Nielsen Top Shows (18-49): Supernanny, Not Sarah Connor

Categories: Nielsen Broadcast TV Show Ratings Adults 18-49

Written By

March 4th, 2008

CBS shareholders - Should they Be Worried?

Supernanny made the list at #20, but Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles did not (unfortunately it went up against Raisin in the Sun and Two and a Half Men last week - Connor didn't even make the top 25.  

 Sarah ConnorFOX and American Idol dominated the top 3 spots, just as it did in the overall rankings.  David Poltrack can say whatever he wants, CBS isn't catching up with FOX this year.  Not in total viewers, and not in any of the demographics.  Indeed, CBS could place but two shows on this list, Survivor: Micronesia and a rerun of Two and a Half Men (and you people wonder why I think 2.5 men should be on 9 times a week? :p)

Fox had over 39 million viewers in the demo just with the three idols.  I'm not sure CBS had that many for the entire week with all its shows.  OK, it probably did, but I wistfully recall the days when Nielsen actually provided the data that would have enabled me to do the exact count.  Us being crazy enough to do that sort of thing may well be why we're not seeing the data anymore.  Regardless of CBS performance in the demo, there's a 100% chance it is a better customer of Nielsen than TVbytheNumbers.

But giving us the data and then taking it back?  Sort of like stealing candy from a baby except that Gorman and I are almost 100 years old (combined).  We're still stinging a little.  Anyway...

My favorite thing on TV last week was Thursday night's LOST and it was tops in the 18-49 demo after all the American Idols.  Ratings may be down a bit, but for a scripted show, you have to love the 18-49 numbers!  I did something I very rarely do: I watched it twice!

Mr. Gorman will be happy to know that Here Come the Newlyweds did indeed retain the lion's share (79%) of the 18-49 viewers from lead-in Oprah's Big Give.  I doubt I'll ever watch either show, but good numbers for both and some positive news for ABC.  Oprah did just a smidge better 18-49 wise than Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, which always performs solidly for ABC.

Didn't make the cut:  Sorry Sarah, sorry Jericho, sorry Big Brother, sorry Stargate Atlantis -- oops, I'll have to save that sorry for the cable post unless the return of Carson brought in an extra couple million viewers.

Full 18-49 demographic top 20 for the week ending March 2, 2008:

1 American Idol-TUESDAY FOX 11.1 14,534
2 American Idol-WEDNESDAY FOX 10.5 13,747
3 American Idol THU SP-2/28(S) FOX 9.1 11,969
4 LOST ABC 5.4 7,057
5 OPRAH'S BIG GIVE ABC 5.3 6,965
7 Extreme Makeover:HOME ED. ABC 5.2 6,762
8 BACK TO YOU SP-2/26 9:30P(S) FOX 4.4 5,798
10 BACK TO YOU SP-2/27 9:30P(S) FOX 4.2 5,495
12 Family Guy FOX 4.1 5,393
14 KING OF THE HILL FOX 3.9 5,123
15 Simpsons FOX 3.9 5,093
16 Two and a Half Men (R ) CBS 3.9 5,141
18 MOMENT OF TRUTH 2/25-8P(S) FOX 3.6 4,723
19 Law And Order NBC 3.3 4,390
20 Supernanny ABC 3.3 4,343

Nielsen Ratings Data: ©2008 Nielsen Media Research, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

  • Karen

    Ack, one more thing. I believe CBS has said at least only complete streams are counted.

  • Robert Seidman

    Karen I completely agree that the advertising in the new media needs to be sorted out. Part of the problem is measurement though. some of the numbers CBS reported simply because they could, but without explaining what the data actually really signifies…it’s just PR.

    When we launched the site back in September we did a virtual discussion with some leaders of the measurement companies and other visionaries and the consensus was, # of streams without demographic info about the viewer or level of engagement (how long did they watch) isn’t meaningful. CBS reported it anyway and from a PR perspective, I don’t blame them at all.

    But I agree with the people on the panel that without engagement and demographic info, it’s not useful, *especially* not to the advertisers. Until there is much better measurement the numbers CBS reported in their release with regard to streams only are useful in a press release.

    You can read the full discussion about Internet video metrics here.

    Seeing the future is one thing — and I believe all the networks are “seeing”, being able to make money off the future right now is a different story.

    While I *wish* they did, the numbers simply do not support your thesis about Reality TV.

    Wishing for a thing does not make it so…

  • Robert Seidman

    In the CBS press release you linked to (and even on the CBS site itself) it does not specify fully viewed streams. I suspect that it is all streams,regardless of length of engagement.

    I don’t have a problem with that, if 200,000 people watched 60% of the show it’s still meaningful, but without specifying “total minutes streamed”, there’s no way to know.

    If you can find where they specify about only fully viewed streams, please point us to it!

  • Karen

    I obviously do not have that info either. I’m not digging you. I’m frustrated and sick of the tripe put on because the viewing habits of people desperate enough to let Nielsen in their home. I know numbers say reality tv is great, but I know that I and many people like me do not like it, do not watch it. So I’m a “niche” consumer (supposedly) but there is no room for me in television anymore. I’m in the favored demo and I make a very good income. Networks lost 10% viewers during the 88 strike. I bet they lose more this time around. And numbers may be info, but they still don’t account for the fact that people don’t sit and watch those commercials any more than they would streaming (do *you* know many people who are taking potty breaks, drink breaks, feeding the kids etc during commercial breaks?)and probably less. So, sure, there needs to be new measurement systems, but people continually fall back to the same argument *and nothing changes*. Unless people start speaking up, it’s not going to. I just know that they have lost one more viewer “live” if things pan out by *these* numbers only again. I’ve got iTunes, netflix, other sources of getting entertainment I know has not been truncated for me because of someone elses viewing habits. I’m almost the only person left in my office that even watches ONE show regularly. It’s not a big demo, but it can’t be *that* unusual.

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