Today in History:
Food company Swanson & Sons introduced the “TV Dinner” in 1954, which for a mere 98 cents included a Thanksgiving meal of turkey, dressing, cornbread, frozen peas and sweet potatoes packaged in a tray like those used at the time on airlines. With turkey an immediate hit, next were beef and chicken.
In Today’s Issue
-Thursday Metered Market Ratings
-Daytime Television 101 – A Conversation with Jim Romanovich
-GMA Narrows the Gap Opposite Today Show
-ABC Announces Summer Premiere Dates
-Updated Results in Network Daytime Talk
-Planet Green to Be Re-Named Destination America
-OWN Programming Initiatives
-TLC in 2012-13
-On the Air This Weekend
– Happy Easter
Metered Market Thursday Ratings
Fox Wins; Respectable Sampling for Scandal on ABC
Metered Market Results
NBC 2.1/ 4
CW 0.7/ 1
-Percent Change from Year-Ago Evening – Thursday 4/07/11
ABC: +119, NBC: + 5, CBS: – 7, Fox: -30, CW: -59
American Idol (Fox), The Big Bang Theory (CBS), Person of Interest (CBS), The Mentalist (CBS)
Missing (ABC), Touch (Fox)
-Losers (excluding repeats):
Community (NBC), 30 Rock (NBC), Up All Night (NBC), Awake (NBC)
CBS led this first April Thursday in the overnights with its combination of The Big Bang Theory (#2: 9.0 rating/15 share), recent returnee Rules of Engagement (#2: 5.5/ 9), Person of Interest (#1: 8.4/14) and The Mentalist (#1: 7.8/13), which could be moved to Friday night season if the network expands its Thursday comedies to two hours. With retention of just 61 percent out of The Big Bang Theory, it is time for Rules of Engagement to officially conclude. The Big Bang Theory, Person of Interest and The Mentalist have been officially picked up for 2012-13.
Second overall for the evening was the home of American Idol, Fox, followed by ABC, distant NBC and a night of repeats on The CW.
In series-premiere news, drama Scandal on ABC opened with a 5.8/10 in the overnights at 10 p.m., which held a very respectable 89 percent of the 9:30 p.m. portion of lead-in Grey’s Anatomy (6.5/11). The last original episode of recent ABC Thursday 10 p.m. occupant Private Practice scored a 5.3/ 9 on March 15, with retention out of Grey’s Anatomy of only 71 percent. Opposite dramas The Mentalist and Awake, Scandal is expected to win the time period among adults 18-49. So, yes, Scandal was clearly sampled.
Earlier in the evening on the alphabet net was week four of older-skewing drama Missing (#3, 5.3/ 9 at 8 p.m.), which dipped by seven percent from one week earlier, followed by aforementioned Grey’s Anatomy at a second-place 6.5/11 from 9-10 p.m. Four-week overnight track for Missing: 7.8/13 – 6.3/10 – 5.7/ 9 – 5.3/ 9.
On Fox, the live American Idol Results Show led the 8 p.m. hour, with a 10.0/17 in the overnights. While dominance is always good, year-to-year Idol slipped by 30 percent (vs. a 14.3/23 on 4/07/11). In episode four news (and its third original telecast in the Thursday 9 p.m. hour), lead-out drama Touch with Kiefer Sutherland slipped to a series-low 5.0/ 9. Comparably, that was down by 14 percent from one week earlier, with retention out of the 8:30 p.m. portion of American Idol (10.8/18) of just 46 percent. Three-week overnight track for Touch: 7.3/13 – 5.8/10 – 5.0/ 9.
Moving to NBC, dismal was the observation from start to finish with its line-up of Community (#4: 2.3/ 4), 30 Rock (#4: 2.3/ 4), a repeat of The Office (#4: 1.9/ 3), Up All Night (#4: 2.0/ 3) and week six of drama Awake, which sunk to a series-low 2.0/ 4 at 10 p.m. Awake at this point has no chance of a second season. As for the network overall, what can you possibly say when the highest rated show of the evening scores a 2.3/ 4 in the overnights?
The CW capped off the evening with encore telecasts of The Vampire Diaries (#5: 0.9/ 1) and on-the-fence The Secret Circle (#5: 0.6/ 1), which was not the hit the network hoped for out of its highest rated series.
