday (7.6/11 on Feb. 17).

First in the 10 p.m. hour in the overnights was NBC's Law & Order: SVU (11.9/18) followed by Judging Amy (9.7/15).

Source: Nielsen Media Research

Looking for National Ratings in Primetime for the Week of Feb. 16?

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Feb. 2004 Sweep-to-Date Ratings:
CBS and NBC Lead the Troops

With 19 days of available data, CBS remains first in households and viewers, NBC has increased its lead among adults 18-49, and the two networks are now tied in adults 25-54. Elsewhere, it's more of the same with ABC in the number four spot, ABC, Fox and the WB on the downside, and UPN in a better place thanks to America's Next Top Model.

What follows are the ratings from Thursday, Feb. 5 through Sunday, Feb. 23, 2004 (with change versus the comparable year-ago period in parentheses):

CBS: 9.4/15 (+ 8), NBC: 8.0/13 (- 2), ABC: 5.7/ 9 (-15), Fox: 5.5/ 9 (-21), UPN: 2.6/ 4 (+ 8), WB: 2.6/ 4 (- 7)

-Total Viewers:
CBS: 14.82 million (+12), NBC: 12.44 (- 1), Fox: 9.05
(-24), ABC: 8.82 (-17), WB: 3.96 (-13), UPN: 3.89 (+ 7)

-Adults 18-49:
NBC: 5.0/13 (no change), CBS: 4.5/12 (+18), Fox: 3.9/10
(-30), ABC: 3.1/ 8 (-21), UPN: 1.6/ 4 (+ 7), WB: 1.6/ 4

-Adults 25-54:
CBS: 5.6/13 (+17), NBC: 5.6/13 (- 2), Fox: 3.9/ 9 (-28), ABC: 3.6/ 9 (-20), UPN: 1.7/ 4 (+13), WB: 1.7/ 4 (-11)

Source: Nielsen Media Research

On the Air Tonight:
Primetime Programming Options

Wednesday 2/25/04
Night 21 of the Feb. 2004 sweeps

My Wife and Kids, It's All Relative, The Bachelorette (two-hour season finale)

60 Minutes II, King of Queens, Everybody Loves Raymond (R), 48 Hours Investigates

The Apprentice (R), The West Wing, Law & Order

That'70s Show, American Idol, The O.C.

Star Trek: Enterprise, America's Next Top Model

Smallville, Angel

TV Tidbits:
Notes Of Interest

-Record High Ratings for Sex and the City:
As expected, the final episode of HBO's Sex and the City on Sunday reached a record 10.6 million viewers - 2.7 million (or 34 percent) more than the previous high of 7.9 million. Comparatively, that was the cable net's biggest audience since the fourth season premiere of The Sopranos in September 2002.

-Sopranos Fans Take Note:
After a 15-month absence, there are only 11 days left until its return on March 7.

-Home Delivery Clearance Update:
Upcoming first-run strip Home Delivery from Universal Television has been cleared in 80 percent of the country, with clearances to-date in 45 of the top 50 markets.

-Speaking of Clearances:
Tribune Entertainment's Family Feud has been upgraded on WNYW in New York from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. ET.

-Pax Scores on Sunday:
The Making of the Passion of the Christ, a one-hour special based on Mel Gibson's upcoming controversial movie on the last 12 hours of the life of Christ, averaged a 2.0 national household rating with 3.1 million viewers this past Sunday, Feb. 22 at 9 p.m. ET. Comparatively, that was Pax's second highest rated program ever. Lead-out Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye at 10 p.m. scored an above average 1.2 rating (more than doubling the time period's season-to-date average), while lead-in Doc at 8 p.m. hit a season high 1.5.

-Iron Chef America: Battle of the Masters on Food Network:
In an original series of specials airing April 23-25, Food Network will present Iron Chef America: Battle of the Masters, which pits some of America's favorite chefs (Bobby Flay, Mario Batali and Wolfgang Puck) against the food wizardry of Iron Chefs Masaharu Morimoto and Hiroyuki Sakai. Celebrity judges will include Paige Davis (Trading Spaces), Dennis Franz (NYPD Blue) and Vincent Pastore of The Sopranos.

