The Programming Insider -- Wednesday 4/30/03

Marc Berman

APRIL 30, 2003 -

Primetime Metered Market Tuesday Ratings:
Fox Wins; CBS a Comfortable Second

Tuesday 4/29/03

Primetime Metered Market Ratings

-Yesterday's Winners:
American Idol (Fox), Judging Amy (CBS)

-Honorable Mention:
JAG (CBS), Gilmore Girls (WB), Frasier (NBC), 24 (Fox), The Guardian (CBS), Smallville (WB), NYPD Blue (ABC)

-Yesterday's Losers:
NBC's Funniest Outtakes 2, Platinum (UPN), Watching Ellie (NBC), Less Than Perfect (ABC)

-American Idol Update:
Joshua Gracin, get your bags packed. After last night's double dose of mediocrity, it's time for the angry marine to go. Best of the remaining four last night: Trenyce. Most overrated: Ruben Studdard. He was good, but not phenomenal.

-How's This for a Thought?:
Next year at this time we'll probably be hearing promos for upcoming theatrical From Ruben to Kimberley.

-A Bit Predictable, Don't You Think?:
Bad-boy Jess wants more action, sweet Rory isn't ready, good-guy Dean comes to the rescue, a brawl ensues, Rory is in tears. Expect Mama Lorelei to come to the rescue on Gilmore Girls next week.

-Ratings Breakdown:
As expected, Fox's American Idol (13.9/21 from 8-9 p.m.) led the Tuesday troops, besting CBS's competing (and still-potent) JAG (10.0/15) by 39 percent. Although the WB's Gilmore Girls (5.3/8) continues to score despite the reality show juggernaut, ABC comedies 8 Simple Rules (6.0/9) and a repeat of According to Jim (5.3/8) remain negatively impacted. UPN's soon-to-conclude Buffy, the Vampire Slayer averaged a 3.5/5 while 8 p.m. special, NBC's Funniest Outtakes 2, was only slightly better with a 4.6/7. On Pax, a repeat of The Weakest Link (0.7/1) remains the weakest link.

At 9 p.m., the battle of Frasier versus According to Jim fell in NBC's corner with the veteran Frasier at a 9.4/13, 68 percent ahead of ABC's Jim. Growth out of its dead-on-arrival Funniest Outtakes 2 lead-in was a considerable 104 percent for Frasier. Although Frasier tied the first half of Fox's 24, Watching Ellie dipped to a third-place 6.8/10 at 9:30 p.m. Yes, it looks like the Seinfeld curse continues. Remember The Michael Richards Show and Bob Patterson?

Overall, Fox's 24 and CBS's The Guardian tied for first in the 9 p.m. hour with a 9.0/13 each. Of course, once nationals are released 24 will hold a considerable advantage among adults 18-49. As to 24 being labeled as honorable mention instead of a winner, 35 percent erosion from your lead-in will get you every time!

Also at 9 p.m. was the WB's rock-solid Smallville (6.2/9), UPN's quality, but minimally seen, Platinum (2.1/3) and a repeat of Pax's Just Cause (0.7/1). At 9:30 p.m., ABC's humorous Less Than Perfect unfortunately lives up to its title in the ratings with a distant fifth place 5.0/7 -- 11 percent below lead-in According to Jim.

At 10 p.m., CBS favorite Judging Amy remains just that with a 10.5/16 followed ABC's NYPD Blue (8.6/13) and NBC's Dateline (7.2/11). Growth for NYPD Blue out of Less Than Perfect was a considerable 72 percent. On Pax, old faithful Diagnosis Murder scored a 1.0/2.

Source: Nielsen Media Research

National Ratings in Primetime:
Week of April 21, 2003

Following the recent pattern, CBS won the week in households and total viewers, with American Idol-fueled Fox first among adults 18-49 and 18-34. Thanks, in part, to an improved Sunday, CBS's advantage over second-place NBC was a more significant 15 percent in households and 1.65 million viewers. Fox's adult 18-49 lead over NBC was 7 percent.

In terms of momentum, Fox and the WB remain the only two networks with across-the-board growth.

Here are the results by category (with change versus the year-ago week in parentheses).

