Today in TV History
Shelley Long departed from Cheers after five seasons in 1987, which successfully lived on for another six years with Kirstie Alley. Also on this day was the debut of the Kraft Television Theater on NBC in 1947, one of the first dramatic anthologies, and the final episode of Matlock with Andy Griffith on ABC in 1995. Matlock moved to ABC in 1993 after six seasons on NBC.
In Today’s Issue
-Weekend Rating Results
-America’s Got Talent TVMI Daily Game
-Updated Ratings on Thursday
-Remembering George Lindsey
-Remembering Bob Stewart
-TBS in Discussions to Keep Cougar Town Alive
-More Southland on TNT
-The Borgias to Return for Season Three
-ABC Family Announces Beverly Hills Nannies Debut Date
-On The Fly Bows on TLC on May 24
-On the Air Tonight
-Smart Move, Larry Hagman
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SUNDAY 5/06/12 Metered Markets
ABC 5.2/ 9
NBC 4.3/ 7
Fox 2.5/ 4
-Percent Change from Year-Ago Evening – Sunday 5/08/11
ABC: + 2, Fox: – 4, NBC: – 9, CBS: -10
60 Minutes (CBS), Once Upon a Time (ABC)
The Amazing Race (CBS), Desperate Housewives (ABC)
-Losers (excluding repeats):
Dateline (NBC), The Cleveland Show (Fox), Bob’s Burgers (Fox), GCB (ABC), NYC 22 (CBS)
There was nothing unusual to report on this first Sunday in May, with dominant CBS holding a 19 percent advantage in the metered markets over second-place ABC. Third overall was NBC, followed by Fox. Mirroring last week, ABC is expected to win the evening among adults 18-49.
Older-skewing 60 Minutes opened the evening for CBS with an 8.4 rating/16 share at 7 p.m., which took top-rated overnight honors for the evening. If there is one thing for sure, it is 60 Minutes outliving us all. Next was the two-hour season-finale of The Amazing Race at a consistent 6.1/10 from 8-10 p.m., which was three percent above the year-ago 5.9/10 on 5/08/11. That two-hour installment averaged 8.97 million viewers and a 2.6/ 7 among adults 18-49, according to the Live Plus Same day results. Here is the half-hour breakdown:
The Amazing Race (CBS)
8:00 p.m.: 6.3/10 (#1)
8:30 p.m.: 6.2/10 (#2)
9:00 p.m.: 6.0/ 9 (#2)
9:30 p.m.: 6.1/ 9 (#2)
Recent 10 p.m. entry NYC 22 capped off the evening for the Eye net with a second-place 4.3/ 7, which was 30 percent below both year-ago occupant CSI: Miami (6.1/10 on 5/08/11) and the 9:30 p.m. portion of The Amazing Race. NCY 22 will not live to see a second season.
On ABC, the second-to-last episode of Desperate Housewives, which should have called it quits last season, got a minor boost with a first-place 6.4/10 in the overnights at 9 p.m. But that was still seven percent below the 6.9/11 on the year-ago evening. Lead-out GCB concluded for the season (or series) with an uneventful 4.2/ 7 at 10 p.m. (#3), which only proves this Desperate Housewives wannabe is not strong enough to move into the Sunday 9 p.m. hour next season. Although Marc Cherry’s upcoming Devious Maids looks like a lock for next season, ABC might be wise to take a break from this over-the-top type of comedy/drama storytelling. As new as GCB is, it already seems stale.
Earlier in the evening on the alphabet network was veteran America’s Funniest Home Videos (#2: 4.1/ 7 at 7 p.m.) and Once Upon a Time (#1t: 6.2/10 at 8 p.m.), which will definitely be back next season.
NBC got off to a dismal start care of Dateline at a 2.4/ 5 from 7-8 p.m. (#3). But older-skewing Harry’s Law, which is worthy of renewal based on the audience size, perked up to a 5.3/ 9 at 8 p.m. (#3), followed by two hours of Celebrity Apprentice at a 4.8/ 8 from 9-11 p.m. One year earlier, three hours of Donald Trump and company averaged a 5.3/ 9 from 8-11 p.m. on 5/08/11. Here is the half-hour breakdown:
Celebrity Apprentice (NBC)
9:00 p.m.: 4.4/ 7 (#3)
9:30 p.m.: 4.5/ 7 (#3)
10:00 p.m.: 5.2/ 8 (#1)
10:30 p.m.: 5.1/ 9 (#1)
Personally speaking, and I cannot be the only one, it was a true pleasure to see Lisa Lampanelli get the axe.
