Idol dominates, Parenthood again hits 18-to-49 motherlode | None | Uncle Barky's Bytes

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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Tues., March 16) -- Idol dominates, Parenthood again hits 18-to-49 motherlode

There again was no stopping Fox's American Idol, leaving rival networks to count their good fortunes elsewhere in prime-time.

The first outing of the show's Top 12 finalists drew 508,973 D-FW viewers from 7 to 9 p.m., cruising past competing new episodes of CBS' NCIS (339,315 viewers) and NCIS: Los Angeles (305,384 viewers). It was a bigger rout among advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-olds, with Idol more than doubling the crowds for both crimestoppers. NCIS: Los Angeles also was whipped in this measurement by ABC's 8 p.m. new episode of Lost.

The 9 p.m. hour then went to CBS' The Good Wife with 285,025 total viewers. But NBC's third episode of Parenthood had a blindingly bright silver lining in the 18-to-49 demographic, romping to a comfortable first-place finish while running third in total viewers. The Jay Leno Show invariably finished no better than fourth in this key demographic during its knee-buckling 9 p.m. run.

Over in the cable universe, FX's premiere of the very favorably reviewed Justified opened with an impressive 135,726 total viewers at 9 p.m. before a 10 p.m. repeat added another 95,008. TNT's competing 9 p.m. episode of Southland went deep south with just 20,359 viewers.

Meanwhile, the late night wars are getting to be a joke -- at David Letterman's expense. It now appears that Jay Leno is going to hand him his head virtually every night, picking right up where he left off after returning to The Tonight Show on March 1st.

Leno had 162,871 total viewers Tuesday while Letterman's Late Show managed just 67,863. It likewise was a blowout among 18-to-49-year-olds, with Leno winning by a score of 45,662 to 16,308. Like or or not, NBC's lantern-jawed everyman hasn't lost to Letterman in D-FW since returning to Tonight on March 1st.

In local news derby results, CBS11 took the 10 p.m. battle in total viewers while NBC5 countered with a comfy win among 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

Fox4's one-day stay at the top of the 6 a.m. ratings ended with WFAA8 topping the total viewer Nielsens and NBC5 winning by a hair over WFAA8 with 25-to-54-year-olds.

CBS11, increasingly strong at 6 p.m., ran the table at that hour. The Peacock in turn swept the 5 p.m. news competitions.