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Nielsen Ratings for May 1: Where Are The TV Viewers Going?

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May 2nd, 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

Ah, the first night of May but through the magic of Nielsen the second Thursday of May sweeps.  And I don't know if DVR viewing picked up week over week, I just know less people were watching TV last night, and it especially showed up for ABC .  But if I'm reading the number right, less people were watching TV last night than watched TV last Thursday.

Everything is down versus last year pretty much but ABC was down vs. last week.  Last week via the overnight reports Ugly Betty had 8.52 million, this week 7.93m.  Last week Grey's Anatomy had 16.02m via the overnights, this week 15.11, and last week LOST had 12.33m in the overnights and this week 11.14.

This trend is *not* limited to ABC.  Last week CBS had 12.98m in the overnights for Survivor: Micronesia, this week 12.53m.  And last week Without a Trace had 13.5m and this week had 12.85m.  But some good news for the EYE. Last week in the overnights CSI had 16.74m and a 4.6/11 in the 18-49 demographic, but this week CSI had 17.78m and a 5.0/13.   Grey's still trounced CSI in the demo with a 6.0/15 (but last week it had a 6.3/16).

NBC's lineup actually improved.  My Name is Earl, ScrubsThe Office, 30 Rock and even ER all had slightly more viewers than last week.  You can see last week's overnight numbers for yourselves if you want to do the full comparisons.

Marc Berman says the ABC bound Scrubs needs to just pack it in, but survey says Scrubs had the BEST 18-34 rating of the 8pm-9pm hour (we don't track it here but Scrubs had a 3.1 in the 18-34 demo and Ugly Betty had a 2.6 in its second half hour). Indeed among the 18-34 set, Scrubs had the fourth best performance of the night trailing only Grey's Anatomy, LOST, and The Office.  I'm kind of surprised NBC let it go.  Update: a comment from "Dave" below spells out why the Scrubs move is good for ABC and NBC.

Smallville remains strong for the CW.  It actually picked up steam in the second half hour.  Sadly, Supernatural didn't hold a lot of the lead-in to begin with and lost even more in the second half hour to wind up with Gossip Girl style total numbers.  And though we don't typically track it, Univision's Al Diablo con los Guapos and Fuego en la Sangre trounced the CW shows, both in total viewers AND in the demos.  Fuego averaged over 2 million more viewers than Supernatural in the 9pm hour.

Last night's details:

Time Network Show Viewers (Millons) 18-49 Rating/Share
8:00 CBS Survivor: Micronesia 12.53 4.0/12
  FOX Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader 8.32 2.2/7
  ABC Ugly Betty 7.93 2.4/7
  NBC My Name is Earl 6.77 2.8/9
  CW Smallville 3.64 1.5/5
         
8:30 NBC Scrubs 5.91 2.9/8
         
9:00 CBS CSI 17.78 5.0/13
  FOX Don't Forget the Lyrics 7.28 2.5/6
  ABC Grey's Anatomy 15.11 6.0/15
  NBC The Office 7.67 3.9/10
  CW Supernatural 2.53 1.0/3
         
9:30 NBC 30 Rock 5.41 2.6/7
         
10:00 CBS Without a Trace 12.85 3.3/9
  ABC LOST 11.14 4.8/13
  NBC ER 7.74 3.0/8

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

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