Glenn Watson/USA Network
Glenn Watson/USA Network
What was cable's No. 1 show, after the Barack Obama inaugural? Why is Jimmy Fallon potentially in for it? Why might Samuel L. Jackson be cussing, well, more than usual? And why should Friday Night Lights put in for transfers to Monday?
The answers—and more questions—in this week's TV ratings pop quiz:
1. OK, not counting Obama-everything and wrestling-anything, what were cable's top draws? The returning Burn Notice (5.1 million viewers, per Nielsen) was the No. 1 series. Other standouts: Monk (5 million), The Secret Life of the American Teenager (3.9 million) and Psych (3.9 million). The Suite Life on Deck (3.7 million) was the top comedy series; Top Chef (2.7 million) and Ghost Hunters (2.4 million) were reality standouts.
2. Why should Jimmy Fallon be worried? Because even a late-night veteran like Conan O'Brien is having trouble fending off Craig Ferguson. For the week of Jan. 12-16, Ferguson's Late Late Show (2.1 million) outdrew O'Brien's Late Night (1.9 million).
3. What scored more viewers than Afro Samurai: Resurrection? A lot of stuff. The feature-length, Jackson-voiced, DVD-bound toon was watched by only 710,000 Sunday night on Spike TV, a network that averaged 1.2 million prime-time viewers for the week.
4. Who had a bigger, but actually, worse cable outing than Jackson? Glenn Close. Last week's Damages (761,000, down from 1.1 million) shed nearly a third of its audience from the previous week. Also having an off week: Battlestar Galactica (1.7 million, down from 2.1 million).
5. What got big in a hurry? Wolverine and the X-Men. Premiering Friday night on Nicktoons, the animated series averaged 512,500, a great number for the network. Moving to regular Nick on Sunday afternoon, the back-to-back episodes averaged 2 million.
6. Slumdog Millionaire or Miss America? Tough call. Together, TNT's and TBS's Screen Actors Guild Awards show coverage drew more viewers (5.3 million), but alone, TLC's pageant coverage did (3.5 million). The tie-breaker goes to Miss America, which was only down a tick from last year compared to the SAGs' 13 percent sag.
7. Why is it better to air on Monday? Six of the 25 most-watched broadcast shows aired on Monday, the latest rankings showed; in the 18-49 demo, seven of the 25 top shows aired that night.
8. Would it really help Friday Night Lights to move to Monday? Psychically, yes. Then the series wouldn't get muscled out anymore by Friday Night Smackdown (season-high 4 million).
9. Why is Lost hipper than you think? Its recap episode beat 30 Rock and Bones in the 18-49 standings. (Its all-new season premiere outranked those Top 25 shows, too.)
10. Why is American Idol bigger than you think? Because, simply, it's the biggest. Still. It was No. 1—and No. 2—in the total viewer and demo rankings.