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Nielsen Ratings for Wed Feb 20: Idol Rules, CBS Needs to Fire People

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February 21st, 2008

Scoreboard for Weds. Feb. 20, 2008 FOX NBC CBS ABC CW
Total Viewers (million) 28.67 9.16 6.66 5.45 2.84
Rating/Share: Adults 18-49 11.1/27 2.4/6 1.9/5 2.0/5 1.4/3

American Idol crushes everything, and it isn't even close.  Last night's two hour installment averaged almost 29 million viewers in the overnight results. FOX won the night easily and I'll give a little credit to my bald brother Jeff Zucker because NBC seems to at least be trying (trying isn't succeeding, but I still applaud the effort).

All you have to do to understand one huge problem with the television business in the aggregate is watch what CBS does.  It's now clear to me, without any cynicism whatsoever, just pure reality that these chuckleheads make so much money no matter what they do, that making as much money as possible is not the goal.  Since it's obvious that's not the goal, I really do believe some heads should roll.

Big Brother at 8pm continues to stink it up ratings-wise and a rerun of CSI: NY at 10pm, when many less viewers are watching TV in general had ~50% more viewers and even beat BB in the 18-49 demo (and yes, I know CSI: NY didn't have to go up against Idol, but still).  CBS flat-out knows it can get more viewers and make more money with reruns in the 8pm slot.  BB should be moved to Fridays and Saturdays and if that doesn't work out - take your lumps and wait for the summer.   But CBS is making money hand over fist anyway, making even more?  Doesn't seem so important.

Things are worse at the Mouse (though even lousy Wife Swap bested Big Brother), but it's not as easy for me to chime in on what ABC should do.  Its reruns do not perform well at all, especially compared to CBS.   I think ABC is just waiting for DWTS to come back on, and squeezing whatever it can out of Extreme Makeover and Lost while waiting for new episodes of Desperate Housewives and Grey's Anatomy to come back.

And of course, things are pitiful at the CW where we seem to not care about Tyra and her posse so much anymore.  America's Next Top Model could only draw a modest 3.8 million viewers and a 1.9/5 in the demo.  As predicted, the repeat airing of Monday's Pussycat Dolls Present: Girlicious performed better as a rerun following ANTM than it did in its new airing.  How about putting something else on Monday nights and just sticking Girlicious *new* episodes on Wednesdays?  Duh.  The CW needs to fire some people, too.

See the night's full details:

Time Network Show Viewers (Millons) 18-49 Rating/Share HH Rating
8:00 CBS Big Brother 5.24 1.9/5 3.3
  NBC Deal or No Deal 8.93 2.1/5 6.1
  ABC Wife Swap 5.62 2.1/5 3.7
  CW Americas Next Top Model 3.8 1.9/5 3.1
  FOX American Idol (8p-10p) 28.67 11.1/27 16.6
           
9:00 CBS Criminal Minds (Repeat) 7.31 1.9/5 5.2
  NBC Law & Order: Criminal Intent 7.7 1.9/4 5.7
  ABC Supernanny 5.96 2.3/6 4.4
  CW Pussycat Dolls Present: Girlicious (Repeat) 1.87 0.8/2 1.8
           
10:00 ABC Cashmere Mafia 4.77 1.6/4 3.6
  NBC Law & Order 10.85 3.1/8 7.9
  CBS CSI: NY (Repeat) 7.42 2.0/5 5.3

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

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  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    TV-Aholic. i call BS on that. It doesn’t make any sense — if the goal is to make as much cash as possible. Dilution smolution, they could rerun 2.5 Men EVERY night and it will always outperform BB and Jericho.

    We have different ideas on the best way to make money. The good news is, CBS is probably more likely to hire you :)

  • TV-aholic

    I like that

    “Dilution, Smolution”

    Have to remember that!

    :-)

  • Mul

    That was I, or to you, that is. Still, statements such as “ABC ran with its crap filled evening of Wife Swap, SuperNanny and the stinkeroo that is Cashmere Mafia” would seem to be of mixed qualitative content.

    “Stinkeroo” I have no problem with as a content-neutral numbers term. But “crap” would seem to imply something more.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    ratings-wise, it's all crap. Just the way it is.

  • Mul

    That was I, or to you, that is. Still, statements such as “ABC ran with its crap filled evening of Wife Swap, SuperNanny and the stinkeroo that is Cashmere Mafia” would seem to be of mixed qualitative content.

    “Stinkeroo” I have no problem with as a content-neutral numbers term. But “crap” would seem to imply something more.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    ratings-wise, it’s all crap. Just the way it is.

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