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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://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    Janice, CBS could have just launced BB in a few weeks and made more money in the meanwhile by rerunning repeats of Two and a Half Men. The goal is to maximize your shows. They didn't.

  • 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.

  • Mark

    I don't think CBS is putting BB on to get ratings. I think it's just an easy, cheap way to get original programming on the air. Right now the show seems to just exist to fill holes in the schedule — even if that means going up against American Idol twice a week.
    If CBS really wanted big numbers from BB, they would have never debuted it in the exact same timeslot as AI. With that said, I'm very interested to see the DVR numbers.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    Janice, CBS could have just launced BB in a few weeks and made more money in the meanwhile by rerunning repeats of Two and a Half Men. The goal is to maximize your shows. They didn’t.

  • Mark

    I don’t think CBS is putting BB on to get ratings. I think it’s just an easy, cheap way to get original programming on the air. Right now the show seems to just exist to fill holes in the schedule — even if that means going up against American Idol twice a week.
    If CBS really wanted big numbers from BB, they would have never debuted it in the exact same timeslot as AI. With that said, I’m very interested to see the DVR numbers.

  • janice

    If they had pushed the launch any further it wouldnt have had much of a break before the summer edition. I dont think they had much of a choice. I cant see them moving the show around too much though. I maybe see them moving it against Moment of Truth on Wednesdays where it may hav a better chance until Idol moves back there in a few weeks.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    You guys talk about things as if the goal wasn't to make as much money as possible. If reruns of Two and a Half Men, CSI, NCIS, etc., would all be cheaper and make you more money (more viewers), why would you do something ELSE? Hubris? Of course they had another choice. They have another choice right now: put on programs that attract more viewers. They KNOW their reruns will attract more viewers, even in the 18-49 demo. Why wouldn't they do that?

  • janice

    If they had pushed the launch any further it wouldnt have had much of a break before the summer edition. I dont think they had much of a choice. I cant see them moving the show around too much though. I maybe see them moving it against Moment of Truth on Wednesdays where it may hav a better chance until Idol moves back there in a few weeks.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    You guys talk about things as if the goal wasn’t to make as much money as possible. If reruns of Two and a Half Men, CSI, NCIS, etc., would all be cheaper and make you more money (more viewers), why would you do something ELSE? Hubris? Of course they had another choice. They have another choice right now: put on programs that attract more viewers. They KNOW their reruns will attract more viewers, even in the 18-49 demo. Why wouldn’t they do that?

  • ummmm

    Would reruns of those shows really be cheaper or less profitable than a new season of Big Brother?

    I mean it's not like they pay the houseguests much of anything at all, and CBS has to make something off those live feeds.

    Sure BB and American Idol have a very similar audience so it's tough, but I think this was clearly only meant to serve as filler in the event of a prolonged writer's strike and that's why this may be an abbreviated season.

  • ummmm

    Ugh. I mean would they really be cheaper or MORE profitable than running a new season of Big Brother (in terms of what they'd have to pay in residuals and things).

  • ummmm

    Would reruns of those shows really be cheaper or less profitable than a new season of Big Brother?

    I mean it’s not like they pay the houseguests much of anything at all, and CBS has to make something off those live feeds.

    Sure BB and American Idol have a very similar audience so it’s tough, but I think this was clearly only meant to serve as filler in the event of a prolonged writer’s strike and that’s why this may be an abbreviated season.

  • ummmm

    Ugh. I mean would they really be cheaper or MORE profitable than running a new season of Big Brother (in terms of what they’d have to pay in residuals and things).

  • Rob

    It will be very interesting to see how CBS responds to using a relatively weak (by regular season standards) summer franchise like Big Brother in a really competitive landscape as the reruns end by early April. Already, two of BB's twists are already over! The secret lovers revealed their secret in only the second (?) episode (!), and the ex-lovers were evicted in the second episode. The producers must be scrambling to figure out what to do next. They need to inject some new contestants into the house–fast.

  • Dan

    Good riddance CM. Please ABC dump the show. Bring back MIT

  • Rob

    It will be very interesting to see how CBS responds to using a relatively weak (by regular season standards) summer franchise like Big Brother in a really competitive landscape as the reruns end by early April. Already, two of BB’s twists are already over! The secret lovers revealed their secret in only the second (?) episode (!), and the ex-lovers were evicted in the second episode. The producers must be scrambling to figure out what to do next. They need to inject some new contestants into the house–fast.

  • Dan

    Good riddance CM. Please ABC dump the show. Bring back MIT

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    Ummmmm — if the ratings for the reruns performed as well or only as close to as well as Big Brother it would likely be a wash in the final analysis. But I believe the reruns would significantly outperform BB ratings wise in those timeslots so significantly as to easily be more profitable.

    But still, that's merely conjecture and speculation on my part. I don't have enough real data to do more than speculate.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    Ummmmm — if the ratings for the reruns performed as well or only as close to as well as Big Brother it would likely be a wash in the final analysis. But I believe the reruns would significantly outperform BB ratings wise in those timeslots so significantly as to easily be more profitable.

    But still, that’s merely conjecture and speculation on my part. I don’t have enough real data to do more than speculate.

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