CBS: 8.5/14 (+2 percent), NBC: 7.4/12 (-6), Fox: 6.3/10 (+31), ABC: 5.7/9 (-7), WB: 2.7/4 (+4), UPN: 2.0/3 (-17)

-Total Viewers:
CBS: 12.67 million (no change), NBC: 11.02 (-6), Fox: 10.29 (+33), ABC: 8.52 (-7), WB: 4.06 (+4), UPN: 3.10 (-16)

Fox: 4.6/13 (+31), NBC: 4.3/12 (-7), CBS: 3.4/10 (-13), ABC: 3.1/9 (-11), WB: 1.8/5 (+8), UPN: 1.3/3 (-13)

Fox: 4.6/15 (+31), NBC: 3.6/12 (-10), ABC: 2.5/8 (-19), CBS: 2.1/7 (-22), WB: 2.0/6 (+ 5), UPN: 1.3/4 (-13)

-Nightly Winners:
Monday -- Viewers: Fox, A18-49: Fox
Tuesday -- Viewers: Fox, A18-49: Fox
Wednesday -- Viewers: NBC, A18-49: Fox
Thursday -- Viewers: NBC, A18-49: NBC
Friday -- Viewers: NBC, A18-49: NBC
Saturday -- Viewers: CBS, A18-49: ABC
Sunday -- Viewers: CBS, A18-49: Fox

Quick Bites:
-NBC had five of the 10 most-watched shows, CBS three and Fox two.
-NBC had six of the top-rated shows among adults 18-49, CBS and Fox two each.
-ABC's most-watched show was Primetime Thursday at #21 with 13.29 million
-Fox won four nights of the week among adults 18-49.
-The wedding of Lucy and Kevin on the WB's 7th Heaven hit a season high with 8.28 million viewers.
-CBS's Sunday Movie, A Painted House, hit a season high 18.28 million viewers (#7) with a 4.0/10 among adults 18-49 (#32)

On the Fence For Next Season:
-Hack (CBS) -- Fri. 9 p.m.: Viewers: 8.52 million (#55), A18-49: 1.8/6 (#93t)
-The Practice (ABC) -- Mon. 9 p.m.: Viewers: 7.59 million (#69), A18-49: 2.7/7 (#60t)
-Watching Ellie (NBC) -- Tues. 9:30 p.m.: Viewers: 7.35 million (#75), A18-49: 2.7/7 (#60t)
-Angel (WB) -- Wed. 9 p.m.: Viewers: 3.71 million (#99), A18-49: 1.9/5 (#90t)
-The Twilight Zone (UPN) -- Wed. 9 p.m.: Viewers: 2.86 million (#106), A18-49: 1.1/3 (#109t)

So Long, Farwell, Arrivederci:
-Touched By an Angel (CBS) -- Sun. 8 p.m.: Viewers: 12.90 (#23), A18-49: 2.8/8 (#56t)
-Sabrina, the Teenage Witch (WB) -- Thurs. 8-9 p.m.: Viewers: 2.57 million (#112), A18-49: 1.0/3 (#112t)

Season or Series Finale:
-Fastlane (Fox) -- Fri. 8 p.m.: Viewers: 4.87 million (#90t), A18-49: 2.3/7 (#74t)
-John Doe (Fox) -- Fri. 9 p.m.: Viewers: 5.80 million (#86), A18-49: 2.2/8 (#78t)

Beat it Already!:
Michael Jackson's Home Videos (Fox) -- Thurs. 8-10 p.m.: Viewers: 7.82 million (#64), A18-49: 3.2/9 (#42t)

Midseason Update:
-American Idol (Fox) -- Tues. 8 p.m.: Viewers: 20.56 million (#4), A18-49: 9.6/27 (#4): Grade: A+

-American Idol (Fox) -- Wed. 8:30 p.m.: Viewers: 19.46 million (#6), A18-49: 9.3/26 (#3): A+

-Mr. Personality (Fox -- premiere): Mon. 9 p.m.: Viewers: 12.18 (#29), A18-49: 5.7/14 (#15t): B+

-Extreme Makeover (ABC) -- Wed. 10:05 p.m.: Viewers: 12.02 #21), A18-49: 5.6/15 (#17): B+

-Star Search (CBS) -- Wed. 8 p.m.: Viewers: 10.71 million (#38), A18-49: 2.7/8 (#60t): B

-Wanda at Large (Fox) -- Wed. 9:30 p.m.: Viewers: 10.28 million (#41), A18-49: 4.9/12 (#24): B

-Star Search (CBS) -- Fri. 8 p.m.: Viewers: 8.78 (#52), A18-49: 2.4/9 (#73): C

-Oliver Beene (Fox) -- Sun. 9:30 p.m: Viewers: 7.87 million (#61), A18-49: 3.5/8 (#39): C

-Dragnet (ABC) -- Sun. 10 p.m.: Viewers: 7.50 (#71), A18-49: 2.8/7 (#56t): D

-America's Most Talented Kid (NBC) -- Fri. 8 p.m.: Viewers: 7.32 million (#77), A18-49: 2.0/7 (#83t): F

-Lost At Home (ABC) -- Tues. 9:30 p.m.: Viewers: 6.79 million (#79), A18-49: 3.0/7 (#50): D

