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Nielsen Ratings Thu, Mar 27: NBC Bests NCAA

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March 28th, 2008

Scoreboard for Thurs. March 27, 2008 NBC CBS FOX ABC CW
Total Viewers (million) 11.78 9.75 8.66 5.96 3.30
rating/Share: Adults 18-49 4.0/11 3.8/10 2.8/8 1.9/5 1.4/4

With its lineup of Deal or No Deal and the two hour Celebrity Apprentice finale, NBC averaged over two million more people than CBS and also eked out the win in the 18-49 demographic.

FOX ran with the seemingly waning Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? along with Don't Forget the Lyrics and landed in third for the night in both viewers and the 18-49 demo.  Without a new episode of LOST, ABC landed in last place (or next to last, if you count the CW).  I've been catching up on Eli Stone, and it's a cute show although according to Marc Berman it suffered series low ratings. 

But I'll point something out that Berman didn't.  Eli has a fairly healthy DVR following and in the most recent data available, more than 70% of the DVR viewing comes after the night the show airs (the numbers we report here would include any DVR viewing up to 3am this morning).  So Eli might have another 900K to one million extra viewers when the LIVE+7 data is released.  Added to the 6.52 million LIVE+SD viewers I don't think those are awful 10pm numbers these days - especially for ABC.  And you can pretty much count on that practically all the DVR viewers are in the 18-49 demo, where the LIVE+SD was a weak 1.9/5

While I don't want to believe the numbers, I won't cry a Nielsen conspiracy like some people (cough), but to be honest I'm more surprised about the popularity of Celebrity Apprentice than that it beat NCAA action.  CBS averaged 9.75 million people and a 3.8/10 in the demo for the primetime portion of its NCAA coverage.  Of the four games played last night, two wound up being more or less blow outs (Louisville and Rick Pitino putting the beatdown on Tennessee and Bruce Pearl, and North Carolina beat up on Washington State University). Of the other two games one was so close that Xavier needed overtime to beat West Virginia, and UCLA had some difficulty at times with Western Kentucky.  Of course nobody has ever heard of Western Kentucky so that probably wasn't a ratings boon. 

I will talk about the CW here for a couple of reasons - CW seemingly only cares about women 18-34 at this point.  Its exiting from Friday Night Smackdown! which will move to MyNetworkTV, but Smallville with 3.84 million drew more viewers than America's Next Top Model did last night (3.84 million vs. 3.5 million).  However, I don't think CW really cares about that because Smallville performed slightly worse in the 18-49 (it had a 1.5/5 to ANTM's 1.7/5) and I'm sure if I had access to the women 18-34 data, ANTM did better. 

Reaper was in the 9pm slot normally occupied by Supernatural,  and pulled in 2.76 million.  That's slightly worse than the typical Supernatural performance  but more or less in the same ballpark.  Yesterday I watched the pilot for Reaper along with one other episode and really enjoyed it.  It wasn't at all what I thought it would be, and the pilot was funny as hell (no pun intended).  I'll watch a few more episodes and write about Reaper in a separate post sometime soon.

Thursday night's full details:

Time Network Show Viewers (Millons) 18-49 Rating/Share HH Rating
8:00 CBS NCAA Basketball (8pm-11pm) 9.75 3.8/10 6.7
  FOX Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? 8.45 2./7 5.3
  ABC Miss Guided 5.95 2.0/6 4.1
  NBC Deal or No Deal 11.21 3.0/9 6.9
  CW Smallville 3.84 1.5/5 2.8
           
8:30 ABC Miss Guided 5.68 2.1/6 4
           
9:00 FOX Don't Forget the Lyrics 8.88 3.1/8 5.6
  ABC Lost (Repeat) 5.54 1.8/5 3.8
  NBC Celebrity Apprentice (9p-11p) 12.08 4.5/12 8.1
  CW Reaper 2.76 1.2/2 2.1
           
10:00 ABC Eli Stone 6.52 1.9/5 4.6

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

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  • Julia

    Reaper gets old really fast. One of those shows were by the second episode you already know the formula and exactly how every episode will play out. But enjoy it while you can!

  • Julia

    Reaper gets old really fast. One of those shows were by the second episode you already know the formula and exactly how every episode will play out. But enjoy it while you can!

  • tom

    the thing about eli stone is abc might be deciding between it and boston legal. last time out bl had a much smaller lead in (less than 4 million and a 1.4 in the demo from carpoolers) but managed 7.4 mill and a 1.9. same demo as eli but 1 million bigger audience. and this bl episode added 1.5 million in DVR playback after 3AM. stronger than the comparable 1.1 million for eli stone that week which had a much much larger lead in from Lost. i think the two are competing since abc hasn’t renewed either yet and obviously both are quirky lawyer shows. the one advantage eli has is it’s owned by abc where bl is owned by fox.

  • tom

    the thing about eli stone is abc might be deciding between it and boston legal. last time out bl had a much smaller lead in (less than 4 million and a 1.4 in the demo from carpoolers) but managed 7.4 mill and a 1.9. same demo as eli but 1 million bigger audience. and this bl episode added 1.5 million in DVR playback after 3AM. stronger than the comparable 1.1 million for eli stone that week which had a much much larger lead in from Lost. i think the two are competing since abc hasn't renewed either yet and obviously both are quirky lawyer shows. the one advantage eli has is it's owned by abc where bl is owned by fox.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    @Julia, my sense is you’re correct. I’m not sure if there’s going to be an overarching story arc as there was w/Supernatural the first two seasons. But I enjoyed it and will watch at least a couple of more episodes.

