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Nielsen Ratings Sun Feb 24: Record Lows for Oscar

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Written By

February 25th, 2008

Scoreboard for Sun. Feb 24, 2008 ABC FOX CBS NBC CW
Total Viewers (million) 25.71 9.59 7.40 4.73 .98
Rating/Share: Adults 18-49 8.4/20 3.7/9 2.0/5 1.3/3 0.4/1

ABC won the night in American Idol style fashion, easily attracting the most viewers with the 80th Annual Academy Awards and the hoopla surrounding it.  ABC just as easily and as in grand of a fashion won the 18-49 demographic.  There ends the good news.

The bad news is, unless the ratings change dramatically when they are finalized, we're talking the least viewed Oscar presentation at least since 1974.  No data point on Bill's historical chart goes below 30 million, but last night's awards were watched by only 29.16 million on average, well under the previous record-low of ~33 million in 2003.

academyawardsviewers021508.gif

I expected that the ratings would be off last year's, primarily because of the crop of movies and the writer's strike.  I didn't predict that the ratings would be in the "record low" range for the "modern era".  Given what ABC was charging for ads, we're probably talking givebacks and make goods.

I'm not sure there's much else to talk about for the night.  A case can be made that FOX held it's Sunday night ground pretty well with NASCAR and  repeats of the Simpsons.  Same for CBS with 60 Minutes, Cold Case and DexterBig Brother 9 did better than it did in the overnight results last Tuesday.

NBC didn't fare as well with four hours of repeats of Law & Order: Criminal Intent.  I think it would have done just about as well if it had aired the movie Knight Rider twice.

Last night's full details:

Time Network Show Viewers (Millons) 18-49 Rating/Share
7:00 ABC Barbara Walters Special 16.49 4.8/13
  CBS 60 Minutes 10.51 1.8/5
  NBC Law & Order: CI (Four repeat episodes 7p-11p) 4.73 1.3/3
  FOX NASCAR (7p-9p) 10.7 4.0/10
  CW CW Now 0.63 0.3/1
         
7:30 CW Everybody Hates Chris (2 repeats 7:30p-8:30p) 1.1 0.4/1
         
8:00 ABC Oscar's Red Carpet 26.93 8.3/20
  CBS Big Brother 9 5.72 2.2/5
         
8:30 ABC 80th Annual Academy Awards 29.16 9.8/23
  CW Aliens in America (Repeat) 1.12 0.4/1
         
9:00 CBS Cold Case (Repeat) 6.9 1.9/4
  FOX The Simpsons (2 repeats 9p-10p) 7.33 3.1/7
  CW Girlfriends (Repeat) 0.98 0.3/1
         
9:30 CW The Game (Repeat) 0.96 0.4/1
         
10:00 CBS Dexter 6.47 2.0/5

sorry TVBigshots players, i didn't do the breakouts by hour, but you can see (most of) the hourly HH rating info on Zap2it.

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

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  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    Show's how daring I was with a sub-40 million forecast. ;)

  • Dave

    Maybe if the academy nominated movies people liked instead of anything George Clooney was in, more people would watch. Micheal Clayton was a bad movie.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    Show’s how daring I was with a sub-40 million forecast. ;)

  • Dave

    Maybe if the academy nominated movies people liked instead of anything George Clooney was in, more people would watch. Micheal Clayton was a bad movie.

  • Anon

    How could you say that Big Brother did well. According to the Zap2it numbers it lost to a repeat of L&O CI. That's really bad. I'm sorry.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    No need to apologize. But I didn't say BB did well. I just said it did better than it did last Tuesday up against AI. It did worse than it did last Sunday though.

  • Anon

    How could you say that Big Brother did well. According to the Zap2it numbers it lost to a repeat of L&O CI. That’s really bad. I’m sorry.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    No need to apologize. But I didn’t say BB did well. I just said it did better than it did last Tuesday up against AI. It did worse than it did last Sunday though.

