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Nielsen Ratings for Wed Feb 27: Idol Dominates, Les Moonves Gives Up

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February 28th, 2008

Scoreboard for Weds. Feb. 27, 2008 FOX NBC CBS ABC CW
Total Viewers (million) 23.60 9.73 7.30 6.55 2.94
Rating/Share: Adults 18-49 8.9/23 2.6/7 2.2/6 2.4/6 1.5/4

The combo of 90 minutes of American Idol and 30 minutes of anything else would crush anything that was on, but the something else was again Back to You, which performed almost exactly as well as it did last night.  Considering American Idol slipped by about a million viewers night versus night, that's pretty good.

FOX easily won the most viewers and the most 18-49 year old viewers as well. NBC was again a distant second in both total viewers and the 18-49 demo.  CBS was third in viewers, but next to last in the 18-49 demo, only beating the CW (which CBS partially owns!).  Great to have the two worst networks in the demo. 

However poorly you may think the CBS crime dramas perform in reruns, these reruns best Big Brother by 50%.  Big Brother fared worse in the 8pm slot than it did in the 9pm slot but that makes sense.  At 8pm it has to compete with AI for the whole hour, at 9pm it doesn't.  Wednesday night BB only averaged 5.56 million vs. 6.74 million at 9pm on Tuesday.  CBS doesn't seem in a hurry to change this and has accepted that BB has lousy ratings, but doesn't seem to care.  Another television mystery to me (though not as mysterious as ABC being in talks to renew According to Jim!).

At 9pm, outside of American Idol, things are fairly competitive between CBS (rerun of Criminal Minds), NBC (repurposed Law & Order: Criminal Intent) and ABC (Supernanny).  Good news for the Mouse.  Of those three shows, Supernanny is crushing in the 18-49 demo.

NBC won the 10pm hour with an original Law & OrderMen in Trees was back on ABC, but not many seemed to care.  Trees was beaten (badly) by a rerun of CSI: NY (that still doesn't excuse the Big Brother thing, Mr. Moonves).

I have to give props to my bald brother Jeff Zucker.  NBC is consistently the #2 network running up against American Idol.  And while it's always a distant second, its lead over CBS, and ABC  on Tuesdays and Wednesdays is still commanding.

Over on the CW, America's Next Top Model had about 60K more viewers than last week but is losing steam big-time versus last year when it had over five million viewers.

See the full night's details:

Time Network Show Viewers (Millons) 18-49 Rating/Share HH Rating
8:00 CBS Big Brother 5.56 2.1/5 3.4
  NBC Deal or No Deal 9.39 2.2/6 6.3
  ABC Wife Swap 5.63 2.1/5 3.5
  CW Americas Next Top Model 3.86 2.0/5 2.9
  FOX American Idol (8p-9:30) 27.36 10.4/26 15.7
           
9:00 CBS Criminal Minds (Repeat) 8.37 2.3/6 6.3
  NBC Law & Order: Criminal Intent 8.34 2.2/6 6.2
  ABC Supernanny 8.36 3.3/8 5.5
  CW Pussycat Dolls Present: Girlicious (Repeat) 2.02 1.0/2 1.6
           
9:30 FOX Back to You 12.3 4.4/11 7.8
           
10:00 ABC Men in Trees 5.66 1.7/5 4
  NBC Law & Order 11.45 3.4/9 8.4
  CBS CSI: NY (Repeat) 7.96 2.3/6 5.8

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

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  • Mark

    Let's wait for Big Brother's DVR numbers before making any final conclusions. Last night's ratings weren't great, but it at least held its own against non-American Idol competition, all of which was unscripted programming.

    So should CBS cancel BB or move it to a different time slot? Monday's are pretty much out of the question, because CBS isn't going to break up its 2-hour comedy block. Thursday at 9 would be a great fit out of Survivor, but there's no way CBS would pull CSI or Without a Trace to find a spot for Big Brother. Fridays and Saturdays would be a bad idea, because viewership is too low on those nights, especially among BB's target audience.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    For now, no matter what the DVR #s are, my opinion remains BB should be on Fridays and Saturdays or not until the summer…If you believe that the 5.56 would drop below 4 million if they aired it on Fridays and Saturdays, then it just needs to go bye-bye until the summer.

  • Julia

    Mark, how did Big Brother hold its own against non-Idol competition? The only thing it beat was CW. (Even in 18-49, it tied for one spot above CW.)

  • Bryan

    How could anyone stick up for Big Brother. This show should not of lasted as long as it did. It should be cancelled all together. CBS just can't think of another show too put on instead?

  • Mark

    Julia, I should have specified Big Brother's *demo* numbers were competitive with the other shows in its time slot (other than American Idol). Since BB's always been stronger in the demo, compared to overall viewers, that's probably the number CBS cares about.

    Bryan, the only reason to stick up for BB is because it's probably performing close to expectations. The numbers are only off slightly from the summer, against *much* more difficult competition, and it's obviously very cheap to produce. With that said, giving it a spring run doesn't make much sense, especially if it ends up dilulting its numbers this summer.