Source: Nielsen Media Research data
OTHER NETWORK ITEMS
Daytime Television 101 – A Conversation with Jim Romanovich
Jim Romanovich, President Worldwide Media and Entertainment, Associated Television International spoke to TV Media Insights on the current endangered state of the daytime soap opera on his blog, Baseline Intelligence. Click on the following for “Daytime Television 101: The Network Guide On How to Snatch Defeat Out of the Jaws of Victory”: http://tinyurl.com/d9k2d3u
GMA Narrows the Gap Opposite Today Show
The world of morning newsmagazines this week focused, of course, on Katie Couric filling in for Robin Roberts on Good Morning America on ABC (and the Tuesday battle of Couric vs. guest co-host Sarah Palin on The Today Show on NBC). But the bigger story is how GMA is inching closer to the perennially dominant Today Show.
Based on the Live Plus Same Day ratings for the week of March 26, GMA rose to the smallest total viewer margin between the two in seven years. Today averaged 4.980 million viewers, followed by Good Morning America at 4.861 million. One year earlier, GMA trailed Today by 469,000 viewers (versus just 119,000 viewers this week). GMA’s disadvantage among key adults 25-54 is down from 492,000 in the year-ago week to just 266,000 this week (Today: 2.189 million; GMA: 1.923 million). CBS This Morning, meanwhile, remained in the distant No. 3 spot with 2.42 million viewers and 1.013 million adults 18-25.
Will Katie Couric as co-host this week give GMA the fuel to surpass The Today Show? Stay tuned.
ABC Announces Summer Premiere Dates
ABC has unveiled the premiere dates for its roster of new programming this summer, and the line-up will feature three new shows (Duets, Trust Us With Your Life and Final Witness) and new seasons of The Bachelorette, Secret Millionaire, Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition, Wipeout and Bachelor Pad.
The Bachelorette, featuring the return of Emily Maynard, opens on Monday, May 14 at 9:30 p.m. ET in a 90-minute season-premiere. Next is new singing competition Duets (http://tinyurl.com/6nzm2ya) in the Thursday 8-10 p.m. block beginning on May 24. It leads into a new season of Canadian drama Rookie Blue at 10 p.m. Feel-good Secret Millionaire returns on Sunday, June 3 at 8 p.m., leading into a second season of Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition from 9-11 p.m.
Perennial summer occupant Wipeout is back on Thursday, June 28 at 9 p.m., while Tuesday will feature improvisational series Trust Us With Your Life (with two half-hour episodes in its debut) at 9 p.m., followed by the premiere of documentary and drama hybrid Final Witness at 10 p.m. beginning on July 10. One week later, Trust Us With Your Life airs just one time per week. Returnee Bachelor Pad, meanwhile, opens season three in the Monday 8-10 p.m. block on July 23.
Here is the schedule:
Monday, May 14
9:30 p.m. The Bachelorette (season premiere, 90 minutes in week one, 2-hours thereafter):
Thursday, May 24
8:00 p.m. Duets (series premiere, two hours)
10:00 p.m. Rookie Blue (season premiere)
Sunday, June 3
8:00 p.m. Secret Millionaire (season premiere)
9:00 p.m. Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition (season premiere, two hours)
Thursday, June 28
9:00 p.m. Wipeout (season premiere)
Tuesday, July 10
9:00 p.m. Trust Us With Your Life (series premiere, two episodes)
10:00 p.m. Final Witness (series premiere)
Monday, July 23
8:00 p.m. Bachelor Pad (season premiere, two hours)
Updated Results in Network Daytime Talk
The View on ABC was the most-watched entry in daytime talk, of course, with 2.59 million viewers for the week of March 26, based on the Live Plus Same Day results. And The Revolution on ABC remains the eyesore, with erosion from year-ago occupant One Life to Live this week of 1.25 million viewers (or 49 percent) and as much as 67 percent among women 18-34. The Revolution tied its series-low in total viewers (1.32 million), with results in the three key female demos no higher than a 0.6 rating/4 share among women 25-54. The Chew, meanwhile, narrowed the gap versus All My Children one-year earlier in total viewers (2.21 vs. 2.38 million), but the demo erosion is still in the double-digit percentages.
