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Nielsen Ratings, March 16 - Oprah and Sundays, a Vanishing Act

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March 17th, 2008

Scoreboard for Sun. March 16, 2008 ABC CBS NBC FOX CW
Total Viewers (million) 9.01 7.98 7.76 5.10 1.02
Rating/Share: Adults 18-49 3.2/9 2.0/6 2.0/5 2.5/7 0.4/1

This Sunday looks exactly like last Sunday from a leaderboard perspective with ABC winning the night followed by CBS, NBC, FOX and the CW.  But while CBS was second overall it was tied for next to last in the 18-49 demographic with NBC while fourth place FOX was 2nd in the 18-49 demo. 

Tiger Woods at Arnold Palmer Invitational

Sundays used to be one of the most watched nights of broadcast programming, yet winner ABC could barely average nine million viewers.  Perhaps everybody was watching John Adams on HBO (I seriously doubt it, but you never know!), but ABC shed almost a million viewers on average from last week.  Oprah for all her millions of dollars couldn't attract even 10 million viewers.  ABC viewers would rather watch Extreme Makeover: Home Edition which again was Sunday night's most watched show.  ABC must be dying for Desperate Housewives to comeback, at least the new season of Dancing with the Stars kicks off tonight.

CBS continues to get older faster.  Granddaddy 60 Minutes won the 7pm hour in total viewers but with almost four million fewer viewers overall, an hour of America's Funniest Home Videos completely beat up on 60 Minutes in the 18-49 demo (3.4 vs. 2.0).

At least Les Moonves knew how to attract a woman 21 years his junior and he's keeping her sorry performing (ratings-wise) show on, not just for this run, but CBS is bringing Julie Chen and Big Brother back for the summer (where it belongs).  Sundays at 8pm in March?  Doh! A rerun of Cold Case at 9pm had almost two million more viewers than BB.

FOX's animiated series have some 18-49 legs, even with reruns, but like The Return of Jezebel James, Unhitched is very weak and needs to...go.  NBC did "OK" with two hours of Dateline and two hours of Law & Order repeats.

Why the picture of Tiger Woods?  While I'm guessing about eight million more people watched Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, watching Tiger sink a ~25' putt on 18 to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational was the best television I saw all day (and that included the streaking Houston Rockets beating up on a Gasol-less Los Angeles Lakers).  Update: perhaps only 5 million more or so watched.  The golf coverage earned a 4.2/9 (HH rating/share) vs. a 7.1/11 for Extreme MakeoverThe golf ratings were up 68% vs. last year and the best final round overnight numbers for this tourney since 2002 when Woods also won.

John Adams Update 3/18/08, 2:30PDT: The Adams miniseries beat everything on the CW but nothing else on broadcast this night.  The two premiere episodes averaged 2.7 million viewers on HBO Sunday night.

Sunday Night's full details:

Time Network Show Viewers (Millons) 18-49 Rating/Share HH Rating
7:00 ABC Americas Funniest Home Videos (7p-8p) 7.36 3.4/8 4.5
  CBS 60 Minutes 11.12 2.0/6 8.6
  NBC Dateline (7p-8p) 6.85 1.5/5 4.8
  FOX King of the Hill (Repeat) 3.3 1.6/5 2.3
  CW Americas Next Top Model (Repeat) 1.09 0.5/2 1.1
           
7:30 FOX American Dad (Repeat) 3.58 1.7/5 2.5
           
8:00 ABC Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 12.03 4.1/12 7.1
  CBS Big Brother 9 6.25 2.3/6 4
  FOX The Simpsons (Repeat) 6.58 3.0/9 4.2
  NBC Dateline (8p-9p) 9.27 2.3/6 6.7
  CW Everybody Hates Chris (Repeat) 1.12 0.1/1 1.1
           
8:30 FOX King of the Hill 5.98 2.8/7 3.6
  CW Aliens in America (Repeat) 0.81 0.4/1 0.9
           
9:00 ABC Oprahs Big Give 9.71 3.6/9 6.5
  CBS Cold Case (Repeat) 8.13 2.0/5 5.9
  FOX Family Guy (Repeat) 6.74 3.4/9 4.4
  CW Girlfriends (Repeat) 0.93 0.4/1 0.8
  NBC Law & Order (Repeat) 7.16 2.0/5  
           
9:30 CW The Game (Repeat) 1.01 0.4/1 0.9
  FOX Unhitched 4.43 2.3/6 2.9
           
10:00 ABC Here Come the Newlyweds 6.95 2.9/8 4.6
  CBS Dexter 6.42 1.8/5 4.5
  NBC Law & Order: SVU (Repeat) 7.74 2.2/6 5.9

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

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  • Mark

    Did Everybody Hates Chris really get a 0.1 in the demo? I'm guessing that's a mistake — if it's accurate it would have to be a record low for any broadcast network.

  • Mark

    Did Everybody Hates Chris really get a 0.1 in the demo? I’m guessing that’s a mistake — if it’s accurate it would have to be a record low for any broadcast network.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    Mark, that's what Berman reported. I'll know for sure tomorrow when weekly numbers come out. Given the numbers for other shows on the CW last night, I agree it's suspcious.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    Mark, that’s what Berman reported. I’ll know for sure tomorrow when weekly numbers come out. Given the numbers for other shows on the CW last night, I agree it’s suspcious.

