'Big Bang,' 'Mother' offer solid lead-in for 'Men'
Fox made it 10 straight atop the demo leaderboard last week, holding off a solid CBS. ABC, meanwhile, continues to struggle with its midseason entries.None of the Alphabet’s numerous midseason shows has clicked, and it also suffered last week without original segs of most of its veteran hits. That left it in a distant third place and just a tick ahead of NBC, which got a boost Thursday from the premiere of cop drama “Southland.” Overall it was a somewhat quiet frame, with holiday and spring-break festivities conspiring to drag down the numbers for numerous skeins, especially those later in the week. Fox’s “American Idol” again reigned supreme, even though it continues to lag behind last season’s pace by about 15% in adults 18-49 and 10% in total viewers. Even in its slightly diminished state, however, it remains miles ahead of all other primetime programs. According to Nielsen, Fox’s 3.3 rating/10 share in adults 18-49 for the week of April 6-12 bested runner-up CBS (2.9/9). Further back were ABC (2.2/6) and NBC (2.1/6), followed by Univision (1.6/5), USA (1.0/3) and TBS (0.8/2). Fox edged CBS for the lead among adults 25-54 (3.9/10 to 3.8/10) and held a wider edge over the Eye in persons 12-34 (2.5/9 to 1.8/6). CBS dominated as usual in total viewers (11.4 million to 9.0 million for Fox). For Fox, “American Idol” episodes on Tuesday (8.1/22 in 18-49, 22.81m) and Wednesday (8.0/20, 22.98m) were closely bunched atop the rankings. The net also saw “House,” featuring the suicide of a popular character, ascend to its best ratings since February (5.1/13, 13.29m). Fox saw only a slight bounce on Friday for the season finale of “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” (1.3/5 in 18-49, 3.59m), one of those “bubble” shows whose fate will be determined in May. CBS was paced by Monday’s college basketball championship game between North Carolina and Michigan State (6.3/16 in 18-49, 17.65m), which was down year to year but still ranked third for the week in 18-49 and helped the net win the night. The net also closed the week with a sports boost thanks to a 38-minute overrun of the Masters golf tournament (4.2/16 in 18-49, 16.71m). And later that night, “The Amazing Race” won its hour (3.1/8, 10.57m). The premiere of “Harper’s Island” on Thursday did nothing-special numbers (2.6/8, 10.21m), airing behind “CSI” (3.8/10, 16.62m). “Dancing With the Stars” (4.6/12 in 18-49, 19.88m) and “Lost” were the only ABC shows that did much in a frame when “Desperate Housewives” and “Grey’s Anatomy” aired repeats. The net might have been able to perform a bit better without those vets had it got more production out of feeble frosh like “Cupid” (1.6/4 in 18-49, 5.71m), “In the Motherhood” (1.3/4, 4.51m), “Better Off Ted” (1.7/5, 4.04m) or the premiering “The Unusuals” (2.1/6, 6.83m). NBC garnered solid numbers Thursday for the preem of “Southland” (3.2/9 in 18-49, 9.86m), the first 10 p.m. drama on any net in more than four years to build in its second half-hour (Daily Variety, April 13). Also on the night, Amy Poehler comedy “Parks and Recreation” (3.0/9, 6.88m) performed OK between a pair of “The Office” episodes but will have a tougher time when it follows “My Name Is Earl” beginning this week. CW was led by “America’s Next Top Model” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 3.69m) but did little elsewhere during a repeat-heavy week. Not helping matters was the net’s pitiful 27th-place perf on Sunday with its combo of “Jericho” and movie “Cutthroat Island.” USA led the cabler pack in most categories thanks to “WWE Raw” and repeats of “NCIS,” but TBS edged it out for the lead among adults 18-34. Fox News ranked second for the week in total viewers for an eighth straight time. And in adults 25-54, its average aud (518,000) beat the combined delivery of MSNBC (256,000) and CNN (251,000). Elsewhere, MTV’s “The Hills” got off to a strong start Monday in its season preem with a pair of episodes (1.8/4 in 18-49, 2.72m at 10 p.m. and 1.9/5, 2.97m at 10:30 p.m.). It easily led all of television during its hour among women 18-34 (4.9/13). FX’s “Rescue Me,” back with its first new segs in more than 18 months, averaged a 1.1/3 in 18-49 and 2.30 million viewers overall on Tuesday. In the same 10 p.m. hour, Spike scored with the bow of “Deadliest Warrior” (0.8/2, 1.65m), besting “Rescue” in men 18-34 (1.5/5 vs. 1.3/4).