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Nielsen Ratings Tue, Mar 25: Idol Beats Dancing, Au Revoir Jericho

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March 26th, 2008

Scoreboard for Tue. March 25, 2008 FOX ABC NBC CBS CW
Total Viewers (million) 20.99 12.67 8.06 7.11 1.64
rating/Share: Adults 18-49 8.3/21 3.0/8 2.9/6 2.0/5 0.7/2

American Idol was on for an hour and a half and FOX won the night in a blowout.  Even with an hour of Dancing with the Stars (two hours, if you count the recap), ABC was a very, very distant second.   DWTS is a hit for ABC, but it's no AI.  Especially in the 18-49 where AI drew a 9.6/24 and the DWTS results show a 3.8/9.   Idol's domination is kind of scary.

While the spread between total viewers between American Idol and Dancing with the Stars was smaller than the spread between DWTS and The Biggest Loser,  the gap in the 18-49 ratings was much smaller.  Loser had a 3.1/8 among 18-49 viewers in the overnight ratings. Not too shabby up against AI and DWTS! 

In last place (unless you count the CW) was CBS, with an NCIS repeat, Big Brother, and the series finale of Jericho performed pretty much exactly the way they have for the last few weeks. Which, other than NCIS was not so great. 

I enjoyed the Jericho finale -- even though they didn't nuke Cheyenne, there were still enough explosions (and aciton) to keep me happy.  and I wish there was some way for me to buy the unaired cliffhanger right now.  I'm sure I'd pay $5 for it.

One note for Reaper fans.  A Reaper repeat outdrew a new Beauty and the Geek in total viewers.  That can't be a bad thing for its quest for renewal.

Tuesday Night's full details:

Time Network Show Viewers (Millons) 18-49 Rating/Share HH Rating
8:00 FOX American Idol 8p-9:30p 24.38 9.6/24 14.3
  CBS NCIS (Repeat) 9.4 1.9/5 6.3
  NBC The Biggest Loser (8p-10p) 7.86 3.1/8 5.1
  ABC Dancing with the Stars Recap (8p-9p) 10.43 2.1/6 7.1
  CW Beauty and the Geek 1.62 0.7/2 1.3
           
           
9:00 CBS Big Brother 9 5.95 2.2/5 3.4
  ABC Dancing with the Stars 17.9 3.8/9 11.4
  CW Reaper (Repeat) 1.67 0.6/2 1.2
           
10:00 CBS Jericho 5.99 1.9/5 3.4
  NBC Law & Order: SVU (Repeat) 8.54 2.6/7 6.4
  ABC Primetime: What Would You Do? 10.4 3.2/9 7.2

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

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  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    Draco, interesting point, last year for the same Tuesday Idol (3/27/07) Idol did 26.84 million — though I'm not sure whether that was the identical match in terms of the number of participants left.

    DWTS actually grew a small bit vs. last year, but Idol's year over year erosion was less this year than last year. You can comb through the numbers from Marc Berman here:

    http://pifeedback.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/633104

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    Draco, interesting point, last year for the same Tuesday Idol (3/27/07) Idol did 26.84 million — though I’m not sure whether that was the identical match in terms of the number of participants left.

    DWTS actually grew a small bit vs. last year, but Idol’s year over year erosion was less this year than last year. You can comb through the numbers from Marc Berman here:

    http://pifeedback.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/63310451/m/23310024

  • KIC

    No, I understand CBS motivations. I don't really agree that CBS gave it the best deal, and I highly suspect CBS though maybe just maybe, seeing a long strike coming, Jerich could be some “saviour” for coming back off a period when they *knew* viewership would be lost and when they *knew* they would be airing the ratings failure BB, hoping to shore it up. (And considering no matter how fervant the fans, that was not a good bet, as it is a niche show). They didn't lose really, either way. Sticking it where they did they could say “Hey, we gave it a chance, so sorry it didn't work” or “Hey, aren't we brilliant that we did this”.