Since ABC is unlikely to cancel both hours, The Revolution is the one to needs to go…and soon. Here are the results for The Chew versus All My Children and The Revolution versus One Life to Live.
All My Children – Week of 3/28/11
Viewers: 2.38 million, Women 25-54: 1.1 rating/ 7 share, Women 18-49: 0.8/ 5, Women 18-34: 0.4/ 3
The Chew – Week of 3/26/12
Viewers: 2.21 million, Women 25-54: 0.9/ 6, Women 18-49: 0.6/ 4, Women 18-34: 0.3/ 2
Percent Change – The Chew vs. All My Children
Viewers: – 7, Women 25-54: -18, Women 18-49: -25, Women 18-34: -25
One Life to Live – Week of 3/28/11
Viewers: 2.57 million, Women 25-54: 1.2/ 7, Women 18-49: 1.0/ 6, Women 18-34: 0.6/ 4
The Revolution – Week of 3/26/12
Viewers: 1.32 million, Women 25-54: 0.6/ 4, Women 18-49: 0.4/ 3, Women 18-34: 0.2/ 2
Percent Change – The Revolution vs. One Life to Live
Viewers: -49, Women 25-54: -50, Women 18-49: -60, Women 18-34: -67
On CBS, The Talk got a slight boost in total viewers (1.96 to 2.16 million: +10 percent), with a 1.0/ 7 in women 25-54 (+11 percent), a 0.8/ 5 in women 18-49 (no change) and a 0.4/ 3 among women 18-34 (-20).
Source: Nielsen Media Research data
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Planet Green to Be Re-Named Destination America
Cable network Planet Green, one of the several destinations from Discovery Communications, will be re-christened Destination America effective on Monday, May 28. Kicking off Memorial Day weekend, inspirational Destination America will celebrate the people, places and stories of the United States. Targeted to adults 25-54, Destination America will be available in 59.5 million homes and will feature a diversified array of programming running the gamut of food, mysteries and bona fide heroes to never-before-seen footage of America’s iconic landmarks, including Yellowstone National Park and the Evergreen swamps.
OWN Programming Initiatives
Rosie O’Donnell was OWN’s big name at last year’s upfront presentation, with the actress/comedienne’s short-lived talk show now one of the biggest flops in the history of television. But optimistic OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network is forging ahead, with five new series in primetime next season, plus a third season of Oprah’s Master Class and 10 additional episodes of reality series Welcome to Sweetie Pies.
The first new entry is Elura and Michele Take Staten Island, a docu-series about two best friends from Staten Island who happen to be former prosecutors. Next is Iyanla Fix My Life, which will feature author, inspirational speaker and former talk show host Iyanla Vanzant in a quest to fix lives and use her past to help others people’s futures. Third is Married to the Army: Alaska, which focuses on the lives a group of military wives in the 49th state. And Six Little McGhees (working title) follows the inspirational lives of a couple named Mia and Rozonno McGhee as they juggle marriage, a family business and six toddlers.
The fifth news series on OWN is a game show called Are You Normal…America?, which will feature contestants competing to win money in their quest to learn if they are normal or not. TV producer Barry Poznick and actress Kim Coles (Living Single) host.
TLC in 2012-13
TLC will debut an eight episode non-scripted series in first quarter 2013 focused on the world of competitive Irish dance as a group of young girls and boys prepare for the biggest event of the year: the World Championship competition. The fascinating world of the Amish will be the theme of Breaking Amish, a 10-part series following the lives of Amish men and women as they experience life for the first time outside the Amish community. And Mama’s Boys of the Bronx will take a candid look at the fives of five Italian-American men who still life with their mothers.
Other new shows on TLC next season include American Wifestyles (third quarter 2012), an anthology series about the real lives of wives across America; Bates Family Series (second quarter 2012), which focuses on a family with 19 children; workplace docu-soap Big Brooklyn Style (second quarter 2012); Big Tiny: Life With the Jordans (second quarter 2012), the story of the world’s smallest siblings; reality competition Craft Wars (third quarter 2012), hosted by Tori Spelling; Extreme Cheapskates (third quarter 2012); May the Best House Win (third quarter 2012), which features homeowners competing for $10,000; On The Fly (second quarter 2012), which features the employees of Southwest Airlines; Randy to the Rescue (second quarter 2012), with Say Yes to the Dress’ Randy Fenoli throwing the ultimate bridal truck show; Southie Pride, a docu-soap set in South Boston; and Tattoo School (second quarter 2012), which follows three students in Shreveport, Louisiana. There is also an untitled project with “Supernanny” Jo Frost, who is put back to work fixing troubled families.
