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Nielsen Ratings Thur, Apr 17: The Office IS A Hit (Duh!)

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April 18th, 2008

Scoreboard for Thurs. April 17, 2008 CBS FOX NBC ABC CW
Total Viewers (million) 10.75 9.36 7.64 4.79 2.79
rating/Share: Adults 18-49 3.0/9 2.8/8 3.4/10 1.5/4 1.1/3

CBS won the night in terms of total viewers with Survivor: Micronesia and repeats of CSI and Without a Trace and FOX was in second overall with its game shows, Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader and Don't Forget the Lyrics.  But FOX finished second overall and third in the 18-49 demo.  CBS finished second in the demo and the peacocks at NBC cans puff their feathers way, way out there today with a convincing win in the 18-49 demo (albeit against no real competition on CBS other than Survivor, and none on ABC at all).

I'm going to absolutely ignore any comments in this post today, but it is time for Marc Berman to get a clue --  at least a little bit of a clue and then go back to enjoying Big Brother.  Berman notes a couple of things:  one that 30 Rock will never be a breakout hit.   That's probably true, actually, but where else can you get lines along the lines of "Save it for your iVillage blog, Lemon!"

Of course Berman said something very similar breakout hit wise just a couple of weeks ago about The Office. OK, he said the exact.same.thing about The Office.

Now if the standard is American Idol, sure The Office is never going to be a breakout hit.  But if the standard is about as many viewers as Deal or No Deal and having more than twice as many viewers in the 18-49 demo - then I'd call it a straight-up hit.   The Office, with more than 9.8 million viewers and a 4.9/13 in the 18-49  demographic led NBC to a nightly win in the demo.  In terms of the demo it is a breakout hit.

I have no problem at all for Marc's bias to not like The Office and explain why.  That's fair.  But to not judge a show based on its numbers is folly.  And a 4.9 in the demo *is* a breakout hit.  The Office was certainly at an advantage last night because there was still no new Grey's Anatomy, and CSI was a repeat. Its demo performance will erode when Grey's comes back, but whether you love The Office or hate it, you have to love, love, love those numbers.

That said, I am sort of with Berman when it comes to Eli Stone, which Marc thinks we've seen the last of.  Repeats of LOST probably wasn't the best lead-in, but no matter.  The real problem for Eli is that without its live plus seven days of DVR usage numbers, it stinks it up in the 18-49 demo.  I won't be surprised if ABC cancels it, nor will I be surprised if they keep it and give it another try.  The show is cute, the ratings are not.  It's certainly on the bubble, the only question is whether the bubble has burst.   We won't have to wait much longer to find out.

With no real competition to speak of, NBC's (soon to be ABC's?) Scrubs also had a very solid performance in the 18-49 demographic with a 3.7/10 in the demo at 9:30pm. 

See Thursday night's full details:

Time Network Show Viewers (Millons) 18-49 Rating/Share HH Rating
8:00 CBS Survivor: Micronesia 12.09 3.8/12 7.2
  FOX Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader 9.19 2.5/8 5.6
  ABC LOST (Repeat) 3.74 1.1/3 2.9
  NBC My Name is Earl 6.77 2.6/9 4.5
  CW Smallville 3.49 1.4/4 2.7
           
8:30 NBC 30 Rock 6.42 2.8/8 4.5
           
9:00 CBS CSI (Repeat) 10.69 2.8/7 7.8
  FOX Don't Forget the Lyrics 9.53 3.2/9 6.1
  ABC LOST (Repeat) 4.49 1.5/4 3.5
  NBC The Office 9.81 4.9/13 5.7
  CW Supernatural (Repeat) 2.1 0.8/2 1.7
           
9:30 NBC Scrubs 7.31 3.7/10 4.8
           
10:00 CBS Without a Trace (Repeat) 9.47 2.4/7 7.1
  ABC Eli Stone 6.13 2.0/6 4.6
  NBC ER 7.75 3.1/9 5.9

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

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