    My beef is not even that shows like AI et al do better than Jericho. My beef is, I don't believe those numbers are perfect, I still think that they need to start finding a way to include alternate media and sell product placement to their advantage because tv viewing is changing. I *don't* believe that Nielsen's are sacred or reflect the more detailed habits of the population. ANY sample is going to show a wide discrepancy between the juggernauts and shows like Jericho. I do think Jericho could do wonders for another network. I think more of the 6 mil that watch Jericho would have the desire to get cable or already have it or satellite.

    I agree that the average American is truly average and that is why programming is so heavily idiotic. What makes me mad is that where is the market for MY dollar, for MY attention? Because I'm *not* a fervant tv watcher. Jericho is really the first show to be passionate about for me since DS9 I think (but reruns – I was in college a good chunk of the first run and just didn't watch tv at ALL for about 8 years). I realized during the strike that I didn't mind my television being off at all.

    I guess that is how it will be again, but I seriously do love Jericho. It made a difference in me in things like, I *notice* our flag everywhere now. I *used* to think those little magnetic stickers on cars are stupid, but I realize how lucky I am and how important those symbols are if you really mean it.

    *shrug* No, I understand CBS' decision, I just don't necessarily agree it lived up to the “bargain” it gave. Yes, thank you for making it, but no thanks for using it as some kind of wishing prop.

    (and on the other, if you don't see how your analogy was pretty insulting both to the woman you know and to us who do have some trouble with how ratings are measured, I can't help you out there.)

  • KIC

    No, I understand CBS motivations. I don’t really agree that CBS gave it the best deal, and I highly suspect CBS though maybe just maybe, seeing a long strike coming, Jerich could be some “saviour” for coming back off a period when they *knew* viewership would be lost and when they *knew* they would be airing the ratings failure BB, hoping to shore it up. (And considering no matter how fervant the fans, that was not a good bet, as it is a niche show). They didn’t lose really, either way. Sticking it where they did they could say “Hey, we gave it a chance, so sorry it didn’t work” or “Hey, aren’t we brilliant that we did this”.

    My beef is not even that shows like AI et al do better than Jericho. My beef is, I don’t believe those numbers are perfect, I still think that they need to start finding a way to include alternate media and sell product placement to their advantage because tv viewing is changing. I *don’t* believe that Nielsen’s are sacred or reflect the more detailed habits of the population. ANY sample is going to show a wide discrepancy between the juggernauts and shows like Jericho. I do think Jericho could do wonders for another network. I think more of the 6 mil that watch Jericho would have the desire to get cable or already have it or satellite.

    I agree that the average American is truly average and that is why programming is so heavily idiotic. What makes me mad is that where is the market for MY dollar, for MY attention? Because I’m *not* a fervant tv watcher. Jericho is really the first show to be passionate about for me since DS9 I think (but reruns – I was in college a good chunk of the first run and just didn’t watch tv at ALL for about 8 years). I realized during the strike that I didn’t mind my television being off at all.

    I guess that is how it will be again, but I seriously do love Jericho. It made a difference in me in things like, I *notice* our flag everywhere now. I *used* to think those little magnetic stickers on cars are stupid, but I realize how lucky I am and how important those symbols are if you really mean it.

    *shrug* No, I understand CBS’ decision, I just don’t necessarily agree it lived up to the “bargain” it gave. Yes, thank you for making it, but no thanks for using it as some kind of wishing prop.

    (and on the other, if you don’t see how your analogy was pretty insulting both to the woman you know and to us who do have some trouble with how ratings are measured, I can’t help you out there.)

  • frankj

    I don't know if I'd totally correlate the “average American” with what rules the day on TV ratings, for why shows like Idol are so popular and shows like Jericho fail.

    I think what it does tell us is that the current average TV viewer, cultivated by the networks over the past few years with a flood of ridiculous reality TV, doesn't care much about quality. Whether or not the majority of TV viewers is the average American, or what in fact the average American would like in a show, is another story I think. If we're talking about the Super Bowl, I'd say yes, there's enough viewers there where I'd say it does represent the average American. But I doubt the people watching Moment of Truth constitute the average American. At least I hope not.

