Season-to-Date 18-49 Performance

Categories: Nielsen Broadcast TV Show Ratings Adults 18-49

Written By

November 29th, 2007

Below is a data table that perhaps only a numbers junky could love, but c'mon, admit it, if you're reading this you are in fact a numbers junky!  See the lengthy disclaimer/explanation under the table.  Through 11/25, Grey's Anatomy has been the most watched show in the 18-49 demo this season, followed by House and Desperate Housewives.  ABC places 3 shows in the top 10 (and two out of the top 3), as does NBC.  CBS and FOX have two each.  Noteworthy top 10 performers are #7, The Office and #9, Family Guy.  Those shows are noteworthy because of their season-to-date household ratings (overall, not just in the demo). 

Full season-to-date 18-49 rankings through 11/25/07:

1 GREYS ANATOMY-THU 9PM ABC 11,722 13.6 20 2
2 HOUSE FOX 10,556 11.3 17 6
4 CSI CBS 8,999 13.4 20 3
6 HEROES NBC 7,875 7.5 11 24
7 OFFICE NBC 7,120 5.6 8 49
8 DANCING W/THE STARS-MON ABC 7,068 13.8 20 1
9 FAMILY GUY FOX 6,812 5.9 9 45
10 TWO AND A HALF MEN CBS 6,736 8.8 13 17
11 BROTHERS & SISTERS ABC 6,699 8.9 14 16
12 SURVIVOR: CHINA CBS 6,650 9.0 14 15
13 CSI: MIAMI CBS 6,614 10.5 17 8
14 EXTREME MAKEOVER:HOME ED. ABC 6,447 8.3 13 20
15 SIMPSONS FOX 6,290 5.7 9 47
16 LAW AND ORDER:SVU NBC 6,138 8.2 14 21
17 PRIVATE PRACTICE ABC 6,131 8.5 13 19
18 SAMANTHA WHO? ABC 6,092 9.5 14 12
19 WITHOUT A TRACE CBS 5,964 10.5 17 8
20 SUNDAY NIGHT NFL PRE-KICK NBC 5,886 7.1 12 29

ABC places 7 shows in the list with NBC and CBS having 5 each.  FOX placed 3 shows.  Only two new shows made this list, both on ABC, Private Practice and Samantha Who?  The Dancing with the Stars results show is #5 in overall household rating season-to-date, but did not make this list (it was #21), however, I expect that will change when the results show finale from this past Tuesday (11/27) which did gargantuan ratings is included.   On to a lengthy explanation of the table...

This table ranks the season-to-date average viewership in the 18-49 demographic. All data in the above table is based on season-to-date averages through 11/25/07.Normally Nielsen provides three slices of the data:

LIVE (live viewership)

LIVE+SD (live plus same day DVR viewership)

LIVE+7  (live plus seven day DVR viewership)

For the season-to-date, they replace "LIVE+7" with "Most Current".  This is a weighted average of all the LIVE+7 data for the weeks it is available and LIVE+SD for the weeks where it isn't.  In the case of this particular chart that means it's a weighted average of the LIVE+7 data through 11/11/07 and LIVE+SD data from 11/12-11/25/07. Despite the convoluted explanation, I used the "Most Current" slice over LIVE+SD because it's the most comprehensive season-to-date data available.

Because we think more data is better than less, I also included HH rating and share information.  I would've preferred to do the comparison with overall viewership, but unfortunately Nielsen does not make season-to-date information for total viewers age 2 and above available to us. While comparing viewers in the 18-49 demo with household rating information is somewhat apples to pears, it still seemed more valuable than just including the 18-49 info.

One final, but important note: there is some flavor of "lies, damn lies, and statistics" with this table.  Mindboggling as it is to me, especially in light of the WGA strike, CBS and ABC held steadfast to their desire to win the November sweeps and aired (wasted?) new episodes of CSI and Grey's Anatomy on Thanksgiving night. 

However, those nets designated the airings that night as "special".  What was special about those airings?  In this case it's that the numbers from "special" airings do not get included in the season-to-date averages. Read as: they knew the performance would suck, aired the shows anyway, but did so in a way that it would not affect the season-to-date performance the networks use to sell advertising.

Nielsen Ratings Data: ©2007 Nielsen Media Research, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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