Today in TV History
The “Cousin Oliver Syndrome” (a.k.a. the “adorable” kid added to an aging series that normally upsets the dynamics of the show) began when Robbie Rist joined the cast of The Brady Bunch on ABC in 1974 just six episodes before the beloved sitcom was canceled. Had The Brady Bunch returned for a sixth season, the rumored plan was for Carol (Florence Henderson) to get pregnant and give birth to twins – one boy and one girl. And, yes, Cousin Oliver would have been there too!
In Today’s Issue
-Metered Market Thursday Ratings
-Fox Orders Two More Comedy Pilots
-Brooke Shields Heads to Army Wives
-Jane Fonda Honored at the 2013 TCM Classic Film Festival
-TLC Announces Start Date for Gypsy Sisters
-Rachel Nichols Leaves ESPN for CNN and Turner Sports
-Record Lizard Lick Towing on truTV
-Parks and Recreations Heads to WGN America
-Cable Rankings – Week of January 14
-Dr. Phil Re-Upped for Three More Years
-The Better Show Renewed for Season Seven
-Top 30 Rankings in Syndication – Week of January 7
-Leonard Maltin to Host International 3D Society Creative Arts Awards
-On the Air This Weekend
-A Seinfeld Superhero
On the Road With TVMI: We head to Miami Beach, Florida for coverage from the annual National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE) conference through Wednesday, January 30.
Metered Market Thursday Ratings
Fox Tops a Night of Repeats on CBS
Metered Market Results
ABC 4.9/ 8
NBC 2.8/ 5
CW 1.7/ 3
-Percent Change from Year-Ago Evening – Thursday 1/26/12:
ABC: +81, CW: +42, NBC: no change, CBS and Fox: -16 each
American Idol (Fox), The Big Bang Theory R (CBS), Grey’s Anatomy (ABC), Person of Interest R (CBS), Elementary R (CBS)
Last Resort (ABC), 30 Rock (NBC), Parks and Recreation (NBC), 1600 Penn (NBC), Glee (Fox), Beauty and the Beast (CW)
Fox led the Thursday overnights opposite a night of all repeats on CBS, with a one-hour edition of still potent American Idol tops for the night with a 9.6 rating/15 share from 8-9 p.m. But compared to the year-ago evening (11.1/17 on 1/26/12), this was a loss of 13 percent. And this will, no doubt, remain the ongoing pattern this season. Mariah Carey/Nicki Minaj update: all quiet last night!
Leading out of American Idol was Glee, which sunk to third with a 4.5/ 7 in the overnights from 9-10 p.m. Comparably, retention for Glee out of the 8:30 p.m. portion of Idol (10.0/16) was only 45 percent. And former failed time period occupant The Finder was stronger with a 5.5/ 9 one year earlier. Like any high school based series (think The White Shadow, for example), bringing in new students to inject interest is an uphill battle that is never won.
Over at CBS, the encore of The Big Bang Theory still resonated with a second-place 7.6/12 at 8 p.m. Next was a repeat of Two and a Half Men (#2: 5.6/ 9), which the network hopes to keep on the line-up next season, followed encores of scripted dramas Person of Interest (#2: 6.5/10) and Elementary (#1: 5.4/ 9) from 9-11 p.m. As a reminder, a Sunday edition of Elementary will air out of Super Bowl XLVII on February 3.
In series-finale news, ABC drama Last Resort earned its cancellation stripes with a third-place 3.6/ 6 in the overnights at 8 p.m. Next was old faithful Grey’s Anatomy, which perked up to first at 9 p.m. with a 6.9/11 (opposite the aforementioned encore of Person of Interest on CBS). Comparably, Grey’s built from the 8:30 p.m. portion of Last Resort (3.5/ 5) by a hefty 97 percent.
A repeat of Scandal, which is a shoo-in for a third season renewal, capped off the night for the alphabet net with a second-place 4.4/ 8 at 10 p.m.
