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Nielsen Ratings - Jan 31, 2008: ABC Gets LOST

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Written By

February 1st, 2008

Scoreboard for Thurs, Jan. 31, 2008 ABC CBS FOX NBC CW
Total Viewers (million) 13.59 10.37 10.30 6.83 3.40
Rating/Share: Adults 18-49 5.3/14 2.4/6 3.2/8 2.8/7 1.4/4

With the season four premiere of Lost, ABC easily won the last night of January.  While Lost did not have it's biggest ratings ever, or perform as well as say Desperate Houswives, an hour worth of recap and the premiere both had solid performance in viewers and in the 18-49 demographic and both hours easily won their timeslots.  And while it was still January, technically last night was the first night of February sweeps, so at least briefly -- say until Sunday when the Super Bowl airs on FOX, ABC is off to a good start.

The recap performed much better than I thought it would and I'd have to concede that whether I found it any good or not, that along with about 13 million other people I watched it.  The premiere itself averaged around 16 million viewers -- and it definitely did leave me wanting more and anticipating next week.

More surprising to me was the performance of the premiere of ABC's Eli Stone following the Lost premiere.  The results for the first half hour will likely change some as Lost technically ran past 10pm, but Eli averaged ~12.5 million for the first half hour and 10.75 million in the second half hour.  This is not dramatically great performance, but given the George Michael tie-in, many more gave it a chance than I would've thought. 

More commentary and full half hourly data after the jump:

Though CBS had the second most viewers it could muster no better than fourth place in the 18-49 demographic.  Still, considering the lineup of repeats of CSI: NY, CSI and Without a Trace, CBS dramas continue to perform well in reruns compared to the other Networks.

NBC's Celebrity Apprentice lost some ground while Lost aired, but grabbed some of it back at 10pm. 

But the trend is realy still FOX's friend.  It's lineup of Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? and Don't Forget the Lyrics performed very well and FOX finished second in the 18-49 demo for the night.

New episodes of Smallville and Supernatural aired on the CW and gave the network some of its best non-Friday Night Smackdown! numbers in a while, which I suppose given the Lost premiere was excellent performance.

Time Network Show Viewers (Millons) 18-49 Rating/Share HH Rating
8:00 ABC Lost Recap: Past, Present & Future 12.87 4.7/13 7.9
  CBS CSI: NY (R ) 8.33 1.7/5 5.6
  NBC My Name is Earl (R ) 5.30 2.2/6 3.4
  FOX Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? 9.60 2.8/8 5.9
  CW Smallville 3.62 1.5/4 2.3
           
8:30 ABC Lost Recap: Past, Present & Future 13.25 5.2/13 8.0
  CBS CSI: NY (R ) 9.31 2.0/5 6.1
  NBC The Office (R ) 4.48 1.9/5 2.9
  FOX Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? 11.53 3.4/9 6.9
  CW Smallville 4.02 1.7/4 2.5
           
9:00 ABC Lost: Season 4 Premiere 15.95 6.6/16 9.4
  CBS CSI (R ) 11.82 2.7/7 7.7
  NBC Celebrity Apprentice 6.81 2.7/7 4.5
  FOX Don't Forget the Lyrics 9.63 3.1/8 5.7
  CW Supernatural 3.02 1.3/3 1.8
           
9:30 ABC Lost: Season 4 Premiere 16.19 6.8/17 9.5
  CBS CSI (R ) 11.93 2.8/7 7.8
  NBC Celebrity Apprentice 6.95 2.8/7 4.5
  FOX Don't Forget the Lyrics 10.44 3.4/8 6.2
  CW Supernatural 2.95 1.3/3 1.8
           
10:00 ABC Eli Stone: Series Premiere 12.51 4.6/12 7.8
  CBS Without a Trace (R ) 10.28 2.3/6 7.0
  NBC Celebrity Apprentice 8.17 3.4/9 5.3
           
10:30 ABC Eli Stone: Series Premiere 10.75 3.8/11 6.9
  CBS Without a Trace (R ) 10.52 2.6/7 7.2
  NBC Celebrity Apprentice 9.24 3.8/11 6.1

Nielsen Ratings Source: Nielsen Media Research. Full night's results available via Marc Berman/Mediaweek.