  • http://www.plusaf.com plusaf

    how about correlating the viewership with who the hosts were? :)

    it's just getting tiresome to see a bunch of liberal actors congratulating themselves over how liberal they are and how bad the president is…

    as if acting skills have ANY correlation at all with critical thinking [other than a negative correlation…]

    some of the movies WERE good.

  • http://www.plusaf.com plusaf

    oh, and thank GOD “Sicko” and Moore were mentioned once and never heard from again…. for the same reasons.

  • http://www.plusaf.com plusaf

    how about correlating the viewership with who the hosts were? :)

    it’s just getting tiresome to see a bunch of liberal actors congratulating themselves over how liberal they are and how bad the president is…

    as if acting skills have ANY correlation at all with critical thinking [other than a negative correlation…]

    some of the movies WERE good.

  • http://www.plusaf.com plusaf

    oh, and thank GOD “Sicko” and Moore were mentioned once and never heard from again…. for the same reasons.

  • jp

    With the expection of “Michael Clayton” and “American Gangster,” no one saw any of this films. That played a part in the viewership being low. I doubt (I could be wrong) but I doubt we'll see films like “Titantic” that were box office hits and beloved by the Academy. Oh yeah the tv ratings were pretty good to (55 million in 1998 for the 70th Academy Awards) That's Hollywood.

  • jp

    With the expection of “Michael Clayton” and “American Gangster,” no one saw any of this films. That played a part in the viewership being low. I doubt (I could be wrong) but I doubt we’ll see films like “Titantic” that were box office hits and beloved by the Academy. Oh yeah the tv ratings were pretty good to (55 million in 1998 for the 70th Academy Awards) That’s Hollywood.

  • http://www.tv.com/users/vendbien/profile.php?tag=login;myprofile Jon V

    Don't know how many of you realize that FOX ran (more or less) its normal Sunday night animation shows, WITH half-hourly NASCAR updates on the rained-out event.

    They kept teasing with 'it's gonna resume shortly' (the next worst thing to out-and-out lying) and held a great deal of NASCAR nation (I'm not one of them) hostage.

    I'm wondering how this effects my TV BigShot points because I bought the animation block 'on sale' this past week, knowing they have NEW episodes coming up – starting this Sunday.

    Points or No Points???

  • http://www.tv.com/users/vendbien/profile.php?tag=login;myprofile Jon V

    Oh… yeah, BTW. I am in Vegas (Pacific Standard) so the race was still 'iffy' as we watched the 8-10ish prime time. Boy, how do your churn those numbers against what I thought was the worst Oscar show I ever saw (I've been watching them since 1954 – yes, '54).

    Back to you, Bill/Robert

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    Jon, I'm not sure. In the top broadcast shows HH ratings, all that seems to have been included from the animation block is a 9:30pm “rain delay” special edition of the Simpsons.

    My guess is ratings for any other airings you saw won't count. They have NASCAR Sprint Cup from 6:32p-9:30p.

  • http://www.tv.com/users/vendbien/profile.php?tag=login;myprofile Jon V

    Don’t know how many of you realize that FOX ran (more or less) its normal Sunday night animation shows, WITH half-hourly NASCAR updates on the rained-out event.

    They kept teasing with ‘it’s gonna resume shortly’ (the next worst thing to out-and-out lying) and held a great deal of NASCAR nation (I’m not one of them) hostage.

    I’m wondering how this effects my TV BigShot points because I bought the animation block ‘on sale’ this past week, knowing they have NEW episodes coming up – starting this Sunday.

    Points or No Points???

  • http://www.tv.com/users/vendbien/profile.php?tag=login;myprofile Jon V

    Oh… yeah, BTW. I am in Vegas (Pacific Standard) so the race was still ‘iffy’ as we watched the 8-10ish prime time. Boy, how do your churn those numbers against what I thought was the worst Oscar show I ever saw (I’ve been watching them since 1954 – yes, ’54).

    Back to you, Bill/Robert

  • http://www.tv.com/users/vendbien/profile.php?tag=login;myprofile Jon V

    Does the Supreme Court handle TV BigShot appeals???

    Actually, as long as it doesn't lower the 'prices' of Simpsons, FamGuy and AmDad, I guess it won't hurt me.

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