This Season vs. Last Season TV Ratings Through May 18

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May 22nd, 2008

CBS, ABC, CW Improve; NBC, Fox Slip

Latest Weekly Changes in Season to Date '07-'08 vs. '06-'07

Network Weekly Change
ABC 0.03%
CBS 0.42%
NBC -0.29%
FOX -0.40%
CW 0.32%

CBS (+0.42%), ABC (+0.03%) and CW(+0.32%) all showed gains vs. last season in the most recent week. CBS' improvement accelerates their positive trend that began when new scripted episodes began appearing in late March. Their pile of press releases to that effect will certainly grow. CW improved sharply, contrary to its season long trend. ABC held reasonably stable vs. last year.

Fox's (-0.40%) slide vs. last season continued, albeit somewhat slower than recently. It's not exactly finishing the season strong vs. last year. NBC (-0.29%), running far more repeats during the final weeks than other networks, seems to largely have given up on this season.

Overall Season Total Change in Season to Date '07-'08 vs. '06-'07

Network 07-'08 vs. '06-'07
ABC -8.29%
CBS -17.62%
NBC -10.27%
FOX 6.75%
CW -21.66%

Fox continues as the only network with increased viewership vs. last year. With one weeks results to be added, it looks like Fox will finish the year at about 6% better than last year considering their current rate of decline vs. last season.

All the other broadcast networks continue below last years pace, CBS and CW by significant margins. My guess is that CBS finishes the year at 17% behind last season. ABC looks headed for a season/season decline of just over 8%. NBC's continuing gains seem to point them to a season to season decline of just under 11%.

The CW, which looks to finish down about 21% vs. last year, is rumored to be on its final season next year if results don't improve significantly. Since I don't see that happening with the line up they've just announced, we maybe saying adios to them in 2009.

Our chart shows broadcast network primetime season to date average primetime viewership for the 2007-8 season compared to the 2006-7 season on a weekly basis.

Nielsen TV Ratings Data: ©2008 Nielsen Media Research, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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