Ageism may stink, but in a business driven by advertising, it comes into play. There's a fairly large focus in the television business on the age demographics and one of the most common focuses is the 18-49 year old demographic.
With much viewing shifting away from the broadcast networks to cable (and the Internet, and video games) it's increasingly harder to get a 5.0 or better Nielsen in the 18-49 demographic. This week since Sunday for example, that only happened with five shows (and of course, two of them were airings of ) and only ten shows could do even a 4.0 or better in the demographic.
The Nielsen week starts on Monday, but since there won't likely be any shows on Friday or Saturday that get even a 4.0, here are the 10 shows since this past Sunday that managed a 4.0 or better in the 18-49 demographic:
|Show||Net||Day||HH Rating/Share||18-49 Rating/share||Total Viewers (Millions)|
|Law & Order:||NBC||Tue||13.9/22||4.7/13||13.27|
We pick on NBC mercilessly at times, but Theled NBC to the rarified air of a 5.0 rating in the 18-49 year old demographic and NBC had two other shows, Law & Order: and the two hour season finale of The that did better than a 4.0 in the demographic.
What's impressive about Theis that such a high concentration of it's overall viewership is in the 18-49 year old range. I won't be able to calculate it exactly for any show above (other than ) until Tuesday when I have total 18-49 viewers, rather than just the rating, but last week almost 69% of its total viewers were 18 to 49 year olds and I don't expect it will be much different with the results from this Thursday. Last week, almost 49% of 's viewers were 18-49, 38% for , 47% for and only around 33% for .
Themay not have as many overall viewers, but it winds up having more viewers that matter to advertisers than many shows. It's pretty impressive. The only show with a an 18-49 rating of 4.0 or better to come even close to in terms of the percentage of total viewers that is in the 18-49 demo is FOX's Hell's Kitchen with around 62% last week.
While it's true thatachieved the 5.0 this week under ideal circumstances - was a repeat and there was no new 's , last week against a new , still pulled a 4.9 rating in the demographic. had a 5.9, but it also had twice as many total viewers as .
Next week things will change when The Office willagainst both a new 's and a new . DVRs acrosss the country will be put to good use that night. Mine included, with The Office also up against the CW's . And as a bonus for me, that night includes a new episode of LOST.
Nielsen TV Ratings Data: ©2008 Nielsen Media Research, Inc. All Rights Reserved.