Nielsen Ratings Fri, April 18: Friday Night Needs American Idol

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April 19th, 2008

Scoreboard for Fri. April 18, 2008 NBC CBS FOX CW ABC
Total Viewers (million) 6.56 6.28 4.83 4.08 3.91
Rating/Share: Adults 18-49 1.8/6 1.5/5 1.3/4 1.2/4 1.1/4

NBC won both the most viewers and the 18-49 demographic and those are words rarely typed by me in an overnight post.   The most watched show of the night was a two hour Dateline that only had 7.12 million people.

There were lots of repeats, but two out of ABC's three programs were not repeats and ABC came in last place and I mean last place even if you do count the CW!  CW's Friday Night Smackdown!  came in ahead of ABC for the night.  And the CW probably will find something that that is more capable of promoting Gossip Girl, but will have only a million viewers.  I think CW is going to wind up missing Smackdown!  Anyway, 20/20 isn't going anywhere, but we're pretty sure Duel won't be on the fall schedule.

CBS ran all repeats - Ghost Whisperer, the return of Moonlight, and Numb3rs which was its original fall lineup.  Even in repeats the same phenomenon where Ghost Whisperer's viewers bail out on Moonlight and then seemingly come back for Numb3rs occurs.

The season finale of Canturbury's Law didn't generate much enthusiasm on FOX.  A repeat of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles might  have fared better.  I don't expect to see Canturbury's Law back on the schedule next year.

There's just not a lot to say about this night. I miss Steve Urkel (Family Matters).  It doesn't seem all that long ago when people watched TV on Friday night's. I wonder how many would watch a new American Idol airing if it ran on Fridays.

If you want a real blast from the past, take a look back with Bill's post on the top 20 shows of the 1971-1972 season.  Bonanza was still in the top 20!  I vividly remember watching ALL of those shows on that list very well, except for one (which I don't remember watching at all, honestly).  Can you guess which one?

See Friday night's details:

Time Net Show Viewers (Millons) 18-49 Rating/Share
8:00 ABC Desperate Housewives (R ) 3.14 0.8/3
  CBS Ghost Whisperer (R ) 6.74 1.7/6
  NBC Most Outrageous Moments (R ) 5.45 1.5/6
  CW Friday Night Smackdown! (8p-10p) 4.07 1.2/4
  FOX House (R ) 4.98 1.5/6
9:00 ABC Duel 3.29 0.9/3
  CBS Moonlight (R ) 5.28 1.3/4
  NBC Dateline (9p-11p) 7.12 1.9/6
  FOX Canterburys Law 4.68 1.0/3
10:00 ABC 20/20 5.3 1.5/5
  CBS Numb3rs ( R) 6.82 1.9/6

HH ratings junkies, check out Zap2it.

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

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