Sanjaya falls, Fox soars

'Idol', 'House' capture the week

The swan song for Sanjaya kept Fox rolling in primetime last week.

Net captured its 11th consecutive week in the adults 18-49 demo thanks to two nights of “American Idol,” while its “House” was the frame’s top scripted program.

Wednesday’s “Idol” results show, in which Sanjaya Malakar’s long and unlikely run came to an end, was easily the week’s No. 1 show. Either the Tuesday or Wednesday edition of “Idol” has been the top program every week but one (Super Bowl week in early February) since the megahit kicked off its season in mid-January.

Overall, Fox easily prevailed in primetime in key demos for the April 16-22 sesh, although ABC was a solid second in most categories and the only net to improve upon its performance vs. the same week a year ago.

Nielsen reported that Fox averaged a 3.9 rating/12 share in adults 18-49, followed by ABC (3.3/9), CBS (2.6/7), NBC (2.1/6), Univision (1.7/5) and CW (1.3/4). Weak showing for the Peacock repped another historic low.

Fox also won in adults 25-54 (4.3/11) and persons 12-34 (3.4/11) while moving ahead of CBS to notch a victory in total viewers (10.3 million).

Fox, which has opened up some breathing room on CBS for the season lead in adults 18-49 (4.0 rating to 3.8), delivered the week’s biggest night on Tuesday with its combo of “American Idol” (10.2 rating/28 share in adults 18-49, 26.55 million viewers overall) and “House” (9.1/22, 22.41m).

For the season, “House” is up nearly 30% vs. its 18-49 average of a year ago, last week retaining a best-yet 89% of its “Idol” lead-in among the 18-49 crowd and 97% among those 18-34.

One night later, the “Idol” results show dominated the 9 o’clock hour (11.2/28 in 18-49, 28.93m), topping the combined ABC-CBS-NBC-CW-Univision 18-49 delivery by 11%.

Also contributing for Fox were Thursday gamer “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader” (3.3/10, 10.10m) and Saturday’s NASCAR race from Phoenix (2.7/9, 7.02m).

ABC captured Monday, Thursday, Friday (tied with CBS) and Sunday in 18-49, led by usual drama suspects “Grey’s Anatomy” (8.7/23 in 18-49, 21.12m), “Desperate Housewives” (6.1/15, 15.91m) and “Lost” (5.3/14, 12.08m). Latter beat the combined repeat 18-49 scores for timeslot drama rivals “CSI: NY” and “Medium” and logged its best 18-34 average in six weeks (5.3/14).

Sandwiching “Grey’s Anatomy” on Thursday, rookie “Ugly Betty” (3.0/9 in 18-49, 9.46m) posted its lowest firstrun scores to date on Thursday, while “October Road” (4.1/12, 9.60m) led its hour in demos to improve its chances of returning in the fall.

Setting the pace Monday was “Dancing With the Stars” (5.1/13, 18.87m), while the reality competish’s results show placed second in its Tuesday slot (4.2/10, 16.54m).

CBS was led by Monday’s “CSI: Miami” (4.8/12, 15.36m) and Thursday’s “Survivor: Fiji” (4.5/13, 13.33m), while some of its other key shows — “CSI,” “NCIS,” “Criminal Minds” and “Ghost Whisperer” — were in repeats or preempted.

On Sunday, “The Amazing Race” was competitive with one of its season’s final episodes (2.8/8, 8.69m), but Hallmark Hall of Fame movie “Crossroads” (2.3/6, 10.66m) came in below the demo averages of regular-slot occupants “Cold Case” and “Without a Trace.”

It was another quiet week for NBC without “Heroes,” while “ER” (3.8/11 in 18-49, 9.31m) was again on the low end Thursday and the Friday tandem of “Identity” (1.4/5, 4.91m) and “Raines” (1.3/4, 5.85m) was weak.

Showing some spunk on Wednesday was improv laffer “Thank God You’re Here” (2.7/8 in 18-49, 7.04m), which narrowly led the 8 o’clock hour in 18-49. And “The Apprentice” capped its lowest-rated season Sunday with a timeslot demo victory (3.2/8m 7.98m), the show’s best average since its Jan. 7 preem.

The CW was paced as usual by Wednesday’s “America’s Next Top Model” (2.6/8, 5.20m), which nearly won its hour in 18-49 while prevailing in adults 18-34 (3.2/10). Net was also bolstered by the first original episodes in a while for “Gilmore Girls” (1.7/5, 3.79m) and “Smallville” (1.7/5, 3.98m).

Disney Channel moved to the primetime lead in total viewers among basic cable nets (2.53 million). Friday’s back-to-back original episodes of “The Suite Life of Zack & Cody” averaged about 4.5 million viewers and ranked as the week’s No. 1 basic cable telecast among tweens 9-14.

Of note on Sunday: ESPN’s early-season baseball telecast of the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees (2.1/6 in 18-49, 5.48m) topped TNT’s pair of NBA primetime playoff games (1.4/4 in 18-49, 3.05 million for Golden State-Dallas and 1.3/4, 3.14m for San Antonio-Denver).

The baseball game edged out a 2004 contest between the rivals (5.26 million) to become ESPN’s most-watched “Sunday Night Baseball” game to date.

Also strong on the night was Discovery, which topped 5 million viewers for its two “Planet Earth” specs on caves and forests.


On Monday of the current week, NBC’s reality entry “The Real Wedding Crashers” opened with nothing-special results (2.9/8 in 18-49, 6.74m), placing third at 10 p.m. behind CBS’ “CSI: Miami” (5.2/14, 17.03m) and the final hour of ABC’s “The Bachelor” (3.4/9, 9.13m).

There were softer-than-usual numbers all around, meanwhile, including the return of NBC’s “Heroes” (5.3/13 in 18-49, 11.96m). Although it led its hour in 18-49 and was the night’s top show in the demo, numbers repped its lowest firstrun scores in its strong rookie season.

In the same 9 p.m. hour, CBS’ “Two and a Half Men” (4.0/10, 12.27m) and Fox’s “24” (3.9/9, 10.41m) also hit firstrun season lows; “24” didn’t get much help from new drama “Drive” (1.8/5, 4.60m), which appears to be stalled after a soft week-two perf.

(All Nielsen numbers cited are “Live + same-day,” incorporating live viewing as well as DVR playback until 3 a.m. the following day. Each 18-49 ratings point reps 1.31 million viewers.)

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Scene News from Variety