CBS and Fox Continue to Dominate in Prime

THE PROGRAMMING INSIDER
Thursday, May 7, 2009
 

National Ratings in Prime-Time:

Week of April 27, 2009

 
Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not
 

On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options  

 
TV Tidbits:
Notes of Interest
 
TV Trivia Time:
A Different Mr. Spock
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Note: The overnight (metered market) rating results for Wednesday, May 6 were not available at press time.

 
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National Ratings in Prime-Time:

Week of April 27, 2009

 

It was another week of split leadership, with CBS first in households and total viewers and the home of American Idol, Fox, No. 1 in the three key demos — adults 18-49, adults 25-54 and adults 18-34. Needless to say, this will remain the pecking order through the remainder of the traditional (September through May) season.  CBS was on the plus side from one year earlier, with minor growth, while Fox lost about the same amount of steam that CBS gained. 

 

ABC was on the map, finishing as high as second in households and adults 18-34, with its largest audience in five weeks (and home to four of the top 10 rated shows among adults 18-49). NBC, which grew in the three surveyed demos, finished third among adults 18-34 and fourth elsewhere, while fifth-place the CW dipped by margins of 17 to 24 percent. Last-place MyNetworkTV continues to benefit from the fall 2008 arrival of Friday Night Smackdown!, with growth of as much as 50 percent in adults 25-54. The true test will come next season when the comparisons will include Smackdown! in the year-ago mix.

 

As expected, CBS moving Harper’s Island into the Saturday 9 p.m. hour was a disaster, with a series-low 4.63 million viewers (#64) and a 1.0 rating/3 share among adults 18-49 (tied for #74).   Also not benefiting by a move was recently animated Fox entry Sit Down, Shut Up, which sunk to a mere 2.06 million viewers (#83) and a 0.8/ 3 in the demo (tied for #82) in the Sunday 7 p.m. anchor spot. Both moves, of course, were just burn-off maneuvers. Considerably disappointing on NBC, meanwhile, was just renewed Southland at an also series-low 6.66 million viewers (#47) and a 2.0/ 6 among adults 18-49 (tied for #53) in the Thursday 10 p.m. hour. Competing against Southland was the second season-finale of ABC’s Practice at a comfortable 9.70 million viewers (#26) and a 3.5/10 among adults 18-49 (#18t). Comparably, that put retention out of Grey’s Anatomy (Viewers: 14.12 million; A18-49: 5.1/13) at 69 percent in both categories. 

 

Here are the final national ratings for the week of April 27, 2009 (with percent change versus the comparable year-ago week in parentheses), followed by the new midseason series report card and the top 30 rated programs of the week.   Note: The Wednesday 8 p.m. hour was not rated this week due to President Obama addressing the country on his 100th day in office.

 
-Households:

CBS: 6.9 rating/12 share (+ 6), ABC: 5.5/ 9 (- 8), Fox: 5.3/ 9 (- 7), NBC: 4.2/ 7 (- 2), CW: 1.3/ 2 (-24), MNTV: 1.0/ 2 (+25)

 
-Total Viewers:

CBS: 11.11 million (+11), Fox: 8.85 (- 6), ABC: 8.37 (- 9), NBC: 6.43 (no change), CW: 1.96 (-24), MNTV: 1.57 (+39)

 
-Adults 18-49:

Fox: 3.2 rating/9 share (- 9), CBS: 2.7/ 8 (+ 4), ABC: 2.5/ 7 (-14), NBC: 2.1/ 6 (+ 5), CW: 0.9/ 2 (-18), MNTV: 0.5/ 2 (+25)

 
-Adults 25-54:

Fox: 3.7/10 (- 5), CBS: 3.6/ 9 (+ 6), ABC: 3.1/ 8 (-11), NBC: 2.6/ 7 (+ 4), CW: 0.8/ 2 (-20), MNTV: 0.6/ 2 (+50)

 
-Adults 18-34:

Fox: 2.6/ 9 (-10), ABC: 1.9/ 6 (-17), NBC: 1.7/ 6 (+13), CBS: 1.7/ 6 (+ 6), CW: 1.0/ 3 (-17), MNTV: 0.5/ 2 (+25)

 
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New Midseason Series Scorecard (excluding repeats and in order of total viewers; Pre-empted: ABC’s Better Off Ted)