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Rating “Idol,” “Dancing, “10 at 10″ and 20 Minutes of News

I went on WBEN-AM radio this morning to talk about what Western New York is watching. So it is only logical that I would make it the focus of part of this morning’s blog.

Western New York keeps falling out of love with “American Idol.” Wednesday’s two-hour performance show didn’t even hit a double-digit rating on Fox affiliate WUTV even though the competition was down to the final five.

American Idol logo 2008–2011

American Idol: Slipping Here

“Idol” had a 9.1 rating locally, which is about 25-30 percent lower than the rating at a comparable time a year ago. The Thursday night results show had an 8.7 rating.

Of course, “Idol” remains a strong demographic program and does better nationally in other areas of the country.

It usually does very well in the South, which shouldn’t be surprising since three out of the Final Four of Hollie (Texas), Joshua (Louisiana), Phillip (Georgia) and Jessica (California) come from that section of the country.

Of course, many network shows are experiencing a decline locally these days. It is rare any network show that isn’t carried by CBS gets a double-digit rating locally. The series averaging in the double digits generally include ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” and several CBS shows including ”Big Bang Theory,” “NCIS” and the rookie series “Person of Interest.” 

“Idol” still does reasonably well here by comparison to most network TV series. It also is now beating NBC’s “The Voice” locally by a substantial margin. The second highest-rated series Wednesday opposite “Idol” was ABC’s “Modern Family,” which had an 8.7 rating on Channel 7. Brian Williams’ compelling “Rock Center” special on the special operations mission a year ago that ended with the killing of Osama Bin Laden had a 4.8 rating on Channel 2, which is more than 50 percent higher than “Rock Center” averaged during the February sweeps.

I didn’t notice until Wednesday that Channel 4 can run as much as 20 minutes of news and weather before it takes a commercial break on the 5:30 p.m. newscast with Diana Fairbanks. After 5:50 p.m., it is almost all commercials and promos.

Here’s an interesting trend detected about Channel 2’s 10 p.m. news on WNYO-TV that suggests my criticism of “10 at 10″ for stupidly delivering the top story midway through the newscast could be misguided. On two of the first four days of this week (Monday and Wednesday), the newscast anchored by Melissa Holmes averaged ratings in the 3s, which is significantly higher than it usually gets. And the second 15 minutes – when the station airs the top story, weather and sports – got higher ratings than the first 15 minutes on two of the four nights. Channel 4’s 10 o’clock news on WNLO anchored by Fairbanks sees its ratings decline significantly in the second 15 minutes. It still has a sizable lead over Channel 2’s newscast at 10 p.m., but Channel 2′s ratings are improving significantly.

While ABC’s “Good Morning America” is giving NBC’s “Today” a run for its money nationally, it still is no contest locally. Matt Lauer and company dominate here in the morning. One significant factor is the strong lead-in that Channel 2’s “Daybreak” provides “Today.” “GMA,” on the other hand, gets no help from Channel 7.

Talk about eerie timing. ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” was focusing on the punishment that four present and former New Orleans Saints were getting Wednesday because of Bountygate when the program had to take a right turn and focus on the apparent suicide of former San Diego Charger great Junior Seau. The timing certainly made the suspensions seem appropriate.

This Just In: The live episode of “30 Rock” last week didn’t lead to more local viewers flocking to the Tina Fey comedy this week. On Thursday, it didn’t even hit a 2 rating on Channel 2. NBC’s highest-rated show on Thursday was “Parks and Recreation” with a 3.4 rating. The 10 p.m. series “Awake” didn’t even have as many viewers on Channel 2 as Channel 2′s 10 p.m. news on WNYO-TV. Ouch.


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1 response to "Rating “Idol,” “Dancing, “10 at 10″ and 20 Minutes of News"

  1. Alan wrote:
    The 10 p.m. series “Awake” didn’t even have as many viewers on Channel 2 as Channel 2′s 10 p.m. news on WNYO-TV. Ouch.

    Somewhere, Conan O’Brien is laughing.

    NBC really needs to consider the inevitable: scrapping Hour 3 of prime time. The only show that might be a problem is SVU. But then again, there’s always USA Network for that.

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