Last and very least in the overnights was Fox’s combination of a repeat of The Simpsons (#4: 1.7/ 3), The Cleveland Show (#4: 1.9/ 3), the regularly scheduled edition of The Simpsons (#4: 2.9/ 5), Bob’s Burger’s (#4: 2.2/ 3), Family Guy (#4: 3.6/ 6) and American Dad (#4: 2.9/ 4). While I do understand that the strength of Fox falls within the young adult demographics, the network’s animated block is in need of some fresh programming blood next season.
Source: Nielsen Media Research data
Fast Affiliate Results
CBS: 5.57 million, ABC: 2.95, Fox: 2.25, NBC: 1.72
Fox: 1.0 rating/4 share, CBS: 0.9/3, ABC: 0.8/ 3, NBC: 0.4/ 2
For the complete ratings breakdown by network and show, click on the following: http://tinyurl.com/7za3m64
CBS: 8.45 million, ABC: 5.27, NBC: 4.87, Fox: 3.41, CW: 1.41
ABC: 1.5 rating/5 share, CBS: 1.4/ 5, NBC: 1.2/ 4, Fox: 0.9/ 3, CW: 0.5/ 2
For the complete ratings breakdown by network and show, click on the following: http://tinyurl.com/85gp98v
Source: Nielsen Media Research data
OTHER NETWORK ITEMS
America’s Got Talent TVMI Daily Game
Howie Mandel, Sharon Osbourne, host Nick Cannon, new judge Howard Stern return to NBC on Monday, May 14 for the seventh season premiere of America’s Got Talent. You can guess its Nielsen ratings right now by first visiting http://bit.ly/TVMIdg. There the game page will guide you to officially submit your guesses at either our TVMI forum (http://www.tvmediainsights.com/forum/?mingleforumaction=viewtopic&t=1666) or via Twitter.
Updated Ratings on Thursday
CBS was the most-watched network on Thursday with 12.56 million, and The Big Bang Theory topped the night (opposite American Idol) with 13.91 million viewers and a 4.7 rating/16 share in the demo, according to the Live Plus Same Day results. Once upon a time, nothing could come close to Idol. Fox was first adults 18-49, but Touch with Keifer Sutherland is losing too much of the Idol lead-in to warrant a second season (down 57 percent in total viewers and 50 percent in the demo), and Idol is no longer the force it once was.
Elsewhere, Scandal has a better shot at returning next season than ABC’s other recent Thursday entry, Missing; NBC is a complete shambles; The Secret Circle on The CW has not caught on; and it is time for Rules on Engagement on CBS to call it quits. You can only ride the coattails of your lead-in for so long.
Remembering George Lindsey
George Lindsey, who is fondly remembered as Goober Pyle on sitcom The Andy Griffith Show, passed away yesterday morning after a brief illness. He was 83.
Born in Jasper, Alabama, Lindsey graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Bioscience from the University of North Alabama and was a science teacher before becoming an actor. After guest starring on numerous series like The Rifleman, The Twilight Zone, Daniel Boone and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, Lindsey joined the cast of Andy Griffith in 1964 as the cousin of Gomer Pyle (Jim Nabors), who was leaving to star in his own spin-off, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. When Andy Griffith called it quits in 1968, Lindsey was featured into in spin-off Mayberry R.F.D. from 1968-71. One year later, he joined rural themed variety Hee Haw and remained with the series, which aired in first-run syndication after being canceled by CBS, through 1992.
Prior to joining The Andy Griffith Show, Lindsey was the first choice to play Mr. Spock on Star Trek, but he turned it down.
Said Andy Griffith in a statement: “George Lindsey was my friend. I had great respect for his talent and his human spirit. In recent years, we spoke often by telephone. Our last conversation was a few days ago. I am happy to say that as we found ourselves in our eighties, we were not afraid to say, `I love you.’ That was the last thing George and I had to say to each other. `I love you.’”
Remembering Bob Stewart
Bob Stewart, the television producer synonymous with a string of successful game shows including To Tell the Truth, Password, The Price Is Right and the Pyramid franchise, died on Friday of respiratory failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was 91.
Born Isidore Steinberg on August 27, 1920, Stewart joined Goodson-Todman Production in 1956 after years of employment as a radio show writer and producer. At the time, Monty Hall, who was looking for a game show hosting stint, set up the meeting. His first game show pitch, Three of a Kind, turned into To Tell The Truth; and his second, The Auctioneer, morphed into The Price Is Right. Four years into his position at Goodson-Todman came Password, the first game show to pair everyday people with celebrities.
In 1964, Stewart formed his own production company and had his greatest success with The $10,000 Pyramid. Bob Stewart Productions, which retired in 1991, was the home of 15 game shows including Chain Reaction, Jackpot, The Love Experts, Pass the Buck and Winning Streak.