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  • WHOLETRUTHY

    hey ABC stop the overun of lost

  • WHOLETRUTHY

    hey ABC stop the overun of lost

  • http://iamatvjunkie.com Joe Bua

    Now you see, I didn't think the George Michael issue would affect viewing, I thought it would be the comparisons to Ally McBeal.

    Haven't we already seen Eli Stone, but in drag?

  • http://iamatvjunkie.com Joe Bua

    Now you see, I didn’t think the George Michael issue would affect viewing, I thought it would be the comparisons to Ally McBeal.

    Haven’t we already seen Eli Stone, but in drag?

  • Rena Moretti

    It goes to show once again, that marketing still has power. ABC relaunched Lost as if it were a new show and got an expected bump in the ratings.

    My guess is that Lost will quickly slim back to last year's ratings and will continue its downward slide.

    Hard to tell what Eli Stone will do. I didn't find it interesting, but the comparisons with Ally McBeal make me think it may be one of those few shows I have a blind spot on.

    It will be interesting to see.

  • Rena Moretti

    It goes to show once again, that marketing still has power. ABC relaunched Lost as if it were a new show and got an expected bump in the ratings.

    My guess is that Lost will quickly slim back to last year’s ratings and will continue its downward slide.

    Hard to tell what Eli Stone will do. I didn’t find it interesting, but the comparisons with Ally McBeal make me think it may be one of those few shows I have a blind spot on.

    It will be interesting to see.

  • Rob

    Remember when you evaluate “Lost”, you have to evaluate the Live+7 numbers, or you dont see the whole story. Last season when Lost moved to 10 pm, they lost seemingly 15 percent of their audience and everyone attributed it to a “downward slide” caused by the show “refusing to answer everyone's questions” and all that silliness. And then, as Neilsen perfected its ability to measure DVR viewing up to 7 days later, all those supposedly “lost” “Lost” viewers were miraculously found again. They were going to bed and taping the show for later. It turned out the audience loss was a mere ONE PERCENT, not fifteen. “Lost” may indeed continue its downward slide amongst those who watch the show live, because so many prefer to record it and watch it slowly and repeatedly to pick up all of its intricate plotting and sumptuous cinematography. But I think the total audience will slowly rebuild in anticipation of the 2010 conclusion.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    Fair point Rob, indeed the Live+7 numbers will be higher. But how much higher? Let's take the most recent airing of Grey's Anatomy as an example. It had 15.97m live and 3.67 DVR viewers for a total of 19.62 million.

    The thing to note though is a large % of the DVR viewers watch it the SAME DAY. The overnight #s reported for that episode of Greys were 17.57, so about half its DVR viewing occured the same night.

    I have no reason to think that Lost will vastly outperform Grey's in DVR viewing so I'd estimate the final Live+7 #s for the 1/31 9pm lost at ~18.5 million. We won't know for sure for over 2 weeks (the Live+7 numbers for 1/31won't be available until 2/18).

    With that in mind, I view the #s for lost as very good but not great if the *season premiere* performs as well as an average Grey's, but not as well as some of the more highly rated Grey's.

  • Rob

    Remember when you evaluate “Lost”, you have to evaluate the Live+7 numbers, or you dont see the whole story. Last season when Lost moved to 10 pm, they lost seemingly 15 percent of their audience and everyone attributed it to a “downward slide” caused by the show “refusing to answer everyone’s questions” and all that silliness. And then, as Neilsen perfected its ability to measure DVR viewing up to 7 days later, all those supposedly “lost” “Lost” viewers were miraculously found again. They were going to bed and taping the show for later. It turned out the audience loss was a mere ONE PERCENT, not fifteen. “Lost” may indeed continue its downward slide amongst those who watch the show live, because so many prefer to record it and watch it slowly and repeatedly to pick up all of its intricate plotting and sumptuous cinematography. But I think the total audience will slowly rebuild in anticipation of the 2010 conclusion.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    Fair point Rob, indeed the Live+7 numbers will be higher. But how much higher? Let’s take the most recent airing of Grey’s Anatomy as an example. It had 15.97m live and 3.67 DVR viewers for a total of 19.62 million.

    The thing to note though is a large % of the DVR viewers watch it the SAME DAY. The overnight #s reported for that episode of Greys were 17.57, so about half its DVR viewing occured the same night.