  • Jennifer McDevitt

    Why don't you call over to HBO and get the overnights for JOHN ADAMS when they are ready? You'd be surprised how much HBO with only 30% penetratation of US homes can have an effect on Sunday nights.
    That way, you'll know if it is programming, daylight savings or Cable. Look at the HUTS and PVT's (sometimes called PUTs instead) from last night and compare them to the last three weeks to see before and after DST.
    Also, look at cable Huts and PVT levels as well.

  • Jennifer McDevitt

    Why don’t you call over to HBO and get the overnights for JOHN ADAMS when they are ready? You’d be surprised how much HBO with only 30% penetratation of US homes can have an effect on Sunday nights.
    That way, you’ll know if it is programming, daylight savings or Cable. Look at the HUTS and PVT’s (sometimes called PUTs instead) from last night and compare them to the last three weeks to see before and after DST.
    Also, look at cable Huts and PVT levels as well.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    Jennifer — I'm not into the HUT/PUT. Why? Because in the case of DST, that explains the 7pm-8pm hour, and perhaps the 8pm to 9pm hour, but the rest? And the rest is just bad.

    HBO with only 30% penetration…best days seem behind it. The Sopranos could wreak havoc on a Sunday night, but I won't be shocked if the John Adams premiere doesn't even make the cable top 40. I believe for the whole 6+ months we've been at this, HBO has never placed a show there (we started well after the Sopranos' swan song), so getting beat out by 20+ episodes of SpongeBob will be no surprise.

    We'll know for sure tomorrow, and I'll post the John Adams numbers if and when I get access to them.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    Jennifer — I’m not into the HUT/PUT. Why? Because in the case of DST, that explains the 7pm-8pm hour, and perhaps the 8pm to 9pm hour, but the rest? And the rest is just bad.

    HBO with only 30% penetration…best days seem behind it. The Sopranos could wreak havoc on a Sunday night, but I won’t be shocked if the John Adams premiere doesn’t even make the cable top 40. I believe for the whole 6+ months we’ve been at this, HBO has never placed a show there (we started well after the Sopranos’ swan song), so getting beat out by 20+ episodes of SpongeBob will be no surprise.

    We’ll know for sure tomorrow, and I’ll post the John Adams numbers if and when I get access to them.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    For folks out there who don't speak “TV talk”

    HUTS AND PUTS: As in, “We didn't do well on the night because the HUT's and PUT's were down.” These are research terms that stand for “Homes Using Television” and “People Using Television.” Often they are associated with meteorological readings: “There was snow all over the East, so the HUT's and PUT's were up.”

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    For folks out there who don’t speak “TV talk”

    HUTS AND PUTS: As in, “We didn’t do well on the night because the HUT’s and PUT’s were down.” These are research terms that stand for “Homes Using Television” and “People Using Television.” Often they are associated with meteorological readings: “There was snow all over the East, so the HUT’s and PUT’s were up.”

  • Danielle

    Dexter did alright. Better than Jericho LOL. Of course how Law and Order repeats seems to always beat my favorite shows, I will never know.

  • Danielle

    Dexter did alright. Better than Jericho LOL. Of course how Law and Order repeats seems to always beat my favorite shows, I will never know.

  • http://www.tv.com/users/vendbien/profile.php Jon V

    Highlights of the day… Unhitched (poor ratings I’m afraid – next week will be the acid test with two NEW eps sandwiching a FamGuy).

    The NCAA brackets (which will scr*w up a lot of peoples TVBS schedules for the next 3 weeks), and, of course…

    The TIGER WOODS 25-footer that just rolled into the cup with the Nike logo clearly identifiable – eerily similar to the chip on the 16th at Augusta a few years back that the advertising gods let hang on the lip for a second with the logo magically in just the right spot.

    You could throw the rest of Sunday’s evening schedule on to the scrap heap.

  • http://www.tv.com/users/vendbien/profile.php Jon V

    Highlights of the day… Unhitched (poor ratings I'm afraid – next week will be the acid test with two NEW eps sandwiching a FamGuy).

    The NCAA brackets (which will scr*w up a lot of peoples TVBS schedules for the next 3 weeks), and, of course…

    The TIGER WOODS 25-footer that just rolled into the cup with the Nike logo clearly identifiable – eerily similar to the chip on the 16th at Augusta a few years back that the advertising gods let hang on the lip for a second with the logo magically in just the right spot.

    You could throw the rest of Sunday's evening schedule on to the scrap heap.

  • http://www.tv.com/users/vendbien/profile.php Jon V

    Oh yah… and CNBC (don’t ask me how I found this show) did a special on Eliot Spitzer, in prime time, which was immediately followed by the amazing story on the demise of Bear Stearns Co. – a cautionary tale for all of us and a very scary moment as the Asian markets (which were just opening) took a big tumble, signalling the start of another worldwide downturn in the economy.

  • http://www.tv.com/users/vendbien/profile.php Jon V

    Oh yah… and CNBC (don't ask me how I found this show) did a special on Eliot Spitzer, in prime time, which was immediately followed by the amazing story on the demise of Bear Stearns Co. – a cautionary tale for all of us and a very scary moment as the Asian markets (which were just opening) took a big tumble, signalling the start of another worldwide downturn in the economy.

  • jmac9

    Check HBO John Adams…Anyone who had HBO couldnt wait. It was spectactular. get ready for another dip next Sunday!

  • jmac9

    Check HBO John Adams…Anyone who had HBO couldnt wait. It was spectactular. get ready for another dip next Sunday!

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