  • frankj

    I don’t know if I’d totally correlate the “average American” with what rules the day on TV ratings, for why shows like Idol are so popular and shows like Jericho fail.

    I think what it does tell us is that the current average TV viewer, cultivated by the networks over the past few years with a flood of ridiculous reality TV, doesn’t care much about quality. Whether or not the majority of TV viewers is the average American, or what in fact the average American would like in a show, is another story I think. If we’re talking about the Super Bowl, I’d say yes, there’s enough viewers there where I’d say it does represent the average American. But I doubt the people watching Moment of Truth constitute the average American. At least I hope not.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    You were insulted because you chose to be — as for her, since I didn't name her and link to her MySpace or Facebook profile, and I'm fairly certain she isn't consumed with TV ratings, she won't see it or care.

    My point was only that there are certain circumstances where being extremely emotional in a quest to convince someone are perhaps more appropriate than others. I was certainly not trying to insult you (or anyone else), just trying to give such an extreme example that it was easily highlighted. I think some saw my point easily without offense and some did not. In retrospect, I do understand why you took offense, but I'm not prone to going back and deleting my comment and then all the subsequent ones referencing it.

    As for the Nielsen numbers and their accuracy — ads need to be sold/bought and there has to be some standard to base this on. Right now that standard is Nielsen, and like it or not, I see no other viable alternative that is available currently.

    I know TMS and others are trying to encroach on the space, and I'm sure advertisers will buy their set-top-box data, but since only around 50% of the country (or less) has any kind of STB in their homes, that doesn't seem like a viable alternative for fair measurement either and that Nielsen is fairer than STB data in terms of measuring the overall population.

    Right now, I don't see a viable alternative — if you think there is one, suggest it. But in the absence of a viable alternative, worrying about Nielsen's accuracy seems wasted to me.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    You were insulted because you chose to be — as for her, since I didn’t name her and link to her MySpace or Facebook profile, and I’m fairly certain she isn’t consumed with TV ratings, she won’t see it or care.

    My point was only that there are certain circumstances where being extremely emotional in a quest to convince someone are perhaps more appropriate than others. I was certainly not trying to insult you (or anyone else), just trying to give such an extreme example that it was easily highlighted. I think some saw my point easily without offense and some did not. In retrospect, I do understand why you took offense, but I’m not prone to going back and deleting my comment and then all the subsequent ones referencing it.

    As for the Nielsen numbers and their accuracy — ads need to be sold/bought and there has to be some standard to base this on. Right now that standard is Nielsen, and like it or not, I see no other viable alternative that is available currently.

    I know TMS and others are trying to encroach on the space, and I’m sure advertisers will buy their set-top-box data, but since only around 50% of the country (or less) has any kind of STB in their homes, that doesn’t seem like a viable alternative for fair measurement either and that Nielsen is fairer than STB data in terms of measuring the overall population.

    Right now, I don’t see a viable alternative — if you think there is one, suggest it. But in the absence of a viable alternative, worrying about Nielsen’s accuracy seems wasted to me.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    Frank, I agree but also think it's unfair to speculate that Idol viewers are purely average. In fact, given the law of large numbers, I'd speculate that Idol has more above average viewers than any other show on the air.

    Some people like broadway musicals and some don't, some like talent shows and some don't. My most watched TV is again PTI on ESPN. Tony Kornheiser who is definitely way above average in terms of education, smarts, success,etc, LOVES American Idol.

    I'm pretty sure PTI has wayyyy fewer viewers than Jericho (not even 1/6th!), but it's on ESPN at 5:30 eastern time. Also, a CBS comedy based on Tony's life (Listen Up) starring Jason Alexander in Tony's role didn't make the ratings grade. I never once heard him whine (on tv, radio or in the Washington Post) that his show was ripped off because of a flawed Nielsen system

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    Frank, I agree but also think it’s unfair to speculate that Idol viewers are purely average. In fact, given the law of large numbers, I’d speculate that Idol has more above average viewers than any other show on the air.

