Nielsen Ratings April 23: Waving Goodbye to Jesse L. Martin on Law & Order

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April 24th, 2008

Scoreboard for Weds. April 23, 2008 FOX NBC CBS ABC CW
Total Viewers (million) 14.67 10.81 7.82 5.51 3.26
Rating/Share: Adults 18-49 5.5/15 2.8/7 2.2/6 2.0/5 1.6/4

American Idol was on, so it's automatic that FOX won the night. But Idol isn't what it used to be, not even compared to last year. While I don't think there's really huge cause for concern yet (and comparing to last year's comparable episode isn't fair since last year's April 25 airing was 2 hours), we do wonder whether Idol will ever see 30 million viewers again.

With less than 23 million viewers tuning in last night to see Carly Smithson get the boot, I'm beginning to think clearing 30 million even with the finale next month will be a significant challenge for the show.

Some people wonder why on earth anyone still watches NBC's Deal or No Deal. It's not for me, but just seeing Howie Mandel makes me want to turn the channel. Still, over 10 million were watching DOND from 8p-9p to see if anyone will ever win this game.

And in fairness to my bald brother Mandel, it holds up OK even up against Idol. Yet during the 9pm hour it was beaten by a repeat of Criminal Minds. If you can hold up fairly well against Idol with a repeat, that's pretty good even if 75% of the viewers were 70 years old and the advertisers don't really care about them. No matter, Criminal Minds in repeats surely makes more money than Gossip Girl in original airings.

Females between 12 and 34 may be a lucrative target market, but if you can go old early and often enough you'll still make more money selling Depends and reverse mortgages.

FOX's comedy block is starting to show signs of life, particularly Back to You at 8:30p which had over 7 million viewers and a 2.7/7 in the 18-49 demo, the best demo performance on broadcast television in the 8p-9p hour last night.

I have to blow some kisses at Tyra Banks. I know I suggested that CW would do way better with that show if Giselle Bundchen was hosting instead of Tyra, but America's Next Top Model cleared over 4 million viewers last night and hit a 2.0/6 in the 18-49 demo. I can't remember the last time a CW show hit the 2.0 mark in the demo. Way to go Ms. Banks!

At 10pm 12.63 million tuned in to bid adieu to Detective Ed Green (Jesse L. Martin) on Law & Order. Martin had been on the show for nine seasons. The show pulled a 3.7/10 in the 18-49 demo. ABC's Men In Trees was back from "hiatus", but given the numbers it looks like this tree should soon be chopped down. See for yourself.

Wednesday night's details:

Time Network Show Viewers (Millons) 18-49 Rating/Share HH Rating
8:00 CBS Big Brother 6.7 2.3/7 3.9
  NBC Deal or No Deal (8p-10p) 9.89 2.4/7 6.4
  ABC Wife Swap 5.89 2.2/7 3.9
  CW Americas Next Top Model 4.23 2.0/6 3.2
  FOX Til Death 6.16 2.3/7 4.2
8:30 FOX Back to You 7.27 2.7/7 4.8
9:00 CBS Criminal Minds (Repeat) 9.02 2.1/5 6.6
  CW Pussycat Dolls Present: Girlicious 2.3 1.2/3  
  ABC Supernanny 5.42 2.2/5 3.8
  FOX American Idol 22.62 8.4/21 14.2
10:00 ABC Men in Trees 5.21 1.5/4 3.5
  NBC Law & Order 12.63 3.7/10 9
  CBS CSI: NY (Repeat) 7.73 2.1/5 5.7

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

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