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Nielsen Ratings Wed, March 19: FOX Crushes Competition

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Written By

March 20th, 2008

Scoreboard for Weds. March 19, 2008 FOX CBS NBC ABC CW
Total Viewers (million) 18.10 8.10 7.62 6.17 2.73
rating/Share: Adults 18-49 6.8/18 2.6/7 2.0/5 2.1/6 1.3/4

American Idol was on, as well as Moment of Truth, so even without seeing the actual numbers I could write well in advance that FOX easily won the night, both overall and in the 18-49.  All reality, all the time!  Not really, but Wednesdays are certainly mostly reality, most of the time.  Marc Berman reports that 54% of last night's programming was unscripted.  I came up with 62% (8 out of 13 shows) and I'm not sure whether that's my error or his, but whether 54% or 61.5% -- still "most".With only one hour of AI, FOX still averaged (averaged!) ten million more viewers than its closest competitor overall, CBS.  Granted, FOX only needed to program for 2 hours versus CBS' three hours, but a 10 million average beat down is worse than the Denver Nuggets giving up 136 points to the Detroit Pistons.  A lot worse. 

Survivor: Micronesia had a special Wednesday edition, and while Moment of Truth beat it out on a household ratings basis, Survivor had more viewers per screen, and about three quarters of a million more viewers.  But Moment won the 18-49 demo, which has to be bad news for CBS.   Not to pile on, but, ugh,  Big Brother airing at 9pm against American Idol?  Not so close.  Or close it all.  In fact, the only thing Big Brother's performance was close to was a repeat of Pussycat Dolls Present: Girlicious on the CW.  Next time CBS decides to air Big Brother sometime besides the summer, it should be on the CW.

I still need to check out an episode of Supernanny.  Up against Idol, it still added a million more viewers from the 8pm airing of Wife Swap and had a 2.6/7 in the demo - stealing NBC's "we're the king of being second in the demo to American Idol" thunder.  

NBC did however easily win the 10pm hour with a new episode of Law & Order trumping both a repeat of CSI: NY and a new episode of Men in Trees.

A special thanks to the Nielsen gods of data distribution.  The numbers came out on time which means I could do the write up and not miss a single second of men's NCAA Basketball action.  Let the madness begin!

Wednesday night's full details:

Time Network Show Viewers (Millons) 18-49 Rating/Share HH Rating
8:00 CBS Survivor: Micronesia 11.34 3.7/10 6.3
  NBC Law & Order: CI (Repeat) 5.63 1.4/4 4.5
  ABC Wife Swap 5.82 2.1/6 3.8
  CW Americas Next Top Model 3.71 1.8/5 3
  FOX Moment of Truth 10.66 4.1/12 6.8
           
9:00 CBS Big Brother 6.73 2.4/6 3.5
  NBC Law & Order: Criminal Intent (R ) 6.78 1.6/4 5.2
  ABC Supernanny 6.87 2.6/7 4.7
  CW Pussycat Dolls Present: Girlicious (Repeat) 1.75 0.9/2 1.5
  FOX American Idol 25.53 9.5/24 15.6
           
10:00 ABC Men in Trees 5.83 1.6/4 3.8
  NBC Law & Order 10.45 3.1/9 8.2
  CBS CSI: NY (Repeat) 6.24 1.8/5 4.4

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

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  • Andy

    You bash on BB (and rightfully so), but what about Wife Swap… a show that actually is not a summer show and does practically the same #s as BB? And Wife Swap was just renewed for some reason.

  • Andy

    You bash on BB (and rightfully so), but what about Wife Swap… a show that actually is not a summer show and does practically the same #s as BB? And Wife Swap was just renewed for some reason.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    Fair point. ABC has thrown in the towel many nights of the week. Its performance is so awful finding the words to bash it is difficult. CBS makes some curious choices but ABC is so bad it leaves me speechless!

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    Fair point. ABC has thrown in the towel many nights of the week. Its performance is so awful finding the words to bash it is difficult. CBS makes some curious choices but ABC is so bad it leaves me speechless!

  • Ann Marie

    Robert, how can Moment of Truth have a higher HH than Survivor, but fewer viewers? Am I reading the results wrong?

  • Ann Marie

    Robert, how can Moment of Truth have a higher HH than Survivor, but fewer viewers? Am I reading the results wrong?

  • Shane

    Criminal Minds & CSI:NY’s returns will most definitely boost CBS’ performance on these nights. Both shows have done extremely well against AI and L&O in the past, so it’s very well expected that CBS will be a ‘close’ second to FOX come the end of the season.

    I wouldn’t necessarily count CBS out yet. Their veterans all return in April after the Madness ends (which is destined to boost their ratings) and FOX will only have AI & Moment of Truth, catapulting them back into 3rd place.

    CBS has always had strength in numbers. They’ll continue to and retain the title as ‘America’s Most-Watched Network’ by the end of the season. Hopefully they’ll make less riskier choices at upfronts, though.

  • Shane

    Criminal Minds & CSI:NY's returns will most definitely boost CBS' performance on these nights. Both shows have done extremely well against AI and L&O in the past, so it's very well expected that CBS will be a 'close' second to FOX come the end of the season.

    I wouldn't necessarily count CBS out yet. Their veterans all return in April after the Madness ends (which is destined to boost their ratings) and FOX will only have AI & Moment of Truth, catapulting them back into 3rd place.

    CBS has always had strength in numbers. They'll continue to and retain the title as 'America's Most-Watched Network' by the end of the season. Hopefully they'll make less riskier choices at upfronts, though.

  • Andre

    Zap2It has BB with a 4.3/7 HH, which matches up with the 6.73m viewers posted here. I don’t think the 3.5/5 is correct.

  • Andre

    Zap2It has BB with a 4.3/7 HH, which matches up with the 6.73m viewers posted here. I don't think the 3.5/5 is correct.

  • Andre

    Also, Survivor has a 6.7 HH, as I understand it.

  • Andre

    Also, Survivor has a 6.7 HH, as I understand it.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    hi folks I am focused on Georgia vs Xavier. Berman reported the 3.5 hh rating in his early am report.my guess is zap’s data is more recent. That said shows with higher HH rating having fewer viewers happens all the time. Some shows have more people watching per household them others so there is no way to project viewers directly off of HH rating accurately

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    hi folks I am focused on Georgia vs Xavier. Berman reported the 3.5 hh rating in his early am report.my guess is zap's data is more recent. That said shows with higher HH rating having fewer viewers happens all the time. Some shows have more people watching per household them others so there is no way to project viewers directly off of HH rating accurately

  • Ann Marie

    Thanks Robert! Go dawgs….sick ‘em!

  • Ann Marie

    Thanks Robert! Go dawgs….sick 'em!

  • Deonna

    Can you please stop treating CBS like crap? Damn, do you have a hatred towards them or what?

  • Deonna

    Can you please stop treating CBS like crap? Damn, do you have a hatred towards them or what?

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    Deonna, I love CBS — March Madness is ALLLL CBS. They make some very wacky programming decisions that are not to the benefit of its shareholders (in my opinion), but they make some good decisions too: CSI, bringing back the NFL (after stupidly giving up NFC coverage to FOX) Two and a Half Men, Criminal Minds, without a trace…and March Madness!

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    Deonna, I love CBS — March Madness is ALLLL CBS. They make some very wacky programming decisions that are not to the benefit of its shareholders (in my opinion), but they make some good decisions too: CSI, bringing back the NFL (after stupidly giving up NFC coverage to FOX) Two and a Half Men, Criminal Minds, without a trace…and March Madness!

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