    Some people like broadway musicals and some don’t, some like talent shows and some don’t. My most watched TV is again PTI on ESPN. Tony Kornheiser who is definitely way above average in terms of education, smarts, success,etc, LOVES American Idol.

    I’m pretty sure PTI has wayyyy fewer viewers than Jericho (not even 1/6th!), but it’s on ESPN at 5:30 eastern time. Also, a CBS comedy based on Tony’s life (Listen Up) starring Jason Alexander in Tony’s role didn’t make the ratings grade. I never once heard him whine (on tv, radio or in the Washington Post) that his show was ripped off because of a flawed Nielsen system

  • LukeyDukey

    I think it is a stretch to suggest that over 250 million people disliked Jericho based off the nielsen numbers. I would be surprised if 100 million people watched even one minute of Jericho. Regardless, one cannot logically deduce that virtually every American either liked the show or disliked the show.

  • LukeyDukey

    I think it is a stretch to suggest that over 250 million people disliked Jericho based off the nielsen numbers. I would be surprised if 100 million people watched even one minute of Jericho. Regardless, one cannot logically deduce that virtually every American either liked the show or disliked the show.

  • frankj

    Yes perhaps Idol was a bad choice. I wasn't trying to single them out, just thinking really quickly for a reality show with huge numbers. Perhaps Moment of Truth was the better example.

    Anyway the point I was trying to make though is that regardless of what's on TV, there is a difference between “average American” and “average viewer”. And I think it's an important distinction, because one is based on the entire population and the other is based solely on the TV viewers that the networks are cultivating.

  • frankj

    Yes perhaps Idol was a bad choice. I wasn’t trying to single them out, just thinking really quickly for a reality show with huge numbers. Perhaps Moment of Truth was the better example.

    Anyway the point I was trying to make though is that regardless of what’s on TV, there is a difference between “average American” and “average viewer”. And I think it’s an important distinction, because one is based on the entire population and the other is based solely on the TV viewers that the networks are cultivating.

  • LukeyDukey

    I think the thing that is patently different about AI or Extreme Home Makeover, etc. is this. People like seeing people triumph over obstacles and difficulty. Americans in genral love the rags to riches stories…the rise above the cicrumstances story. It's what makes America, America. There is opportunity and hope for every person in this country. People want to feel like there is hope for them and we feel good when the underdog prevails.

  • LukeyDukey

    I think the thing that is patently different about AI or Extreme Home Makeover, etc. is this. People like seeing people triumph over obstacles and difficulty. Americans in genral love the rags to riches stories…the rise above the cicrumstances story. It’s what makes America, America. There is opportunity and hope for every person in this country. People want to feel like there is hope for them and we feel good when the underdog prevails.

  • KIC

    Robert said:

    Right now, I don’t see a viable alternative — if you think there is one, suggest it. But in the absence of a viable alternative, worrying about Nielsen’s accuracy seems wasted to me.

    KIC:

    And for me, that's letting them just continue to do whatever the heck they want to. It's not a waste to question things. It's a light.

  • KIC

    Robert said:

    Right now, I don’t see a viable alternative — if you think there is one, suggest it. But in the absence of a viable alternative, worrying about Nielsen’s accuracy seems wasted to me.

    KIC:

    And for me, that’s letting them just continue to do whatever the heck they want to. It’s not a waste to question things. It’s a light.

  • KIC

    Lukey, this is true, but they want that without any uncomfortable things brought up that might be a little uncomfortable. Because, that's a lot of what Jericho exemplifies. Power of the people, the underdog in the face of adversity, it's really almost a penultimate case of it, but it comes with the price of having to examine a few ideals. Quel Horreur!

  • KIC

    Lukey, this is true, but they want that without any uncomfortable things brought up that might be a little uncomfortable. Because, that’s a lot of what Jericho exemplifies. Power of the people, the underdog in the face of adversity, it’s really almost a penultimate case of it, but it comes with the price of having to examine a few ideals. Quel Horreur!

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