Fox led the low-rated Saturday troops care of its perennial combination of Cops (original and repeat—viewers: No. 1, avg. 5.73 million; adults 18-49: No.1, avg. 1.8 rating/6 share) and America’s Most Wanted (viewers: No. 1, 5.98 million; adults 18-49: No. 1, 1.9/6) from 8-9 p.m. What can you really say when the top-rated network averages just 5.86 million viewers and a 1/8 rating/6 share in the demo? Not much.
Second in total viewers was NBC with 4.28 million, followed by CBS (4.12) and ABC (3.72), according to the fast affiliate data from Nielsen Media Research. Tied for second among adults 18-49 were ABC and CBS (0.9/3 each), followed by NBC at a 0.6/2.
A night of repeats on NBC resulted in a second place finish overall in total viewers with a fourth place ranking among adults 18-49. The Harry’s Law encore opened with 4.72 million viewers (No. 3) and a last place 0.6/2 among adults 18-49 at 8 p.m., followed by repeats of Law & Order: Los Angeles (viewers: No. 4, 3.62 million; adults 18-49: No. 4, 0.5/2) and Law & Order: SVU (viewers: No. 2, 4.51 million; adults 18-49: No. 3, 0.8/3) from 9-11 p.m. Although SVU is a shoo-in to return next season, NBC would be wise to let LOLA go and finally realize the franchise is just plain tired.
Third place CBS populated the evening with repeats of The Amazing Race (viewers: No. 4, 2.51 million; adults 18-49: No. 3t, 0.7/2), which is rarely seen outside of an original; and Hawaii Five-O (viewers: No. 2, 4.44 million; adults 18-49: No. 2, 0.9/3) from 8-10 p.m.; followed by 48 Hours Mystery at 5.41 million viewers (No. 1); and a 1.2/4 among adults 18-49 (No. 1t) at 10 p.m. CBS is the one network that could attempt to be more aggressive on Saturday—it has so few holes elsewhere it could really focus on something here. But that is unlikely to happen ever again.
Last was a repeat of Will Smith theatrical The Pursuit of Happyness at a not-so-happy 3.72 million viewers (No. 4) and a 0.9/3 among adults 18-49 (No. 2t) in prime time.
The best word(s) to describe the Saturday landscape: depressing—make that very depressing.