Elsewhere, NBC remained out of the competitive overnight loop with its combination of 30 Rock (#4: 2.7/ 4), which concludes with a one-hour episode next week, Parks and Recreation (#4: 2.8/ 4), The Office (#4: 3.1/ 5), recent entry 1600 Penn (#4: 2.3/ 4) and the final Thursday 10 p.m. installment of Rock Center with Brian Williams (#3: 2.8/ 5). Comparably, 1600 Penn was only equal to a repeat of former time period occupant Up All Night on the year-ago evening.
Next Thursday, NBC will air back-to-back episodes of The Office in the 9 p.m. hour into debuting scripted drama Do No Harm, the tale of a brilliant neurosurgeon (Steven Pasquale) who wrestles with the dangerous alter ego that threatens to wreak havoc on his personal and professional life. Rock Center With Brian Williams, meanwhile, will move into the Friday 10 p.m. hour (out of two hours of Dateline) effective on February 8.
The CW closed the night with The Vampire Diaries at a 2.0/ 3 in the overnights at 8 p.m. (#5), followed by freshman Beauty and the Beast at a 1.4/ 2 at 9 p.m. Given the expected loss in the key young demographics at 9 p.m., The CW could do better out of The Vampire Diaries that Beauty and the Beast.
Source: Nielsen Media Research
OTHER NETWORK NEWS
Brooke Shields Heads to Army Wives
Former Suddenly Susan and Lipstick Jungle star Brooke Shields is heading back to the world of regularly scheduled scripted programming in a recurring role on Lifetime drama Army Wives. Shields, who recently reprised her guest spot on ABC’s The Middle as the Heck’s brash neighbor, will play an equally outspoken air force colonel named Katherine “Kat” Young, who can hold her own in the male populated military. The upcoming seventh season of Army Wives, which will feature a cast shake-up (including the departure of Kim Delaney as Claudia Joy Holden), will return on Sunday, March 10 at 9 p.m. ET.
Fox Orders Two More Comedy Pilots
With Ben and Kate pulled from the line-up and The Mindy Project barely hanging on, Fox continues to search for its next batch of live action scripted sitcoms. And two more single-camera projects vying for a fall series pick-up are 2 Wrongs from Chernin Entertainment about a couple whose friends and family don’t think they are right for each other; and Enlisted from 20th Century Fox Television about three very different brothers working together in the Army at a small base in Florida.
Earlier this week, Fox ordered four other comedy pilots, including single-camera contenders Friends & Family, an adaptation of UK series Gavin & Stacey, about two very different lovers who try to make a long-distance relationship work; House Rules, about a neurotic Wisconsin family who live in a community of over-sharers; and an untitled project from Cougar Town creator Bill Lawrence based on the book I Suck at Girls by Justin Halpern. The one multi-camera contender is To My Assistant, which follows the comically frustrated assistants at a small New York City law firm
Since Fox will anchor Tuesday with the new season of Hell’s Kitchen beginning on March 12, there is no reason to assume the evening will remain all comedies next season.
Source: Nielsen Media Research
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Jane Fonda Honored at the 2013 TCM Classic Film Festival
Two-time Academy Award winner Jane Fonda will be honored at the upcoming 2013 TCM Classic Film Festival in a two-part celebration of her career. The upcoming four-day extravaganza, which takes place Thursday, April 25 through Sunday, April 28 in Hollywood, will feature Fonda having her hand and footprints enshrined in concrete in front of TCL Chinese Theatre. And the star of such memorable films at Klute and Coming Home, will help introduce a screening of 1981 theatrical On Golden Pond, which gave her the opportunity to work with her legendary father, Henry Fonda, for the first and only time.
TLC Announces Start Date for Gypsy Sisters
Upcoming new TLC docuseries Gypsy Sisters, which is a spin-off of my My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding, will debut with a two-hour episode on Sunday, February 10 at 9 p.m. ET. The focus this time around is on the four sisters who lead the extended family. Eight episodes have been ordered.
