Net dominates week and takes season lead; 'Code' so-so in debut
Fox crushed the competish last week behind a record-setting Super Bowl and continued good numbers for “American Idol,” but its attempt to carry over that momentum this week drew lukewarm results.The premiere of Shawn Ryan cop drama “The Chicago Code” apprehended a solid total-viewer count but lost a sizable chunk of its “House” lead-in among young adults. The net also has high hopes for comedy “Traffic Light,” which had its premiere Tuesday night. Overall for the week of Jan. 31-Feb. 6, Fox averaged a monster 11.5 rating/29 share in adults 18-49 — the best delivery for any network in three years. Net was so dominant that it delivered more young adults than the next 10 networks combined, including CBS (1.9/5), ABC (1.8/5), NBC (1.7/5), Univision (1.3/4) and USA and CW (both 0.9/2). It was nearly as supreme in total viewers, where the net’s average of 32.1 million was about what the next seven closest networks drew. The big frame enabled Fox to move ahead of CBS for the season lead in adults 18-49 — and by a pretty hefty margin — making it a virtual lock to finish on top in the demo for a seventh straight year. (CBS remains in position to win the season in adults 25-54 and total viewers.) Super Bowl XLV on Sunday established an all-time viewership record (39.9/77 in 18-49, 111.01m), surpassing the previous mark set by last year’s big game on CBS (106.48 million) and combining with the postgame show (25.5/5, 66.03m) and special episode of “Glee” (11.1/29, 26.80m) for the highest nightly 18-49 average for any net (36.7/72) since NBC when it carried the Super Bowl in January 1996. One night later, on Monday of the current week, “House” rode Super Bowl promotion to season-high scores and a timeslot victory at 8 p.m. (4.3/12, 12.33m), leading into the premiere of “Chicago Code” (2.4/6, 9.43m), which ran third at 9 o’clock; the new skein retained 76% of its lead-in among total viewers but a less-than-scintillating 56% in 18-49. It did outperform the season average of “Lie to Me” in the timeslot. Elsewhere in last week’s ratings race, “American Idol” racked up more impressive numbers both on Wednesday (9.0/24, 25.14m) and Thursday (7.5/20, 21.89m), with the Wednesday edition down only slightly in demos and up in total viewers vs. the comparable night a year ago (a Tuesday). At CBS, eighth-year CBS drama “NCIS” had its best 18-49 score since October 2009 (4.6/12) and drew its largest overall audience ever (22.85 million), leading into “NCIS: Los Angeles” (3.8/9, 17.70m), which logged its highest 25-54 rating (5.2/12) in about a year. Also, “The Big Bang Theory” was the week’s top comedy (4.3/12, 13.83m), and “The Defenders” did OK in its new Friday 8 o’clock slot (1.3/4, 8.71m), which was up some in adults 25-54 and total viewers over the same-night average in the time period for “Medium.” Boosting ABC was Thursday drama “Grey’s Anatomy” (4.3/11 in 18-49, 11.18m), which had its best showing since mid-October, and Monday reality series “The Bachelor,” which hit a season high (3.2/8, 9.66m). Also, Wednesday’s “Modern Family” (3.5/9, 9.20m) logged the best 18-49 score for any repeat series telecast on television in nine months (since CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory”), and the same night’s rookie drama “Off the Map” continues to do OK (1.9/5, 5.37m), improving a troubled timeslot for the net and hitting a high in women 18-34 (2.3/7). NBC was led by “The Office” (3.7/9, 7.28m), which didn’t get much help from its “Perfect Couples” lead-in (1.4/4, 3.06m) as the latter newbie looks to be in trouble after its weak third episode. On the other hand, Monday drama “Harry’s Law” was holding up well after its third airing (2.1/6, 11.02m), though it fell off on Monday of the current week (1.7/5, 9.22m) when it was opposed by original fare on both ABC and CBS. Net had good news on Wednesday, where “Law and Order: SVU” controlled its hour in all key demos (2.9/8, 8.81m), and Friday, where the return of “Who Do You Think You Are” (1.3/4, 7.31m) hit a series high in total viewers. Of note at CW, which continues to track ahead of last season in both adults 18-49 and total viewers, was the highest-rated “One Tree Hill” (1.2/3 in 18-49, 2.42m) in 15 months. And on Friday, the tandem of “Smallville” (1.0/3, 2.37m) and “Supernatural” (1.0/3, 2.25m) looked good in their midseason preems, with the latter logging its top 18-34 score (1.1/4) and largest overall aud since early November. USA was the top cable net in 18-49 and total viewers, led by “WWE Raw” (1.9/5, 5.34m), but MTV dominated in adults 18-34 thanks to “Jersey Shore” (4.5/12, 8.26m) and “Teen Mom” (2.1/6, 3.80m). “Jersey” ranked seventh among all primetime programs for the week in adults 18-49 and ranked first (excluding Fox’s Super Bowl Sunday programs) in adults 18-34 (7.1/21). Monday was a big day for History Channel, which was the night’s top network (broadcast or cable) in male demos thanks to new highs for “Pawn Stars” (3.0/8 in 18-49, 7.74m) and “American Pickers” (2.0/5, 6.62m); the delivery for “Pawn” repped an all-time high for a telecast on the net. Elsewhere: Discovery’s Monday series “American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior” (1.5/4, 3.16m) drew the series’ best ratings since 2004; Lifetime was pleased with the starts for Tuesday series “Seriously Funny Kids” (1.14 million viewers) and “One Born Every Minute” (1.17 million), with the latter standing as the net’s top unscripted series bow in more than a year among adults 18-49 (740,000); Oxygen’s “Gleekend” marathon of “Glee” repeats set a network record Saturday (an average of 885,000 viewers and a total reach of 4.4 million from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.), with two of the primetime episodes topping 1 million viewers; and Animal Planet’s “Puppy Bowl VII” on Sunday averaged 1.73 million viewers from 3 to 5 p.m., up 60% over last year.