-Hunter (NBC) -- Sat. 9-11 p.m.: Viewers: 5.39 million (#88), A18-49: 1.1/4 (#109t): F

-Platinum (UPN) -- Tues. 9 p.m.: Viewers: 1.76 million (#116), A18-49: 0.9/3 (#114): F

For the week:

-Top 10 Shows in Total Viewers:
CSI (CBS: 25.22 million), ER (NBC: 20.88), Friends (NBC: 20.71), American Idol Tuesday (Fox: 20.56), Friends R (NBC: 20.25), American Idol Wednesday (Fox: 19.46), CBS Sunday Movie: A Painted House (18.28), Survivor: Amazon (CBS: 18.09), Law & Order (NBC: 18.08), Will & Grace (NBC: 17.71)

-Top 10 Shows in Adults 18-49:
ER (NBC: 10.1/26), Friends (NBC: 9.9/30), Friends R (NBC: 9.8/26), American Idol Tuesday (Fox: 9.6/27), Will & Grace (NBC: 9.3/23), American Idol Wednesday (Fox: 9.3/26), CSI (CBS: 9.0/22), Will & Grace Clips Show (NBC: 8.8/21), Survivor: Amazon (CBS: 6.5/19), Law & Order (NBC: 6.4/17)

And the Least-Watched Show of the Week was ... UPN's Platinum at #116 with 1.76 million viewers.


What follows are the top-rated cable networks for the same week in prime time:

-Total Viewers:
Fox News (3.53 million), TNT (2.37 million), CNN (2.69 million), Nickelodeon (2.08 million), Cartoon Network (1.88 million), Lifetime (1.74 million), USA (1.73 million), TBS (1.54 million), ESPN (1.22 million), TLC (1.17 million)

-Adults 18-49:
TNT (1.17 million), Fox News (1.14 million), USA (805,000), TBS (777,000), CNN (769,000), Lifetime (695,000), TLC (680,000), MTV (633,000), FX (569,000), TNN (568,000)

Source: Nielsen Media Research

TNT and TBS in 2003-04:
On the Programming Menu

At an upfront presentation yesterday at restaurant Cipriani in New York, TNT/TBS unveiled the following prime-time programming initiatives for next season.


-Wilder Days (Oct. 2003)
Three generations of one family embark on an odyssey led by a cantankerous grandfather (Peter Falk).

-The Goodbye Girl
Patricia Heaton (Everybody Loves Raymond) and Jeff Daniels (Terms of Endearment) star in this remake of the Neil Simon classic.

-Bad Apple
Chris Noth (Sex and the City) stars in this unconventional look at New York's crime world.

-The Winning Season (2004)
A 12-year-old baseball fan finds a very rare baseball card in mint condition.

-Night Over Water
A group of passengers aboard a luxurious airliner find themselves in a desperate mission to rescue the pilot's wife after Nazis kidnap her.

-Word of Honor
A devoted family man is accused of a murderous atrocity that occurred 30 years earlier while he was a lieutenant in Vietnam.

Upcoming TNT broadcast premiere titles will include:
Proof of Life (June), Pay It Forward (July), The Wedding Planner (July), Sweet November (October), The Gift (October), Angel Eyes (October), Driven (November), Swordfish (November), Along Came a Spider (December)

-Caesar (Aug. 2003)
A look at the remarkable life of the celebrated Roman general and statesman.

-Stephen King's Salem's Lot (2004)
A journalist (Rob Lowe) returns to his hometown to research the mysteries of memories that have haunted him since childhood.



In addition to extending the broadcast rights to Seinfeld through 2011, TBS will offer the following prime-time programming options:

-House Rules (Fall 2003)
Three teams of remodelers are pitted against each other in a high-stakes competition.

-Ripley's Believe it or Not (Wed. 9 p.m. ET)
11 additional episodes have been ordered.

-Evil Never Dies (June 2003)
A widowed cop's executed killer has been resurrected by a college professor.

-Red Water (August 2003)
A deadly bull shark terrorizes the inhabitants of a small Louisiana town and the crewmembers of a drilling barge.

-National Lampoon's Thanksgiving Family Reunion (Nov. 2003)
An old-fashioned Thanksgiving family dinner goes awry thanks to some newly discovered cousins.

