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Nielsen's Most Watched Shows (Cable Networks)

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Written By

April 8th, 2008

Star Wars Episode IIUSA was back on top with both hours of WWE Raw, followed by Disney's Wizards of Waverly Place, and the theatrical Star Wars Episode III(Revenge of the Sith) on SPIKE and MTV's The Hills rounding out the Top 5.

Worth noting for SPIKE is that Star Wars Episode III (Revenge of the Sith) beat out TNT's running of Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (#7) in head-to-head (same time period) competition on Sunday night. It was the only show TNT got in the weekly cable top 40.

Spike also scored with the its airing of Star Wars Episode II on Saturday night (#28), and perhaps as interesting to me as besting an airing of LOTR: The Two Towers in head-to-head competition is that it indicates just how far the broadcast networks are falling down the food chain. Not only did the Saturday night airing on SPIKE go up against TNT, it also dueled with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone on ABC's broadcast network. While ABC did win that contest, it wasn't a beatdown. The Star Wars movie did 3.35 million on Saturday night and the Harry Potter theatrical did 3.79 million.

According to Multichannel News, for the weekend the three Star Wars features averaged 3.46 million vs. just under 2.7 million for the Lord of the Rings Trilogy on TNT. SPIKE is claiming for the weekend it finished first in men 18-34, men 18-49, and total viewers 18-49. Among males 18-34, and 18-49 SPIKE trailed only the NCAA Semifinal games on CBS over the weekend.

We now return to our regularly scheduled weekly SpongeBob love fest. Though the square-panted wonder could place but two shows in the top 10, for the overall top 40, there were 16 SpongeBob airings. That's off the typical pace, but it's too early to say the bloom is off the square-panted rose.

Disney also placed an episode of Hannah Montana and another Wizards of Waverly in the top 20, as well as Chicken Little (#23) and Suite Life of Zack & Cody (#32 & #37).

Other noteworthy airings: The NCAA Women's semifinals on Sunday on ESPN (#16 and over 3.6 million), two airings of NCIS on USA (#9 & #14 - and also #29), and the 10pm installment of The Hills (#10) on MTV. USA also scored in the weekly top 40 with two Airings of Law & Order: SVU (#38 & #40).

While not even close to being among the cable top 40, I know there is much interest in the Battlestar Galactica Season 4 premiere. For that data and a discussion of it, click here.

Full Top 20 Cable Results for the week ending 4/06/2008:

Rank PROGRAMS NET DAY(S) Live+SD HH Rating Viewers Live+SD (000)
1 WWE Entertainment (WWE Raw) USA MONDAY 3.5 5,707
2 WWE Entertainment (WWE Raw) USA MONDAY 3.2 5,281
3 Wizards of Waverly Place DSNY SUNDAY 3.0 4,637
4 STAR WARS: EPISODE III SPIKE SUNDAY 2.5 4,237
5 HILLS, THE MTV MONDAY 2.7 4,118
6 iCarly NICK SATURDAY 2.7 4,093
7 LOTR: RETURN OF THE KING TNT SUNDAY 2.4 4,018
8 SpongeBob NICK SATURDAY 2.6 3,950
9 NCIS USA SATURDAY 2.5 3,852
10 HILLS, THE MTV MONDAY 2.5 3,831
11 SpongeBob NICK SATURDAY 2.6 3,811
12 S Hannah Montana(S)-04/03/2008 DSNY THURSDAY 2.6 3,806
13 S WIZARDS OF WAVERLY PLAC(S)-04/06/2008 DSNY SUNDAY 2.5 3,692
14 NCIS USA SATURDAY 2.4 3,662
15 SpongeBob NICK FRIDAY 2.2 3,656
16 NCAA WOMENS BASKET TOUR L (LSU/TENNESSEE) ESPN SUNDAY 2.4 3,603
17 SPONGEBOB NICK SATURDAY 2.4 3,598
18 SPONGEBOB NICK SATURDAY 2.4 3,594
19 SPONGEBOB NICK MONDAY 2.3 3,574
20 SPONGEBOB NICK SUNDAY 2.3 3,548

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Nielsen Ratings Data: ©2008 Nielsen Media Research, Inc. All Rights Reserved

 
  • Shane

    iCarly is extremely popular. Nickelodeon has not only produced a show that will last an eternity on Nick via new episodes and reruns, but also a show that will launch a movie career for Miranda Cosgrove.

    Drake Bell went straight to “Superhero Movie” and Josh Peck went straight to “Drillbit Taylor”. Not to mention that previous Nick alumni have also done extremely well–Kenan Thompson is on SNL, Amanda Bynes was in Hairspray, etc.

    Say what you want about Disney Channel taking over. That's not the case. Not only are Nick's cartoons stronger than ever, but iCarly has made a name for itself amongst the same tweens that flock to Hannah Montana–and more. Kudos!