  • Mark

    Let’s wait for Big Brother’s DVR numbers before making any final conclusions. Last night’s ratings weren’t great, but it at least held its own against non-American Idol competition, all of which was unscripted programming.

    So should CBS cancel BB or move it to a different time slot? Monday’s are pretty much out of the question, because CBS isn’t going to break up its 2-hour comedy block. Thursday at 9 would be a great fit out of Survivor, but there’s no way CBS would pull CSI or Without a Trace to find a spot for Big Brother. Fridays and Saturdays would be a bad idea, because viewership is too low on those nights, especially among BB’s target audience.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    For now, no matter what the DVR #s are, my opinion remains BB should be on Fridays and Saturdays or not until the summer…If you believe that the 5.56 would drop below 4 million if they aired it on Fridays and Saturdays, then it just needs to go bye-bye until the summer.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    Mark, my problem would stem from those low expectations if that's in fact true. We saw a repeat of NCIS grab over 11 million at 8pm and Tuesday and Criminal Minds grabbed over 8m at 9pm last night. Reruns of either show don't just outperform BB, they VASTLY outperform.

    I don't understand what BB is doing there at all unless it's a complete towel toss where they've said #&^! it, we can't compete with AI at all, so we're just going to throw in the towel!

    While they can't beat Idol, it could improve performance by more than 50% by doing several things…which they don't at all seem interested in doing.

    It baffles me!

  • Julia

    Mark, how did Big Brother hold its own against non-Idol competition? The only thing it beat was CW. (Even in 18-49, it tied for one spot above CW.)

  • Bryan

    How could anyone stick up for Big Brother. This show should not of lasted as long as it did. It should be cancelled all together. CBS just can’t think of another show too put on instead?

  • TM

    BB should be removed. Let's bring back The Unit.

  • Mark

    Julia, I should have specified Big Brother’s *demo* numbers were competitive with the other shows in its time slot (other than American Idol). Since BB’s always been stronger in the demo, compared to overall viewers, that’s probably the number CBS cares about.

    Bryan, the only reason to stick up for BB is because it’s probably performing close to expectations. The numbers are only off slightly from the summer, against *much* more difficult competition, and it’s obviously very cheap to produce. With that said, giving it a spring run doesn’t make much sense, especially if it ends up dilulting its numbers this summer.

  • Browngloster

    You guys are all crazy. When it comes to reality series, Big Brother is the best with all kinds of twists and turns. This week alone, two of the houseguests were rushed to the medic (which was a BB first). The drama that unfolds weekly is so much more than the drama that unfolds on Survivor the whole season. Of coarse its ratings are challenged. The demo it targets are busy watching AI which is the best competition show..but if youre in search of drama on the reality shows then BB is the way to go…if you followed the show for two complete weeks you would get hooked. Everyone that I have convinced to watch for just a few episodes have gotten hooked..Long live BIG BROTHER….

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    Brown, by your logic Big Brother would have well over 10 million viewers if everyone who ever watched got hooked.

    But, alas, it has less viewers than Supernanny and performs far worse in the demo.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    Mark, my problem would stem from those low expectations if that’s in fact true. We saw a repeat of NCIS grab over 11 million at 8pm and Tuesday and Criminal Minds grabbed over 8m at 9pm last night. Reruns of either show don’t just outperform BB, they VASTLY outperform.

    I don’t understand what BB is doing there at all unless it’s a complete towel toss where they’ve said #&^! it, we can’t compete with AI at all, so we’re just going to throw in the towel!

    While they can’t beat Idol, it could improve performance by more than 50% by doing several things…which they don’t at all seem interested in doing.

    It baffles me!

  • TM

    BB should be removed. Let’s bring back The Unit.

  • Browngloster

    You guys are all crazy. When it comes to reality series, Big Brother is the best with all kinds of twists and turns. This week alone, two of the houseguests were rushed to the medic (which was a BB first). The drama that unfolds weekly is so much more than the drama that unfolds on Survivor the whole season. Of coarse its ratings are challenged. The demo it targets are busy watching AI which is the best competition show..but if youre in search of drama on the reality shows then BB is the way to go…if you followed the show for two complete weeks you would get hooked. Everyone that I have convinced to watch for just a few episodes have gotten hooked..Long live BIG BROTHER….

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    Brown, by your logic Big Brother would have well over 10 million viewers if everyone who ever watched got hooked.

    But, alas, it has less viewers than Supernanny and performs far worse in the demo.

  • georgina

    Big Brother has no chance of beating idol, they don't even have a karaoke machine: http://techtogo.com/

  • Marie

    While AI plays a big part in the ratings drop, Big Brother's couples concept is a big turn off for most people and the cast sucks. There is nobody to root for and nobody stands out. They should have never done a winter edition or they should have just left the format alone. I think the show would have gotten slightly better ratings without this couples format.

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