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Nielsen Ratings Wed, Feb 13: Another Idol Moment

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February 14th, 2008

Scoreboard for Weds. Feb. 13, 2008 FOX NBC CBS ABC CW
Total Viewers (million) 19.53 10.10 7.07 6.48 1.28
rating/Share: Adults 18-49 7.9/21 2.7/7 2.0/5 2.5/6 0.6/1

FOX again easily dominates everything, this time with the tandem of American Idol and Moment of Truth.  Although when final numbers for Truth come out they'll be adjusted downward because it also contains the last few minutes of American Idol that ran into the 9pm hour, FOX has a bona fide hit on its hands with Moment of Truth.

Woe is Big Brother! This is where it gets interesting and I think I'll get the opportunity to start being very critical of CBS and an industry which in general, does not seem to want to turn on the dime.  The thing is, they all want to drive the fancy $150,000 sports cars, but in their day jobs?  They maneuver like they're driving a ten wheeled truck. 

CBS has a summer hit with Big Brother.  It's very clear, after only two airings, that it cannot possibly compete in any meaningful way against American Idol.  Indeed it could not compete with Deal or No Deal, or even the abysmal Wife Swap, which ABC will surely cancel.   The thing I am looking for is for CBS to pull Big Brother off the Tuesday and Wednesday night lineup immediately and stick it somewhere else where it has a chance.  Or pull it off the air immediately and taking a week to figure it out.

I am looking for CBS to make some kind of announcement about this before the next airing of Big Brother and if something like that doesn't happen in the next couple of weeks I will be forced to believe that whatever it is CBS values, maximizing profits isn't its top priority.   I can't imagine Sumner Redstone being ok with that, but I guess we'll see.

What would I do with the 8p-9p spot on Tuesdays and Wednesdays?  Reruns of Two and a Half Men, baby!  No doubt.

If you want some bright spots that aren't at FOX, I suppose NBC can crow that Deal or No Deal at least gets WAY more viewers, even up against American Idol than...Jericho gets against a rerun of Law & Order: SVU and ABC can say that at least Supernanny isn't a complete failure.  But if I was an exec at NBC or ABC, "We know we suck, and really, really suck compared to FOX, but, you know what? We could've sucked a little bit worse, and we didn't!" wouldn't exactly leave me brimming with esteem.

See the full night's results:

Time Network Show Viewers (Millons) 18-49 Rating/Share HH Rating
8:00 CBS Big Brother 5.81 2.1/6 3.4
  NBC Deal or No Deal 10.99 2.7/7 7.3
  ABC Wife Swap 5.38 1.9/5 3.6
  CW Americas Next Top Model (Clips Recap, Pt 2) 1.42 0.6/2 1.3
  FOX American Idol 24.59 9.8/25 14.6
           
9:00 FOX Moment of Truth 14.47 6.2/16 9.7
  CBS Criminal Minds (Repeat) 7.75 1.9/5 5.4
  NBC Law & Order: Criminal Intent 9.07 2.5/7 6.3
  ABC Supernanny 8.8 3.6/9 5.9
  CW One Tree Hill (Repeat) 1.14 0.5/1 1
           
10:00 ABC Cashmere Mafia 5.26 2.0/5 3.9
  NBC Law & Order 10.24 3.0/8 7.5
  CBS CSI: NY (Repeat) 7.66 2.1/6 5.6

Nielsen Ratings Source: Nielsen Media Research. Full night's results available via Marc Berman/Mediaweek.

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  • http://www.tvbigshot.com/network/8623/ Jon V

    Thought I'd point out that the Law & Order CI at 9:00pm was actually a rerun (although, not technically since it first ran on USA a couple of weeks ago). What does that say when reruns from cable can get those kind of numbers (even though 'Moment' won the slot)?

    I wondered why NBC 'relegated' L&OCI first runs to cable, but then I realized it was a promotion – like sending one of your best people to go open the 'New Branch' in London. Bill/Robert (when you get a chance), how is that working out for NBC/USA? I don't know enough about the numbers to figure it out.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    Jon, L&O;:CI did very well on USA this fall, you can see it in our Cable top 20s most weeks.

    My understanding was that because of past ratings NBC was unwilling to bring it back this season at an “NBC level” price so that Dick Wolf accepted a “USA level” price which is still likely a hefty chunk of change and significantly better than the “show cancelled” price.

    As to it's relative profitability on USA vs. NBC (which is all that really counts), I have no idea. We just don't get the kind of insider information that would be required to make that call.

  • http://www.tvbigshot.com/network/8623/ Jon V

    Thought I’d point out that the Law & Order CI at 9:00pm was actually a rerun (although, not technically since it first ran on USA a couple of weeks ago). What does that say when reruns from cable can get those kind of numbers (even though ‘Moment’ won the slot)?

    I wondered why NBC ‘relegated’ L&OCI first runs to cable, but then I realized it was a promotion – like sending one of your best people to go open the ‘New Branch’ in London. Bill/Robert (when you get a chance), how is that working out for NBC/USA? I don’t know enough about the numbers to figure it out.

  • http://www.tvbigshot.com/network/8623/ Jon V

    Top ratings on USA and then good rerun numbers on the mothership… I'd say LOCI (one of my favorites) and other such cross-network arrangements will be a big topic of discussion between DW and GE in the off season.

    The flagship status of LOCI (and Monk) and all of the cross-advertising they bring, surely pays off on the bottom line – for both Wolf and GenElec, etal.