Upcoming TBS broadcast premiere titles will include:
Bait (May 4, 2003), The Patriot (June 8, 2003), Little Nicky (July 27, 2003), Save the Last Dance (Oct. 2003), Down To Earth (Oct. 2003), See Spot Run (Oct. 2003), Exit Wounds (Nov. 2003), Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles (Dec. 2003), Rush Hour 2 (1Q 2004), O' Brother, Where Art Thou? (2Q 2004), Rat Race (3Q 2004), Zoolander (2Q 2004), A Knight's Tale (2Q 2004), Ghosts of Mars (2Q 2004), Lara Croft: Tomb Rider (3Q 2004), A Walk To Remember (3Q 2004), Galaxy Quest (4Q 2004), The Haunting (4Q 2004), Showtime (4Q 2004)

On the Air Tonight:
Primetime Programming Options

Wednesday 4/30/03
Night Seven of the May 2003 Sweeps

My Wife and Kids, George Lopez, The Bachelor, Extreme Makeover

Star Search, 60 Minutes II, 48 Hours Investigates

Dateline, The West Wing, Law & Order

American Idol (one hour), Bernie Mac, Wanda At Large (season finale)

Enterprise, The Twilight Zone

Dawson's Creek, Angel

Guest Star Alert:
-Matthew Perry on The West Wing

TV Tidbits:
Notes of Interest

-Live-Love-Laugh at WE:
With the goal to help women relax and recharge through its programming initiative, cable net WE: Women's Entertainment will unveil Live-Love-Laugh, the next phase of its multi-tiered marketing effort. Featured will be a trade ad campaign, an outdoor presence in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago and music by The B52s and Atlantic Records newcomer Lucy Woodward.

-Momentum Continues at Cartoon Network:
Based on ratings for April, Cartoon Network ended the month first among both kids 2-11 (1.14 million) and kids 6-11 (691,000) in prime time. Thanks, in part, to Futurama and the off-net premiere of Family Guy, the network's Adult Swim franchise ranked first in its time period (Sun.-Thurs. 11 p.m.-2 a.m.) in all of cable in men 18-34 and men 18-24.

TV Trivia Time:
It's Drama Week

Which of the following five characters was not on ER when the medical drama first began?

a) Peter Benton
b) Jeanie Boulet
c) Carol Hathaway
d) Susan Lewis
e) David Morgenstern

The answer to yesterday's question ...

Which of the following actors known for his current role in a sitcom won an Emmy for a guest performance on The X-Files?

a) Peter Boyle
b) Bryan Cranston
c) Alex Desert
d) David Alan Grier
e) Sean Hayes

... is: a) Peter Boyle. Although four nominations in the comedy supporting actor category for Raymond has yet to lead to a win, the obviously versatile Boyle took home a trophy in 1996 for playing Clyde Bruckman in X-Files episode "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose".

The X-Files airs weekdays on TNT at 5 p.m. ET.

Current kudos go to:
Carolyn Becker, Doug Benson, Linda Berg, Julie Bestry, Robert Bienvenu, Carolyn Bisson, Gerry Bixenspan, Jay Bobbin, Jordan Breslow, Lillian Buchman, Tina Burke, Perry Casciato, Frederic Chase, Larry Collins, Shelia Collins, Roger Connor, Harold Cooper, Charlie Conner, Kristin Conner, Audrey Davis, Joseph DiVincenzo, Kelly Dolenz, Gary Engel, Phyllis Epstein, John Ferlazzo, David Floyd, Nicholas Fonseca, Ike Garlington, Harold Goetz, Maureen Goldman, John Grafton, Howard Green, Vicky Gregorian, Carolyn Hale, Frances Hammond, Sheila Harris, Dawn Hattie, David Hiltbrand, Valerie Holstein, Miriam Holzman, Amy Horowitz, Seth Howard, Chris Iller, Bob Ingersoll, Joanne Jackson, Greg Janover, Ed Johnson, Maxim Jones, Sandy Jones, Eric Kabakoff, Sue Kendal, Tom Kilgallon, Mary Kinoshita, Kelly Kuindersma, Marie LeFevre, Denise Leon, Jay Liebenguth, Ted Linhart, Alex Mackey, Kathy McClung, Mark Melville, Jim Murphy, Kerry Murphy, Natalie Murray, Mike Natale, Tara Nieves, Patrick O'Brien, Graham Olbur, Aaron Paquette, Dawn Peterson, Alex Petrilli, Greg Phelan, Patrick Preblick, David Primuth, Fran Purcell, Gordon Purcell, Cynthia Qualich, Dan Pasternack, Liza Reich, Michelle Ressy-Zazzera, Steve Robinson, Steve Rogan, Colleen Roth, Joe Rubi, David Ruckman, Betsy Russell, Craig Russell, Doug Schoemer, Julie Schrift, Dina Schultz, Gadi Schultz, Abbe Serphos. Mike Shaw, Brooke Shira, Jeremy Simms, Robert Simmons, Andy Slater, Michele Smolin, Dewayne Snype, Lana Spiegel, Bruce Stone, Benerva Suarez, Joel Thurm, Jonathan Vaden, Molly Walker, Myndi Weinraub, Tracie Williams, James Woll, James Wood, Will York


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comScore Releases 'Marketer'


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