    @Tom: Not sure that’s a fair comparison unless BL aired on a night other than Tuesdays and I missed it. I think Eli was Weds and now Thurs. I haven’t been combing the ABC press release site lately but one thing I know BL had going for it last year was the demographic of people 18-49 with over $100K of income where it was a top show (Nielsen doesn’t give us this data, or I’d write about economic demos more).

    I believe DVD sales have also been good for BL, but to be honest, I’m not sure what cut, if any, ABC gets off of those sales.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    @Julia, my sense is you're correct. I'm not sure if there's going to be an overarching story arc as there was w/Supernatural the first two seasons. But I enjoyed it and will watch at least a couple of more episodes.

    @Tom: Not sure that's a fair comparison unless BL aired on a night other than Tuesdays and I missed it. I think Eli was Weds and now Thurs. I haven't been combing the ABC press release site lately but one thing I know BL had going for it last year was the demographic of people 18-49 with over $100K of income where it was a top show (Nielsen doesn't give us this data, or I'd write about economic demos more).

    I believe DVD sales have also been good for BL, but to be honest, I'm not sure what cut, if any, ABC gets off of those sales.

  • Julia

    I’m pretty sure DVD sales profits all goes to the studio, not the network. But if they are good enough, it could be a situation like with Scrubs where ABC really wants it to keep going, but NBC doesn’t want them to have it, so they continue to renew.

  • Julia

    I'm pretty sure DVD sales profits all goes to the studio, not the network. But if they are good enough, it could be a situation like with Scrubs where ABC really wants it to keep going, but NBC doesn't want them to have it, so they continue to renew.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    if that’s the case and the decision for ABC really is Eli vs. BL (and I have no reason to believe that’s the case, but I love speculating too, so I’m running w/Tom’s thinking), that would presumably bode well for Eli.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    if that's the case and the decision for ABC really is Eli vs. BL (and I have no reason to believe that's the case, but I love speculating too, so I'm running w/Tom's thinking), that would presumably bode well for Eli.

  • Kara

    I agree with Julia about Reaper. You figure out the forumula in the first episode and its the same thing in every episode…again and again and again….YAWN

  • Kara

    I agree with Julia about Reaper. You figure out the forumula in the first episode and its the same thing in every episode…again and again and again….YAWN

  • tom

    i can’t wait to hear what’s happening to bl. canceled? renewed? midseason? jumping to fox or fx? there must be some debate going on over at fox and abc or we would have heard something by now. some have speculated david kelley is bored with it which he tends to get with his shows… but he owns the show so he’s got many incentives to want to keep it going. my prediction is abc renews both shows. holds bl for midseason or vise versa.

  • tom

    i can't wait to hear what's happening to bl. canceled? renewed? midseason? jumping to fox or fx? there must be some debate going on over at fox and abc or we would have heard something by now. some have speculated david kelley is bored with it which he tends to get with his shows… but he owns the show so he's got many incentives to want to keep it going. my prediction is abc renews both shows. holds bl for midseason or vise versa.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    maybe some kind of three way trade between the networks, BL to FOX, Scrubs to ABC, and…what to NBC? ;)

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    maybe some kind of three way trade between the networks, BL to FOX, Scrubs to ABC, and…what to NBC? ;)

  • Angie

    I think Reaper is one of those shows that is amusing to watch, but it has no real fanbase. I also think this partially proves that Supernatural's low ratings as compared to last year are not totally caused by the timeslot. The quality of the show has really gone downhill with network meddling, and it's showed this year.

    On the other hand, Reaper has NO competition. Supernatural is up against CSI and Grey's Anatomy normally, both of which are powerhouses.

  • Angie

    I think Reaper is one of those shows that is amusing to watch, but it has no real fanbase. I also think this partially proves that Supernatural’s low ratings as compared to last year are not totally caused by the timeslot. The quality of the show has really gone downhill with network meddling, and it’s showed this year.

    On the other hand, Reaper has NO competition. Supernatural is up against CSI and Grey’s Anatomy normally, both of which are powerhouses.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    Angie — as for Supernatural, you may be right but I'm not convinced its quality degradation has anything to do with network meddling (though I think the writer's strike and frequency of new episodes didn't help ratings).

    SN had a really cool story arc involving the boys and their dad the first two seasons. Once that was wrapped up, they needed a new story arc. The current one just isn't as interesting to me, but hey, it's hard to come up with ONE great story arc, let alone two. I'm three episodes into Reaper now and not sure there is a story arc at all. But in good faith I'll give it two more episodes at least.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    Angie — as for Supernatural, you may be right but I’m not convinced its quality degradation has anything to do with network meddling (though I think the writer’s strike and frequency of new episodes didn’t help ratings).

    SN had a really cool story arc involving the boys and their dad the first two seasons. Once that was wrapped up, they needed a new story arc. The current one just isn’t as interesting to me, but hey, it’s hard to come up with ONE great story arc, let alone two. I’m three episodes into Reaper now and not sure there is a story arc at all. But in good faith I’ll give it two more episodes at least.

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