CBS had the most shows in the top 20 this week with eight, followed by ABC with seven, FOX with three and also-ran NBC at two. FOX gets some slack because two of its three were in the top two slots of the list with American Idol. While just about everything including American Idol, CSI, Grey's Anatomy, CSI: Miami, Desperate Housewives, Survivor...or to be briefer, almost every show on the list -- is down from last year's numbers - and in a way that's not fully made up for by DVR viewing - it's still the usual suspects at the top of the charts.
Still, last year American Idol still had above a 15 HH rating, and DWTS, CSI and Grey's were all above a 12 rating. Again, some of that is definitely a function of more DVR homes being in Nielsen's panel this year, but we see the live plus seven day DVR numbers and they are not making up for all the losses.
These days you can have a top 20 show with a 7 rating, a "hit" in the 8-10 range and a megahit at 10 and above. We've probably never had a full view into how many people actually watch a show, but between DVR and Internet the view keeps getting murkier and murkier and Nielsen will struggle mightily to keep up with it.
Also note that although Grey's Anatomy was on in more homes than CSI, but CSI wound up with more than 600,000 more viewers. I'd chalk that up to older married couples watching CSI together while Grey's is a show more targeted at females and a younger audience where the husbands proclaim, "I'll mow the lawn and take out the trash - even do the dishes, but I have to draw the line at watching Grey's Anatomy with you, sorry!"
As you might expect with 8 shows in this list, CBS won the weekly network ratings in overall viewers, though it was just barely ahead of FOX and led none of the age demographics we track.
Nielsen Top Twenty Shows by viewers for the week ending 04/27/08:
|Rank||Show||NET||HH RATING (LIVE+SD)||HH SHARE (LIVE+SD)||# OF HOMES (LIVE+SD) (000)||# OF PERSONS 2+ (LIVE+SD) (000)|
|3||DANCING WITH THE STARS||ABC||11.7||18||13,209||18,044|
|4||DANCING W/STARS RESULTS||ABC||11.6||18||13,037||17,974|
|6||GREY'S ANATOMY-THU 9PM||ABC||10.7||16||12,120||16,373|
|10||WITHOUT A TRACE||CBS||9.2||15||10,322||13,471|
|11||TWO AND A HALF MEN||CBS||8.3||12||9,338||13,360|
|13||LAW AND ORDER||NBC||8.4||14||9,462||12,746|
|15||EXTREME MAKEOVER:HOME ED.||ABC||7.4||12||8,360||12,074|
|16||LAW AND ORDER:SVU||NBC||8.0||13||9,073||11,642|
|18||BROTHERS & SISTERS||ABC||7.5||13||8,502||11,192|
|20||RULES OF ENGAGEMENT||CBS||6.7||10||7,597||10,573|
Nielsen Ratings Data: ©2008 Nielsen Media Research, Inc. All Rights Reserved