    I have no reason to think that Lost will vastly outperform Grey’s in DVR viewing so I’d estimate the final Live+7 #s for the 1/31 9pm lost at ~18.5 million. We won’t know for sure for over 2 weeks (the Live+7 numbers for 1/31won’t be available until 2/18).

    With that in mind, I view the #s for lost as very good but not great if the *season premiere* performs as well as an average Grey’s, but not as well as some of the more highly rated Grey’s.

  • Rena Moretti

    Rob, weren't you adding DVR viewers to one total, but not to the other?

    As for the “intricate plotting”, I call it “plot hole central”. ;)

  • Rena Moretti

    Rob, weren’t you adding DVR viewers to one total, but not to the other?

    As for the “intricate plotting”, I call it “plot hole central”. ;)

  • http://myspace.com/sfdoubledip Christian H

    I think that “Lost” will be able to better retain viewers for these 8 episodes partially because of the writer's strike. Where can you go to find quality scripted programming on a Thursday night, let alone any night of the week now?

    Besides this advantage, the 4th Season opener was entertaining and well written. I'm sure it will retain its audience in the next 7 weeks to come.

  • http://myspace.com/sfdoubledip Christian H

    I think that “Lost” will be able to better retain viewers for these 8 episodes partially because of the writer’s strike. Where can you go to find quality scripted programming on a Thursday night, let alone any night of the week now?

    Besides this advantage, the 4th Season opener was entertaining and well written. I’m sure it will retain its audience in the next 7 weeks to come.

  • Rena Moretti

    We'll see Christian. :)

    I don't even watch anything any longer on Thursday night. CSI is long past its prime, Without a Trace is a joke and well… I won't go into what I think of the rest of the networks' offerings (OK, The Office is just bad film making IMO)

    Thursdays are completely up for grabs but the networks are so obsessed about ordering shows from whomever they read is “hip” that they are letting the strongest night of television dwindle away.

  • Rena Moretti

    We’ll see Christian. :)

    I don’t even watch anything any longer on Thursday night. CSI is long past its prime, Without a Trace is a joke and well… I won’t go into what I think of the rest of the networks’ offerings (OK, The Office is just bad film making IMO)

    Thursdays are completely up for grabs but the networks are so obsessed about ordering shows from whomever they read is “hip” that they are letting the strongest night of television dwindle away.

  • Rob

    Rena– For someone who likes the TVbytheNumbers website, you dont actually seem to like anything on TV. You seemingly think Lost is full of plot holes (signs of an inattentive viewer), you are grated by people that like Friday Night Lights, and you consider the No. 1 show on TV (CSI) way past its prime, and the No. 2 comedy on TV (after Two and a Half Men) “bad filmmaking.” So what is it that you actually like? Or do you just enjoy hating everything and hoping shows will be cancelled?

  • Rob

    Rena– For someone who likes the TVbytheNumbers website, you dont actually seem to like anything on TV. You seemingly think Lost is full of plot holes (signs of an inattentive viewer), you are grated by people that like Friday Night Lights, and you consider the No. 1 show on TV (CSI) way past its prime, and the No. 2 comedy on TV (after Two and a Half Men) “bad filmmaking.” So what is it that you actually like? Or do you just enjoy hating everything and hoping shows will be cancelled?

  • Rena Moretti

    On your surmise, The Office may be the #2 comedy (is that even true of is that yet another numbers spin), but that really doesn't mean much does it? Only one comedy really belongs on the schedule based on its ratings, and it's the always clever and funny Two and a Half Men.

    The Office is to my eye, an affront to good film making and I find it completely unfunny. NBC is still trying to save it in spite of its pitiful ratings by constantly re-launching it (Fox is doing the same thing with Family Guy).

    NBC would be doing much better if it tried to have well-made shows on its schedule rather than unwatchable shaky-cam fests like The Office and Friday Night Lights.

    Instead of making better shows that are actually funny

  • Rena Moretti

    Rob:

    I’d appreciate your not insulting me.

    Contrary to what you wrote, I am not a moron just because I don’t lie a bad show that you defend.

    I can like or not like whatever I want.

    It’s none of your business to attack me just because you disagree.

    I have to say I’m very disappointed that you stooped to that level.

    Shame on you!

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