CBS Dominates the Wednesday Overnights; ABC and NBC Continue to Struggle

Thursday, November 20, 2008
Prime-Time Metered Market Wednesday Ratings:
CBS Wins; ABC and NBC Continue to Struggle
Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not
On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options 
TV Tidbits:
Notes of Interest
Remembering Matthew Rodriguez
TV Trivia Time:
A Designing Actress
Prime-Time Metered Market Wednesday Ratings:
CBS Wins; ABC and NBC Continue to Struggle
Wednesday 11/19/08
CBS   8.2/13
Fox    5.5/ 9
ABC 4.4/ 7
NBC 4.1/ 7
CW    2.7/ 4

Note: Year-to-year overnight comparisons were not available.


Note: The fast affiliate results for Thursday will be posted at PIFeedback by 12 p.m. ET. Go to the website, click on Ratings Box (the first category), then Last Night’s Results, and Thursday, November 20, 2008.   

-Yesterday’s Winners:
Bones (Fox), Criminal Minds (CBS), CSI: NY (CBS)
-Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats):

Pushing Daisies (ABC), Knight Rider (NBC), Life (NBC), Stylista (CW), Dirty Sexy Money (ABC)

-Ratings Breakdown:

CBS led this third Wednesday of the Nov. 2008 sweeps, beating second-place Fox by 3.7 rating points in the overnights. In the distant No. 3 spot was a very disappointing ABC, followed by lagging NBC and the CW, which featured the season-finale of America’s Next Top Model. Amazing how quickly the seasons pass for all these reality/competitions.


First in the 8 p.m. hour was Fox’s always reliable Bones, with a 6.9 rating/11 share in the overnights. As a reminder, Bones will be moving to Thursday at 8 p.m. (into returning Hell’s Kitchen) in first quarter 2009. Next were CBS sitcoms The New Adventures of Old Christine and Gary Unmarried, each with a respectable 5.1/ 8, followed by the aforementioned season-finale of America’s Next Top Model on the CW (3.7/ 6), NBC’s failing Knight Rider (3.4/ 5), and ABC’s waiting-to-be axed Pushing Daisies (series-low 3.4/ 6). From a ratings perspective, this was not the best season for Top Model. But versus one week earlier, both The New Adventures of Old Christine and Gary Unmarried were each up by 16 percent (5.1 vs. 4.4/ 7).


CBS moved into the overnight winner’s circle at 9 p.m., care of Criminal Minds at a 10.4/16. Second was ABC’s Private Practice (5.4/ 9), which built from the second half of lead-in Pushing Daisies (3.2/ 5 at 8:30 p.m.) by 69 percent and is wisely moving into the Thursday 10 p.m. hour (out of parent Grey’s Anatomy) in first quarter. 


Also airing from 9-10 p.m. was a repeat of Fox’s House (4.2/ 7), NBC’s failing Life (3.4/ 5), which received a full season order despite the anemic ratings, and the CW’s lackluster Stylista (1.7/ 2).


Episode No. 100 of CBS’ CSI: NY (time flies, doesn’t it?) won the 10 p.m. hour, with a 9.1/15 in the overnights. Next was NBC’s veteran Law & Order (5.6/10), which remains down year-to-year but did grow from the second half of lead-in Life (3.3/ 5 at 9:30 p.m.) by 70 percent. And ABC’s Dirty Sexy Money, which has yet to be picked-up for the full season, capped off the time period with a last-place 4.3/ 7. Too bad more viewers have not discovered this addictive pleasure.

Source: Nielsen Media Research data
Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not
-Season to-Date Ratings Update:

Based on national ratings in prime-time through the first eight weeks of the season (Sept. 22 – Nov. 16, 2008), here is how the five broadcast networks are faring in households and adults 18-49 (with change versus the comparable year-ago period in parentheses). CBS is first in households, while ABC and CBS are tied for dominance among adults 18-49. The five networks, on average, are down by 10 percent in households and 12 percent among adults 18-49, with female-driven the CW posting the biggest losses.


CBS: 7.2 rating/12 share (- 4), ABC: 6.5/11 (-11), NBC: 4.8/ 8 (- 9), Fox: 4.8/ 8 (-16), CW: 1.5/ 2 (-21)