Nielsen Ratings April 30, 2008: CBS Improves, Boston Legal and Law & Order Suffer

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May 1st, 2008

Scoreboard for Weds. April 30, 2008 FOX CBS NBC ABC CW
Total Viewers (million) 14.19 10.52 8.46 6.27 3.26
Rating/Share: Adults 18-49 5.2/14 2.7/7 2.3/6 2.1/6 1.5/4

The last night of April and the first Wednesday of May Sweeps, though only the Tiffany network gang at CBS actually improved its fate versus the previous non-sweeps Wednesday.  FOX, NBC and ABC were all down compared to  last week, though ABC improved slightly in the demo.

What changed for CBS?  First, the primetime edition of The Price is Right.  It had more viewers than Big Brother though in fairness to the Big Brother faithful, BB had a better 18-49 demographic rating than TPIR.   Other than that there were no changes to CBS' schedule but last week Criminal Minds and CSI: NY were repeats, and this week they were fresh episodes.  It was enough to land CBS second place both in total viewers and the Demo on the American Idol dominated evening.

Over on FOX, ‘Til Death and Back to You both slumped slightly vs. last week, with Back to You once again being the stronger of the two.   American Idol was down to 22.12 million, though I suspect that number will go up when the final numbers are tallied.  Last week's Wednesday edition of Idol scored 23.20 million viewers, (though to keep apples-to-apples in the overnights for last Wednesday it pulled 22.62 million).

Boston Legal at 10pm on Wednesdays looks more Eli Stone than Men in Trees, but I found it amusing the way BL made fun of all the scheduling shenanigans in last night's intro.  BL was off its most recent Tuesday at 10pm airing, especially in the 18-49 demographic where last night it pulled only a 1.9/5.  While I expect that to go up with DVR viewing, the schedule jerking certainly didn't seem to have helped.  Of course considering it was up against new episodes of both Law & Order and CSI: NY, it probably held its own.  Law & Order fared much worse against a new CSI: NY than last week's rerun.

Law and Order was down to 9.62m versus last week's 12.74m (though again, to keep it apples to apples it was at 12.63m in last week's overnights).

I'm very apolitical but I thought last night's Boston Legal was back to its classic roots.  I know some comments around here are annoyed by the show's "pro democrat" stance, to which I just think: OMG the show's characters are supposed to be in BOSTON.  Imagine that, democrats in Boston!  What next, liberals in DC, NY and San Francisco?   As the judged played by Henry Gibson likes to say, "Shocking and outrageous!"

More love for Tyra Banks!  Though it was down a smidge versus last week, America's Next Top Model again cleared over 4 million viewers.   But no love for Farmer Wants a Wife.  Not from me, and not from the viewing public.

Wednesday night's details:

Time Network Show Viewers (Millons) 18-49 Rating/Share
8:00 CBS The Price is Right 7.28 1.7/5
  NBC Deal or No Deal (8p-10p) 7.88 2.0/5
  ABC Wife Swap 6.03 2.2/7
  CW Americas Next Top Model 4.16 2.0/6
  FOX 'Til Death 5.53 2.0/7
8:30 FOX Back to You 6.97 2.5/7
9:00 CBS Criminal Minds 12.88 3.2/8
  CW Farmer Wants a Wife 2.37 1.0/3
  ABC Supernanny 5.45 2.2/5
  FOX American Idol 22.12 8.1/21
10:00 ABC Boston Legal 7.33 1.9/5
  NBC Law & Order 9.62 3.0/8
  CBS CSI: NY 11.40 3.1/8

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

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