CBS Atop Weekly Viewers & Adults 25-54, Fox Wins 18-49 & 18-34
Continuing its resurgence since new episodes returned to its lineup, CBS took the weekly win for both average viewers and adults 25-54 (that by a scant 10,000 adults over Fox) for the week of May 5-11, 2008. CBS gained almost 650,000 average viewers from the previous week, easily beating second place ABC which pushed Fox into a surprising third place. As has been the pattern since American Idol began, Fox won both adults 18-34 and adults 18-49, but by smaller margins than earlier this spring.
Most scripted shows have only one or two episodes left in their season, but season finales, particularly for reality shows, can introduce some weekly volatility. We may be in for some more surprises before the end of the season. I'd still look for the weekly races to be rather tight for the next few weeks.
ABC off its second place in average viewers was also was second place in adults 18-49 (by just 40,000 over CBS and in adults 18-34 (by 290,000 over Univision), and third in adults 25-54 (more than 1.6 million ahead of NBC). We haven't yet seen ABC's Fall 2008 schedule (it will be announced within days), but I like their position going into next fall.
Having little left in the tank this season, NBC managed only a very distant fourth place in most categories and again was fifth in adults 18-34 behind Univision. It lost nearly 500,000 average viewers from the previous week. NBC managed to beat Univision by only small margins in both adults 18-49 and adults 25-54. While I like where ABC is going into next fall, NBC looks badly damaged, and their small changes to their schedule seem unlikely to fix the network.
CW ratings average viewership was unchanged from the previous week, but its age demo ratings slipped slightly in all categories. Of course, it was sixth across the board.
Nielsen TV Ratings Data: ©2008 Nielsen Media Research, Inc. All Rights Reserved.