Nielsen Ratings May 21, 2008: David Cook Wins, Now You Can Too

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May 22nd, 2008

Scoreboard for Weds. May 21, 2008 FOX CBS NBC ABC CW
Total Viewers (million) 30.60 10.79 6.29 4.18 1.65
Rating/Share: Adults 18-49 11.0/29 2.7/7 1.7/4 1.2/3 0.6/2

Update: The final  (as opposed to preliminary overnight) number for American Idol's Wednesday night airing averaged 31.7 million viewers -- a million more than last year.

Cook won American Idol's battle of the Davids and FOX won the night as tuned into watch. Almost 100 million votes were cast, and it wasn't even close with the rocker Cook beating down the talented but seemingly obsequious Archuleta. DialIdol.com had it right, Cook was going to win and it wasn't close. Google search calculations had Cook winning in a tight race and Seidman-style predicting had Cook losing by just a tad just because I wanted him to win.

If you're better at prognosticating than I am (and if you're not, you should be ashamed of yourself!) now's your chance to take a guess and win a little bit of free stuff in our "Guess the Law & Order: CI Season premiere ratings contest". It's not just your pride on the line, there's a t-shirt and DVDs in it for the winner!

I'd wondered for weeks whether American Idol would be able to pull off 30 million viewers again, and it did! Idol averaged 30.60m viewers and an 11.0/29 in the 18-49 demo from 8pm-10pm. Someone was just writing yesterday about how American Idol never sees double digits in the 18-49 demo anymore...

Overall, the criticisms are just noise when you consider that compared to last year Idol held up really well. In last year's finale it had 30.73m and an 11.5/31 in the demo. So you're talking about a four-tenths of a percent drop in viewers and a four percent drop in 18-49 year olds. It's not very dramatic. Plus, in the final half hour Idol drew 36.34 million and a 13.5/32 in the demo. The old gal still has some strong legs.

Not much else to write about except that in the 10pm hour the season finale of CSI: NY won the hour ahead of season finales of Law & Order and last-placed for the hour Boston Legal. My DVR crapped out and recorded BL, but the file is corrupted and will not let me watch. Fear not, I'll find other ways to watch. Denny Crane!

Tuesday night's details:

Time Net Show Viewers (Millons) 18-49 Rating/Share
8:00 CBS The Price is Right 7.69 1.8/5
  NBC Law & Order (2 repeats 8p-10p) 5.21 1.3/4
  ABC LOST (2 repeats 8p-10p) 3.09 1.0/3
  CW Farmer Wants a Wife (2 repeats 8p-10p) 1.65 0.6/2
  FOX American Idol Season Finale (8p-10p) 30.6 11.0/29
9:00 CBS Criminal Minds (Season Finale) 12.96 3.3/8
10:00 ABC Boston Legal (Season Finale) 6.37 1.5/4
  NBC Law & Order (Season Finale) 8.45 2.5/7
  CBS CSI: NY (Season Finale) 11.71 3.1/8

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

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