'Surviving Suburbia' gets ho-hum results

A weekend boost from college basketball and country crooners carried CBS to a close second-place finish among young adults last week.

CBS also moved to the lead in its target age range of adults 25-54, edging Fox for its first victory in this demo since mid-January. This was a category CBS won most weeks in the fourth quarter, and it and Fox are now tied for the season — just about the only demo that Fox hasn’t long wrapped up.

The Eye wasn’t just about specials, though, as it aired a whopping seven of the week’s top 10 scripted programs in adults 18-49, according to Nielsen. In the end, though, CBS came up a bit short in its attempt to top “American Idol”-fueled Fox in adults 18-49.

Fox led with a 3.6 rating/10 share to a 3.4/10 for CBS. They were followed by NBC (2.4/7), ABC (2.1/6), Univision (1.7/5) and CW and USA (both at 1.0/3).

CBS slipped past Fox in adults 25-54 (4.2/11 to 4.1/10) and dominated in total viewers (12.45 million to 9.67 million for runner-up Fox), while Fox still held sway among the younger 12-34 crowd (2.8/9 to 2.1/7 for CBS).

Leading the way for CBS were top-5 finishers “Two and a Half Men” (5.2/13 in 18-49, 14.56m) and college basketball on Saturday (5.1/17 in 18-49, 14.45m for the North Carolina-Villanova men’s semifinal game).

Sunday’s “Academy of Country Music Awards” won the night (3.8/10, 14.78m) and rose sharply vs. previous years when it aired midweek against “American Idol.” And Wednesday’s April Fool’s Day spec “I Get That a Lot” easily won its hour (3.4/10, 10.35m).

Also for CBS, Tuesday’s combo of “NCIS” (3.5/9 in 18-49, 17.23m) and “The Mentalist” (3.8/9, 16.96m) drew more overall viewers than any scripted programs during the week.

At Fox, “American Idol” easily claimed the week’s top two spots in the rankings with Tuesday’s 86-minute performance program (8.9/23, 24.41m) and Wednesday’s hourlong results show (8.4/21, 24.34m).

Elsewhere, Tuesday spec “Osbournes Reloaded” did OK behind “Idol” (3.7/9, 8.40m), as did Thursday’s “Bones” (2.7/8, 9.25m) and “Hell’s Kitchen” (3.3/8, 6.95m) opposite NBC’s “ER.”

The Peacock medical show, meanwhile, went out as the week’s No. 1 scripted show in 18-49 (6.0/16) — the best delivery for a drama series finale since Fox’s “The X-Files” seven years ago. And its total-viewer count (16.38 million) was the most for a drama farewell since CBS’ “Murder, She Wrote” in 1996.

Other than the “ER” sendoff, there wasn’t much else happening for NBC, as the net was held down by low-rated firstrun fare like “Kings” (1.1/3, 3.62m) and “Howie Do It” (0.9/3, 3.20m).

It was a very quiet week for ABC outside of “Dancing With the Stars” (4.9/12 in 18-49, 20.48m) and “Lost” (4.3/11, 9.57m). In its second week, Thursday half-hour “In the Motherhood” sank to a 1.6/5 in 18-49 and 5.01 million viewers overall.

CW had its best showing since November, getting a nice lift Thursday from “Supernatural” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 3.27m), which had its best adults 18-34 score (1.7/5) since airing on the WB in October 2006. Garnering a 1.9/6 in men 18-34, it took advantage of no basketball on the night for the first time in three weeks as well as the absence of the demo’s timeslot leader (NBC’s “The Office”/”30 Rock”).

In Sunday’s battle of lightly watched pay-cable preems, Showtime’s third-season kickoff of “The Tudors” drew 726,000 viewers while HBO’s second-season launch of “In Treatment” averaged 657,000 for its first two segs.

* * *

The NCAA men’s basketball tournament championship game turned out to be a snoozer, but it still helped CBS prevail in demos on Monday of the current week. The night also saw ho-hum results for the premiere of ABC comedy “Surviving Suburbia.”

North Carolina’s victory over Michigan State averaged a 6.3 rating/15 share in adults 18-49 and 17.65 million viewers from 9:15 to 11:47 p.m. — down 14% from last year’s Kansas-Memphis matchup (7.3/19 in 18-49, 19.51 million). The hoops action dominated the final 90 minutes of primetime even though North Carolina opened a big early lead and was never seriously threatened.

Fox was above average on the night, as “House” (5.1/13 in 18-49, 13.29m) and “24” (3.8/9, 10.96m) both edged up a bit to record their best numbers in a couple of months. “House” led the 8 o’clock hour in adults 18-49.

At ABC, a 92-minute edition of “Dancing With the Stars” (4.6/12 in 18-49, 19.88m) was a bit below average, leading into nothing-special scores for Bob Saget comedy “Surviving Suburbia” (3.0/7, 11.25m), which performed about in line with what “Samantha Who” averaged in the slot last fall.

NBC’s one-time hit “Heroes” tumbled to another low opposite basketball (2.6/6 in 18-49, 6.11m), sandwiched between similarly soft-performing “Chuck” (2.1/6, 6.10m) and “Medium” (2.2/5, 7.17m).

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