In the specials department at TLC is 9/11 Emergency Room, Birth Moms, Brides of New Jersey, The Bubble Mam, DC Cupcakes: Mommy’s Birthday Bash, DC Cupcakes: NY Store Opening, Dr. McKinnon Tumor Specials, Maids of Dishonor, My Mother Diana, Obese & Expecting, Ultimate Dress Quest, William & Kate: One Year Later, and a wedding special with Mario Lopez and his fiancé Courtney Mazza in fourth quarter 2012. The Roloff family will also return in additional installments of Little People, Big World.
On the Air This Weekend
Friday, April 6
8:00 p.m. Shark Tank (R)
9:00 p.m. Primetime: What Would You Do?
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. Who Do You Think You Are?
9:00 p.m. Grimm
10:00 p.m. Dateline
8:00 p.m. The Finder (new day and time)
9:00 p.m. Fringe
8:00 p.m. Nikita
9:00 p.m. Supernatural
Saturday, April 7
8:00 p.m. Movie: The 10 Commandments (R)
8:00 p.m. How I Met Your Mother (R)
8:30 p.m. Mike & Molly (R)
9:00 p.m. Criminal Minds (R)
10:00 p.m. 48 Hours Mystery
8:00 p.m. Escape Routes
9:00 p.m. The Firm
10:00 p.m. Law & Order: SVU (R)
8:00 p.m. Cops
8:30 p.m. Cops (R)
9:00 p.m. Bones (R)
Sunday, April 8
7:00 p.m. America’s Funniest Home Videos (R)
8:00 p.m. Once Upon a Time (R)
9:00 p.m. GCB
10:00 p.m. GCB
7:00 p.m. 60 Minutes
8:00 p.m. The Amazing Race
9:00 p.m. The Good Wife (R)
10:00 p.m. CSI: Miami (season or series finale)
7:00 p.m. Dateline
8:00 p.m. Harry’s Law
9:00 p.m. Celebrity Apprentice (two hours)
7:00 p.m. The Simpsons (R)
7:30 p.m. The Cleveland Show (R)
8:00 p.m. The Simpsons (R)
8:30 p.m. Bob’s Burgers (R)
9:00 p.m. Family Guy (R)
9:30 p.m. American Dad (R)
Which one of the following TV characters once dressed as the Easter bunny to entertain kids at an orphanage?
a) Mick Belker
b) Hoss Cartwright
c) Edna Garrett
d) Alice Hyatt
e) Jonathan Smith
The answer to yesterday’s question…
Who played the manager and desk clerk of the hotel on short-lived Golden Girls spin-off The Golden Palace?
a) Don Cheadle
b) Bruce Davison
c) John Larroquette
d) Jeffrey Tambor
e) Billy Bob Thornton
Is: a) Don Cheadle, who is unlikely to have a spot for The Golden Palace on his resume.
Todays Trivia All-Stars:
Steve Albright, Vincent Alvarez, Mark Amato, Michelle Amundson, John Beadle, Gerry Bixenspan, D.C. Carter, Don Cheadle, Larry Collins, Mark Cosenza, Jamie Czarnezki, Audrey Davis, Reid Davis, John Ferlazzo, Jim Forkan, Ed Griffis, Susan Nessanbaum-Goldberg, Maureen Goldman, Julie Hurwitz, Bob Ingersoll, David Jackino, Cliff Jackson, Shelly Johnson, Tom Joyce, Synda Kollman, Marie Lefevre, Rick Locke, Jeff Meier, Marc Miller, Jody McInyre, Terrence Moss, Barbara Oates, Alan Perris, Greg Phelan, David Primuth, Gordon Purcell, Liza Reich, Joe Rubi, David Shearer, Mark Maxwell-Smith, Ken Stowe, Ronnie Tallant, Tammy Wiard, Abbott Wool, Ted Zavales
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,” is presently available.
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