Nielsen Ratings May 7, 2008: Worst May Sweeps EVER!

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May 8th, 2008

Scoreboard for Weds. May 7, 2008 FOX CBS NBC ABC CW
Total Viewers (million) 14.43 11.01 7.74 6.51 3.05
Rating/Share: Adults 18-49 5.0/14 2.7/7 2.2/6 2.1/6 1.5/4

Let there be no doubt: worst May Sweeps EVER.    How bad?  Two words: Wife Swap.   ABC's Wife Swap won the 18-49 demographic for the 8pm hour with a 2.5/8 (rating/share).  If Carl Sagan were still alive he'd be asking, "How can it be so?"

American Idol was on, so FOX won the night even though Idol has billions and billions fewer viewers this year.   OK, although Sagan was not exaggerating about the billions, I am, but you knew that.  It only lost about 6 million viewers.  Last year it pulled 28.20m, this year 22.39m.  It's 18-49 base is eroding too it had a 10.8/28 in the demo last year, but this year only an 8.0/21.  Still, Bill Gorman will not be asking "American Idol: Renew or Cancel?" anytime soon.

FOX's comedy lineup of ‘Til Death and Back to You is struggling a bit.  Only Back to You could even pull a 2.0 in the 18-49 demo. And Just a 2.0.  With almost three million fewer viewers America's Next Top Model was able to pull off a 2.0 in the 18-49 year old demographic for the 8pm hour.  Go Tyra!  But that other show on the CW, the one we apparently imported from Holland, Farmer Wants a Wife lost half of those 18-49 year olds for the CW.

In the 8pm hour Deal or No Deal faced off with The Price is Right and in the 8pm hour, Deal Won!  Barely, but a win is a win.  Deal and TPIR both had 7.59 million viewers from 8pm-9pm but Deal just edged TPIR out in 18-49 viewers : 1.9/5 versus 1.8/5.  Sucks to be Drew.  Other than that CBS had a pretty good night with Criminal Minds and CSI: NYCSI: NY bested NBC's Law & Order at 10pm by almost 4 million viewers.  The race was tighter in the 18-49 demographic but CSI: NY still won with a 3.3/9 vs. L&O's 2.9/8.

Fewer cared about Barbara Walters' Journey, but I was surprised it was able to net a 2.0 in the 18-49 demo.  I'd have bet $20 against that.  Go Babs!

The DVR will be working overdrive tonight as I plan to do something I almost never do: watch CBS' CSI.  The crossover episode of CSI written by the folks at Two and Half Men airs tonight at 9pm and is appropriately titled "Two and a Half Deaths".  Mostly though, I'm looking forward to LOST.

Wednesday night's details:

Time Network Show Viewers (Millons) 18-49 Rating/Share
8:00 CBS The Price is Right 7.59 1.8/5
  NBC Deal or No Deal (8p-10p) 7.22 1.9/5
  ABC Wife Swap 6.98 2.5/8
  CW Americas Next Top Model 3.98 2.0/6
  FOX 'Til Death 6.04 1.9/6
8:30 FOX Back to You 6.89 2.0/6
9:00 CBS Criminal Minds 12.85 3.1/8
  CW Farmer Wants a Wife 2.11 1.0/3
  ABC Supernanny 5.14 1.9/5
  FOX American Idol 22.39 8.0/21
10:00 ABC Barbara Walters' Journey 7.40 2.0/6
  NBC Law & Order 8.76 2.9/8
  CBS CSI: NY 12.58 3.3/9

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

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