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Nielsen Ratings May 15, 2008: More Trouble for Shonda and CSI

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May 16th, 2008

Scoreboard for Thurs. May 15, 2008 CBS ABC NBC FOX CW
Total Viewers (million) 13.36 11.68 7.87 7.49 3.34
Rating/Share: Adults 18-49 3.4/9 4.5/12 3.5/9 2.3/6 1.5/4

A satisfying two hour block of television for me last night between Supernatural's season finale and LOST.   Great acting from the little kid who played the body Lilith took over on Supernatural. She seemed to nail creepy evil sweetness.  There was a lot going on with the LOST episode..whew.  I love Hurley's parents for the comedic relief - and it's no surprise his dad is funny, he's played by Cheech Marin, but Lillian Hurst who plays Hurley's mother Carmen Reyes may be the funnier parent.  "Jesus Christ is not a weapon!"

Supernatural couldn't quite hit three million viewers with 2.93m tuning in, though that was 400,000 more than last week.  LOST had 11.43 million and a 5.0/14 in the demo, up slightly from last week's 11.28m and a 4.9/13.

But in the 9pm hour Grey's Anatomy and CSI were down again, albeit only slightly versus last week, but big-time versus last year.  Last night CSI drew 17.73m and a 4.7/12, and Grey's 15.18 and a 5.9/15. They're still the most dominant shows on Thursday and all at the same time The Office was getting a 4.1/10 in the demo as well.  But last year in the comparable week, CSI had 20.45m and a 6.2/16 in the demo.  The Grey's crew is even more wistful for the old days - last year it had a 22.57 million viewers and a 9.1/23.  Seven million plus and 35% down in the demo.  And DVR will make up for some of that, but unless TWICE as many people watch on DVR over the next six days as normally do, DVR isn't going to make up for it all.

FOX's game shows perform like they should air on Fridays, not Thursdays, and starting in the fall that's where they'll be.  FOX is having a good year, but to be beaten out by NBC in the demo at this point must sting a little.  NBC had a 3.0 or better in every hour (even ER!) and My Name is Earl won the 8pm-9pm hour.  ABC, CBS and NBC all had a 3.0 or better in the demo in the 10pm hour (led by LOST's 5.0).  NBC wound up beating CBS in the demo, but CBS aired a repeat at 8pm.

As many of these shows had their season finales last night, summer begins next week on many of the networks.  On NBC next week it's an hour and a half of Deal or No Deal followed by the premiere of Last Comic Standing. CBS will air repeats of the Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, CSI and Without a Trace.  On ABC Ugly Betty has its season finale followed by the two hour Grey's Anatomy season finale and FOX has the season premiere of So You Think You Can Dance.  The two hour LOST finale airs on 5/29.

Thursday night's details:

Time Network Show Viewers (Millons) 18-49 Rating/Share
8:00 CBS CSI (Repeat) 7.81 1.8/5
  FOX Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader 8.32 2.2/7
  ABC Ugly Betty 8.47 2.7/8
  NBC My Name is Earl   7.13 3.0/9
  CW Smallville  3.76 1.7/5
         
9:00 CBS CSI  17.73 4.7/12
  FOX Dont Forget the Lyrics 6.66 2.3/6
  ABC Greys Anatomy 15.18 5.9/15
  NBC The Office 8.07 4.1/10
  CW  Supernatural  2.93 1.2/3
         
10:00 CBS Without a Trace  14.54 3.6/10
  ABC LOST 11.4 5.0/14
  NBC ER 8.39 3.3/9

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

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