Rachel Nichols Leaves ESPN for CNN and Turner Sports
Today, CNN and Turner Sports announced it has hired Rachel Nichols, best known for her sports reporting at ESPN for the past nine years. For more, click on the following: http://tinyurl.com/aluyc9o.
Record Lizard Lick Towing on truTV
The third season-premiere of truTV docuseries Lizard Lick Towing, which is named after Ron and Amy Shirley’s Wendell, North Carolina based towing and repo company, rose to its most-watched episode ever – 2.9 million viewers – at 10 p.m. ET on Monday, January 21. Comparably, Lizard Lick Towing increased by 30 percent in both total viewers and target men 18-49 versus its second season-opener. And it led into 1.7 million viewers for the series-debut of Swamp Hunters on truTV at 10:30 p.m. ET.
Parks and Recreations Heads to WGN America
Ratings on NBC continue to lag. But cable channel WGN America has acquired the off-network rights to Amy Poehler sitcom Parks and Recreation, which will have produced approximately 90 episodes by season end. WGN America, which will have the rights to the entire library of Parks and Recreation, will begin airing the encores in September.
Cable Rankings – Week of January 14
What follows are the top 10 rated networks in basic cable in primetime for the week of January 14:
USA: 2.66 million, Disney Channel: 2.49, TBS: 1.88, FX: 1.85, Fox News Channel: 1.69, History: 1.68, TNT: 1.62, Discovery: 1.60, A&E: 1.57, Adult Swim: 1.56
FX: 1.08 million, TBS: 1.07 million, USA: 970,000, Discovery: 828,000, Adult Swim: 804,000, ESPN: 707,000, A&E: 686,000, ABC Family: 649,000, TNT: 610,000, History: 598,000
USA: 1.04 million, FX: 1.02 million, TBS: 1.00 million, Discovery: 918,000, A&E: 752,000, History: 705,000, TNT: 669,000, ESPN: 660,000, Bravo: 599,000, Adult Swim: 594,000
TBS: 570,000, Adult Swim: 544,000, FX: 535,000, USA: 470,000, ABC Family: 422,000, MTV: 415,000, Comedy Central: 384,000, ESPN: 383,000, Discovery: 355,000, A&E: 289,000
Source: Nielsen Media Research data
Dr. Phil Re-Upped for Three More Years
Veteran daytime talker Dr. Phil, now the top-rated hour in the genre minus parent Oprah, has been renewed by CBS Television Distribution through the 2016-17 season in 77 percent of the country. The three-year extension will take Dr. Phil, hosted by Dr. Phil McGraw, through its 15th season. Now in season 11, Dr. Phil is averaging 4.2 million viewers per week, and is currently cleared on 13 CBS-owned stations (including WCBS/New York, KCBS/Los Angeles, WMMB/Chicago, KYW/Philadelphia and KTVT/Dallas).
The Better Show Renewed for Season Seven
Syndicated lifestyle strip The Better Show, hosted by Audra Lowe and JD Roberto, has been renewed by Meredith Video Studios (MVS) for a seventh season. The Better Show was launched in several test markets in 2007 and debuted nationally in 2008. It now airs in more than 160 markets and will begin its new season on Monday, September 9.’
