Not Every New Show Is Ratings Winner For Networks

By David Bauder, AP Television Writer

NEW YORK – What do ABC’s “Off the Map,” NBC’s “America’s Next Great Restaurant” and CBS’ “Chaos” have in common?

It won’t be longevity, based on last week’s Nielsen Co. ratings. Every television season has more failures than successes, and these new shows appear to be misses.

The medical drama “Off the Map” had 3.8 million viewers last Wednesday, a little more than a third of the audience for another new show, the CBS spinoff “Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior” in the same 10 p.m. ET time slot. That time is becoming increasingly difficult for the networks to program, with only CBS’ “The Mentalist” on Thursday finishing among Nielsen’s top 10 shows.

“America’s Next Great Restaurant,” an attempt at creating a new reality franchise, has flopped for NBC. The new CBS drama “Chaos” had 5.7 million viewers last week, considered a weak showing for that network.

Competition dominated prime-time network TV, with the top shows being “American Idol,” “Dancing With the Stars” and CBS’ airing of Connecticut’s victory over Butler in the NCAA men’s basketball championship.

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The premiere of Fox’s “Breaking In” was the most-watched new Fox sitcom in five years, although it kept less than half the audience from its “Idol” lead-in.

Watch The “Breaking In” Series Premiere Now:

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For the week, CBS averaged 11.2 million viewers in prime time (6.8 rating, 11 share). Fox was second with a 7.8 million viewer average (4.6, 7). ABC had fewer viewers than Fox (7.6 million) but a higher rating (4.8, 7), indicating a greater percentage of ABC’s viewership was by people who were alone. NBC averaged 5.1 million (3.3, 5), the CW had 1.3 million (0.8, 1) and ION Television had 1.1 million (0.7, 1).

Among the Spanish-language networks, Univision was tops with a prime-time average of 4 million viewers (2.1 rating, 2 share). Telemundo had 1.6 million (0.8, 1), TeleFutura had 630,000 (0.3, 1), Estrella had 220,000 and Azteca had 210,000 (both 0.1, 0).

NBC’s “Nightly News” topped the evening newscasts with an average of 8.4 million viewers (5.5, 11). ABC’s “World News” was second with 7.8 million (5.3, 11) and the “CBS Evening News” had 5.4 million viewers (3.6, 7).

A ratings point represents 1,159,000 households, or 1 percent of the nation’s estimated 115.9 million TV homes. The share is the percentage of in-use televisions tuned to a given show.

For the week of April 4-10, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: “American Idol” (Wednesday), Fox, 23.13 million; “Dancing With the Stars,” ABC, 21.83 million; “American Idol” (Thursday), 21.54 million; NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship: Butler vs Connecticut, CBS, 20.06 million; “NCIS,” CBS, 19.4 million; “Dancing With the Stars Results,” ABC, 16.09 million; “The Mentalist,” CBS, 15.17 million; “Criminal Minds,” 14.08 million; “60 Minutes,” CBS, 13.11 million; “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” CBS, 13.06 million.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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