In 2010, Stewart was inducted into the Academy of Television Arts & Science’s Hall of Fame. He is survived by three sons, Barry, Sande and David; two grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
TBS in Discussions to Keep Cougar Town Alive
ABC has not canceled Cougar Town, at least not yet. So, any news at present is speculation. But should the network, which unveils its fall 2012 schedule on May 15, decide not to bring back the Courteney Cox sitcom, TBS is in conversations to order a fourth and fifth season of originals. By season end, Cougar Town will have produced 61 episodes, which are 27 short of the traditional amount needed for a valid off-network run. The deal at TBS for Cougar Town is reported at two 15-episode seasons, which would bring the tally to 91 half-hours.
“Should the show become available, (Turner Entertainment Networks) looks at all opportunities presented to us that fit our brand,” a rep for TBS’ parent company said, declining further comment.
Cougar Town, most recently, finished fourth in its Tuesday 8:30 p.m. half hour with 4.97 million viewers and a 1.3 rating/4 share among adults 18-49, according to Nielsen Media Research. The lead-in, Last Man Standing, was below average at 6.48 million viewers and a 1.4/ 5 in the demo. Given its small cult following, TBS might be a better fit.
More Southland on TNT
TNT has renewed crime drama Southland for a fifth season, with an order for 10 new episodes. Debuting on NBC on April 9, 2009, Southland was acquired by TNT when NBC decided to halt production after producing seven episodes in season two. By the end of this new cycle, Southland will have completed 43 episodes. The new season begins in February 2013.
The Borgias to Return for Season Three
Period drama The Borgias, headlined by Academy Award winner Jeremy Irons, has been picked-up for a third season, with 10 new episodes on the slate for 2013. Production will begin this summer in Budapest, Hungary. Oscar winner and Emmy nominee Neil Jordan (The Crying Game, Interview with the Vampire) will remain on board as creator and executive producer, and writer and director of select episodes.
ABC Family Announces Beverly Hills Nannies Debut Date
New docu-series Beverly Hills Nannies, which follows a group of childcare workers who work for high-powered families in the most exclusive zip code in the country, will debut on Wednesday, July 11 at 9 p.m. ET.
On The Fly Bows on TLC on May 24
Picture this…you are at the airport. You have to wait forever to check your bags. You go through hell to get through security. The departure time is delayed. Every seat is filled; with people stuffing whatever smaller items they have into the above bins to save on fees. You can barely fit into your seat. It is warm. The stranger next to you strikes up a conversation you have no interest in. It takes two hours to get a drink. Peanuts and mini pretzels are on the menu. The free magazine of choice offers items for sale at three times their real value. That pint-size bathroom is just not a good fit. And, yes, your luggage is missing.
It you care to revisit life at the airport, TLC will launch a new docu-series, On The Fly, which takes viewers on an exploration of the modern air travel experience at Southwest Airlines. Each of the 13-ordered episodes promises to bring viewers along for the ride, with production at some of Southwest’s most active airports including Austin, Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Ft. Lauderdale, Houston, Nashville, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Sacramento and Tampa. It debuts on Thursday, May 24 at 9 p.m. ET.
On The Fly is produced for TLC by ITV Studios America.
Source: Nielsen Media Research data
Monday, May 7
8:00 p.m. Dancing With the Stars
10:00 p.m. Castle
8:00 p.m. 2 Broke Girls (season finale, one hour)
9:00 p.m. Two and a Half Men
9:30 p.m. Mike & Molly
10:00 p.m. Hawaii Five-O
8:00 p.m. The Voice (two hours)
10:00 p.m. Smash
8:00 p.m. Bones
9:00 p.m. House
8:00 p.m. Gossip Girl
9:00 p.m. Hart of Dixie
Smart Move, Larry Hagman
Larry Hagman is best known, of course, as conniving and power-hungry J.R. Ewing on Dallas. But what other series was he offered the lead role in at the time Dallas launched?
a) Diff’rent Strokes
b) Eddie Capra Mysteries
d) Operation Petticoat
e) The Waverly Wonders
Friday’s answer was…
One of the following five TV characters went into the same line of work as her father. Who was it?
a) Betty Anderson
b) Cindy Brady
c) Lucy Camden
d) Vanessa Huxtable
e) Carol Seaver
Is: c) Lucy Camden, who became a minister on feel-good drama 7th Heaven.
-Today’s Trivia All-Stars:
John Beadle, Gerry Bixenspan, Mark Consenza, Audrey Davis, Phyllis Epstein, Seri Ferrante, Ed Griffis, Bob Ingersoll, David Jackino, Tom Joyce, Rick Locke, Marc Miller, Barbara Oates, Aaron Paquette, Joe Rubi, Ken Stowe, Ralph Tobias, Tammy Wiard, Gail Goins-Wile
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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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