Nielsen Ratings Thur, Apr 24: New CSI and Grey's Are Back, and Down Over Last Year

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April 25th, 2008

Scoreboard for Thurs. May 1, 2008 CBS ABC FOX NBC CW
Total Viewers (million) 14.39 11.39 7.80 6.87 2.72
Rating/Share: Adults 18-49 4.1/11 4.4/12 2.3/6 3.0/8 1.3/3

An all-original Thursday night was back to kick off the May Sweeps.  No repeats!  But the thing with sweeps is this is just more legacy television 1980s thinking.    Change does not come easy to these folks and the reality these days seems to be that trying to win the sweeps is about as important as trying to win the NFL Pro Bowl.

As is typically the case in a no repeats Thursday, CBS wins the most viewers but ABC wins the 18-49 demographic.  NBC was fourth overall but third in the demo.

That might have been the BEST LOST EVER!  I could have done without seeing Ben puke in crystal clear high definition, but loved it otherwise from beginning to end.  LOST actually improved over its 9pm performance one month ago when it had  11.46m viewers and a 4.6 in the demo.  Last night it had 12.33m and a 4.8/13 in the demo.  I can't remember if Grey's Anatomy carried over into the 10pm hour by a couple of minutes though, and if so, LOST's final numbers will be down a little from those reported here.  Update 11:15AM PDT: Medialife Magazine is reporting LOST had a 5.5 rating in the 18-49 demo and I tend to think this is the more accurate number. I'll do another update when I see the finals later.

Update: 11:26AM PDT: Travis Yanan confirms that LOST did indeed pull a 5.5 in the 18-49 demo in the  overnights and notes that it picked up men 18-49 as it went along and didn't lose much in the second half hour. He suggests that when the couple of minutes of Grey's overrun is filtered out in the finals that it may have actually grown in key demos in the second half hour. I enjoyed this episode so much I may have to go back and watch it again!

The Office didn't do as well as it did last week when there was no Grey's Anatomy, and a repeat of CSI. It still pulled a 3.9 in the 18-49 demo, but that's more than 20% off last week's demo performance.

Grey's lost out to CSI in terms of total viewers, but as typical kicked CSI's butt in the demo -- though CSI itself had very good demo numbers too, Grey's demo performance was about 36% better.  Marc Berman notes that the numbers for Grey's and CSI are both off significantly versus last year's comparable airings.  CSI was down 16% overall and 22% in the demo, and Grey's was off 20% overall and 25% in the demo.  Ouch.  Some of this will however be made up for with live plus seven day DVR viewing. And OK, I'll say it - Internet viewing.  Both the legal and the illegal variety.

But our friend  Berman also says "One look at Scrubs and there is absolutely no reason for ABC to potentially be putting this on its schedule next season."  All it takes is one look at this,  to know Marc is wrong and that if ABC put it on somewhere besides Thursday night's (perhaps as a replacement for According to Jim) it's still capable of pulling really good 18-49 demo numbers.  Out of six shows airing from 8pm-9pm it was still third in the 18-49 demo.  I'd say that merits a look!

Berman is also a total flip-flopper on The Office.  He goes from "it will never be a break out hit" to "I loved last night's episode" to "this show's problem is it has no likable characters" to "I really enjoyed last night's episode."

Marc, don't you realize there are people who actually see your comments in their overall context and that your writing isn't viewed as just "point in time"?  Speaking of which, I may yet wind up flip-flopping in a major way concerning the Gossip Girl and that will be way more painful for me than reading Marc's analysis.

The ratings for our pals "Sam & Dean" on Supernatural...languished.

Thursday night's details:

Time Network Show Viewers (Millons) 18-49 Rating/Share HH Rating
8:00 CBS Survivor: Micronesia 12.98 4.2/13 6.9
  FOX Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader 8.32 2.1/6 5.3
  ABC Ugly Betty 8.52 2.5/8 6.4
  NBC My Name is Earl 6.06 2.3/7 4.3
  CW Smallville 3.56 1.4/4 2.7
8:30 NBC Scrubs 5.3 2.4/7 3.7
9:00 CBS CSI 16.74 4.6/11 11.4
  FOX Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader 8.95 2.5/6 5.5
  ABC Greys Anatomy 16.02 6.3/16 10.3
  NBC The Office 7.56 3.9/10 4.8
  CW Supernatural 2.27 1.0/2 1.8
9:30 NBC 30 Rock 5.54 2.8/7 3.8
10:00 CBS Without a Trace 13.5 3.3/9 9.6
  ABC LOST 12.33 4.8/13 7.4
  NBC ER 7.35 2.9/8 5.7

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

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