The broadcast networks are doing a fairly good job of delivering ratings for the low-rated weekend hours with unscripted and news programs — but not all of them work.
Fox struck out Saturday with its Jennifer Lopez-fronted Latin Americas talent show “Q’ Viva! The Chosen.” And on the same night, NBC’s burnoff of “The Firm” continued to produce tiny numbers.
According to preliminary Nielsen national estimates for Saturday, “Q’ Viva” drew a mere 0.7 rating/2 share in adults 18-49 and 2.2 million viewers overall from 8 to 10 p.m. — behind ABC, Univision and CBS in the demo. One week earlier, Fox did a 1.0 rating for Saturday with an hour of “Cops” and a repeat of “The Finder.”
And at NBC, “The Firm” — demoted from Thursday last month — settled for a prelim 0.4/1 in 18-49 and 2.2 million viewers, doing the same demo score as its repeat “Smash” lead-in.
Faring better on Saturday was ABC’s limited-run news series “20/20: My Extreme Affliction” (prelim 1.3/4 in 18-49, 4.9 million), which looks at the lives of people with some of medicine’s most extreme conditions or who have unbelievable abilities. It won from 9-11 p.m. with the net’s best showing in the slot since the Miss America Pageant in January.
And on Friday, the Big Four have come to the realization that alternative series are the way to go in the opening hour, where roughly just 30% of the country’s under-50 adult population is watching television. CBS and NBC started the season with expensive scripted skeins “A Gifted Man” and “Chuck,” respectively, but have gone in a new direction this winter.
On Friday, the Eye won with feel-good reality show “Undercover Boss” (prelim 2.0/7 in 18-49, 9.6 million) and NBC was on the upswing with genealogy-themed reality show “Who Do You Think You Are?” (prelim 1.5/5 in 18-49, 7.6 million), which seemed to get a week-to-week boost by spotlighting Reba McEntire.
ABC remains improved in the hour as well with entreprenuerial-themed reality show “Shark Tank” (second-place 1.7/6 in 18-49, 6.1 million) and Fox is solid with Gordon Ramsey restaurant skein “Kitchen Nightmares.”
Even with a repeat “Kitchen Nightmares” in the mix (1.0/3 in 18-49), the Big Four combined for a combined 6.2/20 in adults 18-49 in Friday’s 8 o’clock hour — up from a 4.4/15 on the comparable night a year ago.
Also of ratings note over the weekend was a strong perf for “Saturday Night Live,” hosted by Lindsay Lohan. The show averaged a 5.5 household rating/14 share in Nielsen’s metered-market overnights, its second best result of the season (behind only the night NBC aired a Saturday playoff game in primetime).