  • Shane

    iCarly is extremely popular. Nickelodeon has not only produced a show that will last an eternity on Nick via new episodes and reruns, but also a show that will launch a movie career for Miranda Cosgrove.

    Drake Bell went straight to “Superhero Movie” and Josh Peck went straight to “Drillbit Taylor”. Not to mention that previous Nick alumni have also done extremely well–Kenan Thompson is on SNL, Amanda Bynes was in Hairspray, etc.

    Say what you want about Disney Channel taking over. That’s not the case. Not only are Nick’s cartoons stronger than ever, but iCarly has made a name for itself amongst the same tweens that flock to Hannah Montana–and more. Kudos!

  • Shane

    (BTW Rob, I did not direct any of this Disney taking over talk to you, but rather to many pundits across the inter webs)

  • Shane

    (BTW Rob, I did not direct any of this Disney taking over talk to you, but rather to many pundits across the inter webs)

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    it's OK Shane, I did actually neglect to bring up iCarly being the #6 show in the “prose”, and I should've. I chalk that up to being distracted by the rare appearance of Spike TV!

    I believe both iCarly and NICK are forces to be reckoned with and I still love that iCarly stole Apple/Steve Jobs' “small i” :-)

    DSNY is a force too — but its two very different business models since Disney isn't running advertisements.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    it’s OK Shane, I did actually neglect to bring up iCarly being the #6 show in the “prose”, and I should’ve. I chalk that up to being distracted by the rare appearance of Spike TV!

    I believe both iCarly and NICK are forces to be reckoned with and I still love that iCarly stole Apple/Steve Jobs’ “small i” :-)

    DSNY is a force too — but its two very different business models since Disney isn’t running advertisements.

  • TV-aholic

    How did Sunday’s Rock OF Love 2 do on VH1?

  • TV-aholic

    How did Sunday's Rock OF Love 2 do on VH1?

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    It wasn’t in the weekly cable top 40, and Viacom didn’t post a press release, and I didn’t see any news on it (ratings-wise) anywhere. Sorry.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    It wasn't in the weekly cable top 40, and Viacom didn't post a press release, and I didn't see any news on it (ratings-wise) anywhere. Sorry.

  • Alex Sanchez

    “Say what you want about Disney Channel taking over. That’s not the case.”

    Disney Channel has shown over the past couple of years that it does in-fact have what it takes to de-throne Nickelodeon’s up-teen year reign as the number 1 cable network for kids in terms of total-day viewers.

    Disney Channel came really close to stealing Nickelodeon’s total-day crown in 2007 with “High School Musical 2, Hannah Montana, The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, Wizards of Waverly Place, etc” all making weekly appearances on the nielsen’s top 15 cable list.

    The writer’s strike hurt Disney Channel more than it did Nickelodeon and the ratings so far for 2008 have shown that…

    But now that basically all of Disney Channel’s shows are back in production, Nickelodeon has another battle in store this year.

    It’s really just amazing when you look at the history of the Disney Channel… 10-15 years ago nobody would have ever thought that it would have gained this much momentum and become main-stream pop-culture for today’s kids, tweens, and teens.

    I don’t think 2008 will be the year Disney Channel takes over… But that year will come sooner rather than later.

  • Alex Sanchez

    “Say what you want about Disney Channel taking over. That’s not the case.”

    Disney Channel has shown over the past couple of years that it does in-fact have what it takes to de-throne Nickelodeon's up-teen year reign as the number 1 cable network for kids in terms of total-day viewers.

    Disney Channel came really close to stealing Nickelodeon's total-day crown in 2007 with “High School Musical 2, Hannah Montana, The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, Wizards of Waverly Place, etc” all making weekly appearances on the nielsen's top 15 cable list.

    The writer's strike hurt Disney Channel more than it did Nickelodeon and the ratings so far for 2008 have shown that…

    But now that basically all of Disney Channel's shows are back in production, Nickelodeon has another battle in store this year.

    It's really just amazing when you look at the history of the Disney Channel… 10-15 years ago nobody would have ever thought that it would have gained this much momentum and become main-stream pop-culture for today's kids, tweens, and teens.

    I don't think 2008 will be the year Disney Channel takes over… But that year will come sooner rather than later.

  • Harper

    Does anybody know the ratings for Sunday nights Teen Nicks new show “Dance on Sunset”

  • Harper

    Does anybody know the ratings for Sunday nights Teen Nicks new show “Dance on Sunset”

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    Harper, I’ve seen no data, but hopefully if anyone comes across it, they’ll post it here.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    Harper, I've seen no data, but hopefully if anyone comes across it, they'll post it here.

  • jaems

    “Disney isn’t running advertisements.”

    Which Disney channel are you watching? I get plenty of ads, especially for every new movie/dvd/cd that’s released.

  • jaems

    “Disney isn’t running advertisements.”

    Which Disney channel are you watching? I get plenty of ads, especially for every new movie/dvd/cd that's released.

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