-TV Land Awards: A Celebration of Classic TV:
If you think awards season is over after the Oscars, guess again as TV Land and Nick-at-Nite will simultaneously unveil the second annual TV Land Awards: A Celebration of Classic TV on Wednesday, March 17 at 9 p.m. ET. Presented by Revlon and hosted by Everybody Loves Raymond's Brad Garrett, The TV Land Awards will feature names in the caliber of Mary Tyler Moore, Andy Griffith, Marlo Thomas and Danny DeVito with special awards to The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Andy Griffith Show and Gilligan's Island.

-Speaking of TV Land:
Larry W. Jones, the ultimate fan of classic television who has been instrumental leading the TV Land and Nick-at-Nite brands, has been promoted to the newly created position of President, TV Land and Nick at Nite.

Academy Award Predictions:
Best Actress

-The Nominees:
Keisha Castle-Hughes (Whale Rider)
Diane Keaton (Something's Gotta Give)
Samantha Morton (In America)
Charlize Theron (Monster)
Naomi Watts (21 Grams)

-Who Should Win:
Naomi Watts

-Who Will Win:
Charlize Theron

Although Oscar loves a comeback story (and wouldn't Diane Keaton's acceptance speech be a hoot?) it looks like the already multi-honored Charlize Theron's will pull a Halle Berry and give a very well dressed and teary-eyed acceptance speech. As good as Theron was playing Aileen "Lee" Wuaronos in Monster, the under-the-radar Naomi Watts in 21 Grams seemed like she actually was Cristina Peck. Even so, more notoriety for Theron makes her the actress to beat. Don't worry Keisha and Samantha - you've got plenty of time to practice your eventual acceptance speech.

TV Trivia Time:
No Spin-Offs in This House

Which one of the following shows was not spun-off from another series?

a) Apple's Way
b) Checking In
c) Enos
d) Grady
e) Roxie

The answer to yesterday's trivia question:

Which one of the following shows was not based in Los Angeles?

a) Cagney & Lacey
b) It's Like, You Know
c) Making a Living
d) Medical Center
e) South Central

Is a) Cagney & Lacey. Although the 1982-88 CBS crime drama was supposed to be set in New York, look closely and you'll see an occasional palm tree in the background.

Current kudos go to:
Bruce Abbott, Jr., Jay Bobbin, Marshall Boone, Brenda Bos, Carol Callahan, Dave Carfolite, Adam Clay, Audrey Davis, Michael Eisman, Nancy Eisner, Karen Gardner, John Gaston, Paula Graham, Vicky Gregorian, John Harper, Brad Hight, David Jackino, Ernest Jones, Mary Kinoshita, Alan Klein, Lyle Merdler, Christina Monaghan, Tony Naldrett, Rosemary Palmer, Alan Perris, Fern Peters, Gary Press, Francine Purcell, Gordon Purcell, Andrea Regusters, Steve Rogan, Gary Rogers, Colleen Roth, Betsy Russell, Neal Sabin, Mary Sagal, Lucy Saidel, Luigi Sgambettera, Trey Snow, Anthony Taylor, Margaret Thomas, Myndi Weinraub, Lora Wiley, Tracie Williams


Media Outlook 2008
It has become a standard assumption among prognosticators of media investment that presidential contests and the Olympics will "lift all boats" every four years. For media already on a roll--network TV, digital, out-of-home--the outlook for 2008 is, indeed, full steam ahead. But deep-pocketed White House aspirants and the overhyped, overprogrammed quadrennial games will do little to turn vessels running aground, forecasters concur.

Fox Taps Murphy for Queen B
NBC Turns to Burnett for New Game Show
ABC Dances to Win Again; Fox's House Open for Business
Nielsen to Run MTV Tr3s Ratings
Comcast Wires HGTV, Food Net For HD
GolTV to Report Ratings Via Nielsen
Firebrand to Launch Oct. 22
Prevention, HealthiNation Ink Web Video Pact
Goodby, Silverstein Nab MIXX Honors
Us Weekly to Up Cover Price
Traditional Home Searching for Publisher
Self Expands Cancer Awareness
Rap Artists, Record Execs Defend Hip-Hop
Interep Forms New Local Focus Div.
Jones' Adult Power Tops RADAR Rankings
Nielsen to Audit Kiptronic's Ad Delivery Data
Experian Launches ELMS Service
Nielsen Creates New Social Networking Site


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