  • Jan Cedarpond

    CBS should know better than to put Big Brother up against A.I. Both are great shows but Idol puts a lot more at stake, Idol gets hot new recording artists discovered and sold. What similar good work does Big Brother do?
    I like both shows, but if bother air at the same time there's no question which one I'll be watching. Idol. Just as I have every season from the beginning.
    Sure Big Brother is really entertaining, but get a clue peoplem don't put it on the air at the same time as Idol. Nobody's gonna watch.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    Jon, L&O:CI did very well on USA this fall, you can see it in our Cable top 20s most weeks.

    My understanding was that because of past ratings NBC was unwilling to bring it back this season at an “NBC level” price so that Dick Wolf accepted a “USA level” price which is still likely a hefty chunk of change and significantly better than the “show cancelled” price.

    As to it’s relative profitability on USA vs. NBC (which is all that really counts), I have no idea. We just don’t get the kind of insider information that would be required to make that call.

  • http://www.tvbigshot.com/network/8623/ Jon V

    Top ratings on USA and then good rerun numbers on the mothership… I’d say LOCI (one of my favorites) and other such cross-network arrangements will be a big topic of discussion between DW and GE in the off season.

    The flagship status of LOCI (and Monk) and all of the cross-advertising they bring, surely pays off on the bottom line – for both Wolf and GenElec, etal.

  • Jan Cedarpond

    CBS should know better than to put Big Brother up against A.I. Both are great shows but Idol puts a lot more at stake, Idol gets hot new recording artists discovered and sold. What similar good work does Big Brother do?
    I like both shows, but if bother air at the same time there’s no question which one I’ll be watching. Idol. Just as I have every season from the beginning.
    Sure Big Brother is really entertaining, but get a clue peoplem don’t put it on the air at the same time as Idol. Nobody’s gonna watch.

  • Rob

    Once Idol settles into its normal time slot on Tuesdays at 8 and Wednesdays at 9, Big Brother will no longer be competing with “Idol” (except if it runs special 2 hour broadcasts). CBS knows that even in the summer with little competition, Big Brother just pulls in 7 million folks, which is just fine for summer. I dont think CBS expected Big Brother to suddenly attract historic high audiences just because it is airing in the winter. I suspect this is what CBS knew it would get.

  • http://bigbrother9.com Sherry Alexander

    This is x-rated and not even interesting. Put different aged people and individuals on the show or just drop it. I have loved it but won't be watching this one.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    I disagree Rob. Once Idol settles doesn't happen soon enough and by that logic to maximize BB, CBS should have waited a month to launch BB. It isn't killing in the 18-49, and in the summer it can at least make that claim.

    CBS would do better agains Idol with just about any of its reruns, pick one (2.5 Men, NCIS, CSI; Miami, CSI: NY, CSI, Without a Trace, etc), since the goal IS to make money, not to have the biggest cajones even when having big cajones is a stupid proposition for making money.

    CBS is neither serving itself, or the BB franchise well with this move.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    I think CBS was worried about the strike and pulled in BB because it was doable. That said, I think they could have set it's timeslot a bit better.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    Since I haven't watched this installment, it could be as Sherry states that this BB just sucks under any circumstance. I concede that is a possibility I hadn't considered.

  • Rob

    Once Idol settles into its normal time slot on Tuesdays at 8 and Wednesdays at 9, Big Brother will no longer be competing with “Idol” (except if it runs special 2 hour broadcasts). CBS knows that even in the summer with little competition, Big Brother just pulls in 7 million folks, which is just fine for summer. I dont think CBS expected Big Brother to suddenly attract historic high audiences just because it is airing in the winter. I suspect this is what CBS knew it would get.

  • http://bigbrother9.com Sherry Alexander

    This is x-rated and not even interesting. Put different aged people and individuals on the show or just drop it. I have loved it but won’t be watching this one.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    I disagree Rob. Once Idol settles doesn’t happen soon enough and by that logic to maximize BB, CBS should have waited a month to launch BB. It isn’t killing in the 18-49, and in the summer it can at least make that claim.

    CBS would do better agains Idol with just about any of its reruns, pick one (2.5 Men, NCIS, CSI; Miami, CSI: NY, CSI, Without a Trace, etc), since the goal IS to make money, not to have the biggest cajones even when having big cajones is a stupid proposition for making money.

    CBS is neither serving itself, or the BB franchise well with this move.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    I think CBS was worried about the strike and pulled in BB because it was doable. That said, I think they could have set it’s timeslot a bit better.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    Since I haven’t watched this installment, it could be as Sherry states that this BB just sucks under any circumstance. I concede that is a possibility I hadn’t considered.

  • janice

    CBS scheduled BB in those slots a long time ago Knowing that Idol usually airs at 8 on Tuesdays and 9 on wednesdays. Fox then went ahead and supersized Idol on Tuesdays on purpose. Then they scheduled Idol on Wednesdays at 8 for the next few weeks again on purpose to combat BB.

    Once Idol goes to its regular time slots in the next 2 weeks BB will surely gain viewers. Plus BB has always grown in numbers as the season goes on.

  • Morgan

    I love both AI and BB and I thank god for dvr! Given the choice of which to watch live, i chose BB this time but will most likely DVR BB and watch AI live since hollywood week is over.
    Personally, I think BB should be moved to the weekend.. fri and sat nights would be good.

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