Again, Fox Sweeps TV Ratings Categories, Univision #2 in Adults 18-34
Confounding my earlier predictions of CBS competitiveness, Fox again swept all ratings categories for the week of April 14-20, 2008. The margin over CBS in average viewers was just 210,000, but that's more than it was last week. Fox lost over 1.5 million average viewers from last week, but CBS lost even more (over 1.7 million average viewers).
With the lightweights Moonlight (April 25) and Shark (April 29) still waiting to start new episodes, CBS has no chance of catching Fox in average viewers for the season. The fat lady is way past warming up, Les Moonves heads the most watched network no longer.
Fox also won all the age demographic categories; winning the weekly races for adults 18-49 (by 1.11 million over NBC, press release incoming!), adults 18-34 (by 640,000 over the surprising second place finisher, Univision) and adults 25-54 (by 730,000 over CBS). Fox still has the blockbuster House (April 28) to bring back with new episodes to put the network even further ahead on a weekly basis. If there is any chance of Fox having an off week, it's the current week (April 21-27) when it has no new shows starting new episodes.
ABC again finished third in average viewers and adults 25-54, but slipped back to fourth in adults 18-49 and adults 18-34. The return of Desperate Housewives has been underwhelming, and ABC lost viewers in all 4 ratings categories. The return of Grey's Anatomy (April 24) will help boost ABC, but what if its results are as ho hum as Housewives have been? Then they're looking at continuing to get beaten by NBC and Univision in the youngest demos.
NBC again finished a surprising second in adults 18-49, gaining 270,000 viewers in that demo for the week. They were fourth in average viewers and adults 25-54, but third behind Univision in adults 18-34. NBC gained 680,000 average viewers for the week on the strength of the return of new episodes for Law & Order: SVU (April 15). With Law & Order (April 23) starting new episodes this week, NBC looks to be more competitive in the age demo down the stretch than I figured with ABC recent weak showings.
In a very unusual week, the CW actually gained 280,000 average viewers. Of course, they still finished fifth across the board in all categories, but they have the return of both Gossip Girl (April 21) and Supernatural (April 24) this week to look forward to, but the early ratings from Gossip Girl don't seem to be too cheerful.
Nielsen TV Ratings Data: ©2008 Nielsen Media Research, Inc. All Rights Reserved.