Top 30 Rankings in Syndication – Week of January 7
What follows are the top 30 rated programs in syndication (first-run and off-network) based on average audience (AA) households for the first full week in January:
The Big Bang Theory (Warner Bros.) and Wheel of Fortune (CBS Television Distribution): 7.6 rating each; Judge Judy (CBS): 7.3; Jeopardy (CBS): 6.8; Two and a Half Men (Warner Bros.) and Weekend Adventure (Disney/ABC-Litton): 5.5 each; Family Feud (Debmar Mercury): 5.4; The Big Bang Theory – Weekend B (Warner Bros.): 4.9; Law & Order: SVU (NBCUniveral): 4.4; The Big Bang Theory – Weekend A (Warner Bros.): 4.3; Family Guy – Weekend (Twentieth): 4.0; Family Guy – Mon-Fri (Twentieth): 3.9; Entertainment Tonight (CBS): 3.8; Dr. Phil (CBS), Inside Edition (CBS) and Law & Order: Criminal Intent (NBCU): 3.2 each; Law & Order (NBCU): 3.0; How I Met Your Mother – Mon-Fri (Twentieth) and How I Met Your Mother – Weekend (Twentieth): 2.9 each; Ellen DeGeneres (Warner Bros.) and Criminal Minds (CBS): 2.7 each; Live With Kelly & Michael (Disney-ABC) and Dr. Oz (Sony Pictures Television): 2.6 each; Judge Joe Brown (CBS): 2.5; Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (Disney-ABC), King of the Hill (Twentieth), Seinfeld (SPT), House (NBCU) and Two and a Half Men – Weekend B (Warner Bros.): 2.4 each
Source: Nielsen Media Research data
Leonard Maltin to Host International 3D Society Creative Arts Awards
Renowned author, critic and film historian Leonard Maltin has been named host of the 4th annual 3D Creative Arts Awards on Wednesday, February 6 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. This year’s ceremony will honor the best 3D movies, television, advertising and video games as voted by the International 3D Society. DreamWorks Animation (DWA) will receive the Sir Charles Wheatstone Award for education and creative achievement, and awards will be presented in international categories from entries received from China, Korea, Japan, the U.K., Poland, Italy, Russia, Germany, Canada and elsewhere. The ceremony will also present the winner of the Autodesk world 3D short film competition.
-Sports Telecasts (and Scandals) and American Idol Were TV’s Tops in Social Media: http://tinyurl.com/bew7jz6
-TBS Greenlights Bam’s Bad Ass Game Show: http://tinyurl.com/bjr6q2g
-truTV Announces Launch Date for Shaquille O’Neal: http://tinyurl.com/bcls39n
-TVS Acquires Two New Properties: http://tinyurl.com/bhjajeh
-CBS Sweeps Week of January 14: http://tinyurl.com/bjk8yqm
-Fox Revamps Tuesday: http://tinyurl.com/b65zyao
-Prosecuting Casey Anthony Scores on Lifetime: http://tinyurl.com/ahc8jmj
-Reelz Renews Carriage Agreement with Mediacom Communications: http://tinyurl.com/ausr66x
-TBS Cancels The Wedding Band: http://tinyurl.com/bz5qv97
-ABC Pulls Don’t Trust the B____ in Apt. 23: http://tinyurl.com/asffeoy
-More Elizabeth Stanton’s Great Big World: http://tinyurl.com/as7mabj
-General Hospital Marathon on SOAPnet: http://tinyurl.com/b4edxhg
-More Clearance for The Arsenio Hall Show: http://tinyurl.com/akz4fjl
-Respectable Sampling for The Following on Fox: http://tinyurl.com/agg5waz
-Travel Channel Renews Eight Series: http://tinyurl.com/bd9vbbl
-TV One to Renew R&B Divas Franchise: http://tinyurl.com/b4chxdz
-Soft New Midseason Network Entries: http://tinyurl.com/aqkqpez
-Remembering Robert F. Chew: http://tinyurl.com/bbexybr
-CNN Tops Coverage of the President’s Official Swearing In: http://tinyurl.com/b4j3xjj
