This Season vs. Last Season TV Ratings Through April 20

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April 24th, 2008

Fox, ABC Continue to Fade; NBC, CBS Improve 


Latest Weekly Changes in Season to Date '07-'08 vs. '06-'07


Weekly Change

ABC -0.31%
CBS 0.19%
NBC 0.68%
FOX -0.80%
CW 0.00%

NBC (+0.68%) and CBS (+0.19%) continued to be the only networks to continue to show gains vs. last season in the most recent week. In CBS's case though, it was a matter of this week's decline being less than the decline in the comparable period last season. NBC on the other hand, posted an increase in viewers for the week helping it to better itself vs. last season's trend.

ABC (-0.31%) continued to lose ground in the most recent week as it's new returning episodes have underwhelmed.

An interesting possibility highlighted by the chart above is that NBC's continued improvement from a dreadful mid-season combined with ABC's continuing slide could mean NBC improving its viewership position vs. ABC compared to last season. As hard as we are on Jeff Zucker, maybe we should be criticizing the Disney/ABC folks a bit more.

The return of new episodes of Bones and Back to You this past week could not stem Fox's (-0.80%) slide vs. last season. With American Idol down, no 24, and no new episodes of House until next week, there isn't the viewer power to compensate.

CW showed no change at all in the current week vs. last season. Although I did double check my numbers, it makes me doubt them.

Overall Season Total Change in Season to Date '07-'08 vs. '06-'07


07-'08 vs. '06-'07

ABC -8.45%
CBS -18.69%
NBC -10.12%
FOX 9.27%
CW -22.29%

Fox continues as the only network with increased viewership vs. last year. It now looks like Fox will finish the year at or just below 5% better than last year considering their current rate of decline vs. last season.

All the other broadcast networks continue below last years pace, CBS and CW by significant margins. My guess is that CBS finishes the year approximately 15% behind last season. ABC looks headed for a season/season decline of about 10%. NBC's continuing gains seem to point them to a season to season decline of 8%.

The CW, which looks to finish down about 20-25% vs. last year, could cease to exist and likely only the fans of Supernatural would notice.

Our chart shows broadcast network primetime season to date average primetime viewership for the 2007-8 season compared to the 2006-7 season.

Nielsen TV Ratings Data: ©2008 Nielsen Media Research, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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