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Nielsen Ratings April 5: NCAA on CBS Wins Again

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April 6th, 2008

Scoreboard for Sat, April 5, 2008 CBS FOX NBC ABC
Total Viewers (million) 12.86 5.63 4.87 3.82
rating/Share: Adults 18-49 4.5/15 1.9/6 1.2/4 1.2/4

Marc Berman always says "when the networks put something worth watching on Saturday, viewers will respond."  To which I reply, fo' shizzle, because my saying fo' shizzle is  a.) something that should never, ever happen and b.) I felt the need to say something ridiculous in response simply because, SURE, if you put on a once a year event like the NCAA Men's Basketball semi-finals, of course people will watch.  How many events are there out there like that? 

Still, if they stuck CSI: Miami on Saturday nights it would do pretty gosh darn well.  But, not as well as it does during the week.  The dilemma for the networks is not so simple as putting on something worth watching.  When you're out on the sidelines critiquing it's darn easy to poke a stick at everything (and in fairness, I'm way more guilty of that than Berman!) but realistically, the networks are managing an entire portfolio across an entire week with the objective of making as much money as possible.  Certainly the networks could improve Saturday performance, but it would come at a cost, and they have apparently concluded it isn't worth it.

Sorry for the two paragraphs of filler, but there just isn't much to say about what happened.  CBS won easily with the NCAA semifinals, and in fact, while overnight ratings for sports are always subject to change (and do, and not just by a little sometimes), the primetime portion of this year's semifinals (12.86 million viewers and a 4.5/15 in the 18-49 demo) outperformed last year's overnight results (12.48 million and a 4.2/14), I'm not sure what it means in terms of numbers for the finals with a matchup of Memphis vs. Kansas.  I'm not predicting record low ratings.

Other than that, the only thing worth noting is that it is somewhat impressive that Law & Order can pull in over 6 million viewers at 10pm on a Saturday. Sure, those are Jericho series finale style numbers, but a.) it's Saturday and b.) Law & Order was a repeat.  Not nearly as many tuned in for a repeat of Harry Potter & The Sorcerer's Stone on ABC, though granted that ran three hours, versus just one for L&O.

See Saturday's details:

Time Network Show Viewers (Millons) 18-49 Rating/Share
8:00 ABC Harry Potter & The Sorcerers Stone (R ) 3.82 1.2/4
  CBS NCAA Basketball Tourney (8p-11p) 12.86 4.5/15
  NBC Law & Order:CI (Repeat) 3.84 0.8/3
  FOX COPS (Repeat) 5.42 1.9/7
         
9:00 NBC Law & Order: SVU (Repeat) 4.76 1.3/4
  FOX Americas Most Wanted 5.83 1.9/6
         
10:00 NBC Law & Order (Repeat) 6.02 1.4/5

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

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  • Josh

    It’s a good thing the CW doesn’t schedule programming on Saturday. I could see their total viewers be .2 million.

  • Josh

    It's a good thing the CW doesn't schedule programming on Saturday. I could see their total viewers be .2 million.

  • Neil

    Hey guys, love reading this site though…gives me all the inside info on what’s happenen in the world of TV

    im liven in Australia, so just wondren, what happens with The CW when it doesnt program anything for Sat nights…is there just some blank screen or..?
    just wonderen, lol all out networks program 7 nights a week (granted, we havnt had a new commercial network in 40 years..)

  • Neil

    Hey guys, love reading this site though…gives me all the inside info on what's happenen in the world of TV

    im liven in Australia, so just wondren, what happens with The CW when it doesnt program anything for Sat nights…is there just some blank screen or..?
    just wonderen, lol all out networks program 7 nights a week (granted, we havnt had a new commercial network in 40 years..)

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    Neil, when any network isn’t programming the time, the local station affiliates air whatever they want; local news, syndicated programming, whatever…

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