-The Batmobile Sells for Over $4 Million: http://tinyurl.com/apv2zto
-Manti Te-O to Be Interviewed by Katie Couric: http://tinyurl.com/azvxvru
-Domestic Box Office Results for Weekend of January 21: http://tinyurl.com/avcnplp
-Showtime Acquires History of the Eagles: http://tinyurl.com/bet5t7k
On the Air This Weekend
Friday, January 25
8:00 p.m. Last Man Standing (R)
8:30 p.m. Malibu Country (R)
9:00 p.m. Shark Tank (R)
10:00 p.m. 20/20
8:00 p.m. Undercover Boss
9:00 p.m. CSI: NY
10:00 p.m. Blue Bloods
8:00 p.m. Betty White’s Off Their Rockers (R)
8:30 p.m. Betty White’s Off Their Rockers (R)
9:00 p.m. Dateline (two hours)
8:00 p.m. Kitchen Nightmares
9:00 p.m. The Following (R)
8:00 p.m. Nikita
9:00 p.m. The Carrie Diaries (R)
Of Note on Cable:
-Spartacus (Starz, 9 p.m. ET): season premiere
-Mystery Diners (Food Network, 10 p.m. ET): season finale
-Police Women (OWN, 10 p.m. ET): season premiere
-Say Yes to the Dress (TLC, 10 p.m. ET): season finale
Saturday, January 26
8:00 p.m. The Taste (R, two hours)
10:00 p.m. 20/20
8:00 p.m. NCIS: Los Angeles (R)
9:00 p.m. 48 Hours (R)
10:00 p.m. 48 Hours
8:00 p.m. U.S. Figure Skating Championships
8:00 p.m. UFC on Fox
Of Note on Cable:
-Movie: Goodnight for Justice: Queen of Hearts (Hallmark Movie Channel, 8 p.m. ET)
-Movie: Abominable Snowman (Syfy, 9 p.m. ET):
-My Big Redneck Vacation (CMT, 9 p.m. ET): season premiere
-Swamp Pawn (CMT, 10 p.m. ET): series premiere
Sunday, January 27
7:00 p.m. America’s Funniest Home Videos (R)
8:00 p.m. Once Upon a Time (R)
9:00 p.m. Movie: Hallmark Hall of Fame’s The Makeover
7:00 p.m. 60 Minutes
8:00 p.m. NCIS: Los Angeles (R)
9:00 p.m. The Good Wife
10:00 p.m. The Mentalist
7:00 p.m. AFC/NFC Pro Bowl Pre-Game
7:30 p.m. 2013 AFC/NFC Pro Bowl
7:00 p.m. Bob’s Burgers (R)
7:30 p.m. The Cleveland Show
8:00 p.m. The Simpsons
8:30 p.m. Bob’s Burgers
9:00 p.m. Family Guy
9:30 p.m. American Dad
Of Note on Cable:
-The 19th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards (TBS and TNT, 8 p.m. ET)
-Curiosity (Discovery, 8 p.m. ET): season finale (two hours)
A Seinfeld Superhero
Sitcom Seinfeld was known for consistently making references to a particular superhero. Which one of the following was it?
b) Plastic Man
e) Wonder Woman
The answer to yesterday’s question…
Which one of the following five series was not a western?
a) Best of the West
b) The Big Valley
c) Dirty Sally
…is: a) Best of the West, which was a sitcom with Joel Higgins (Silver Spoons) that aired on ABC (out of Mork & Mindy and into Barney Miller) in the 1981-82 season. As for the others:
-The Big Valley (ABC): 1965-69
-Dirty Sally (CBS): 1974 (spun-off from Gunsmoke)
-Redigo (NBC): 1963
-Sugarfoot (ABC): 1957-61)
Today’s Trivia All-Stars:
Gerry Bixenspan, Larry Collins, Harold Cooper, Susan Nessanbaum-Goldberg, Peter Grad, Ed Griffis, Julie Hurwitz, Bob Ingersoll (2x), Shelly Johnson, Tom Joyce, Mary Kinoshita, Synda Kollman, Jody McIntyre, Rich Orloff, Alan Perris
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Marc Berman is the Editor in Chief for TV Media Insights, the online destination for television and media. Berman has appeared on camera for Extra, Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood, The CBS Evening News, CNN, and more; and his 2014 desk calendar, “Today in TV History,” will be available next fall.
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