Nielsen Ratings May 27, 2008: Hell's Kitchen Stands On Its Own

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May 28th, 2008

Scoreboard for Tue. May 27, 2008 FOX CBS NBC ABC CW
Total Viewers (million) 8.35 7.99 6.83 4.69 1.40
Rating/Share: Adults 18-49 3.4/10 1.8/5 2.1/6 1.5/4 0.6/2

It was a horserace in terms of total viewers, with FOX winning by a nose over CBS.  But FOX dominated in the 18-49 age demographic beating out its closest demo competitor, NBC, by 76% and CBS and ABC by more than 100%.

Moment of Truth made its second season debut and drew in less viewers than a repeat of NCIS (7.28m vs. NCIS' 9.67) but handily won the 18-49 demo (3.1/10 vs. 1.8/6).   That led-in to my guiltiest pleasure (or in the top 20) Gordon Ramsay's Hell's Kitchen.  I'd wondered how it would do without the American Idol lead-in and it did a little better than I expected. This show can certainly stand on its own, especially in the demo drawing in 9.41m and a 4.4/12 in the age demo, a substantial increase over its lead-in Moment of Truth.

I know I often write that lead-in doesn't really matter much, but if your lead-in is a football game or American Idol, it does matter more simply because the numbers are so big.  With American Idol as a lead-in, HK benefits by getting people who fell asleep with their TVs turned on and the people who went into their own kitchens to discuss the Idol results.  No Idol = no numbers for those people.  The drop-off wasn't nothing either.  Last week 11.44m tuned into Hell's Kitchen and  it did a 5.2 in the 18-49 demo.  It represents a 15% drop in the 18-49 demographic, but I was actually anticipating as much as a 30% drop. The show is standing on its own very well.

Please don't send me any Hell's Kitchen spoilers.  I got distracted last night watching a long physics lecture via YouTube on my iPhone.  Yes, a person can have a love of science and still love Hell's Kitchen.

As for the rest of the night other than According to Jim (I think, and who cares, repeat, no repeat, its ratings stink!) and one of the episodes of NBC's Most Outrageous Moments (its ratings also stink!), and the aforementioned FOX shows, everything else was a repeat.

Somewhat interesting was that in the Tuesday 10pm "death slot" which theoretically should be even more deadly in the summer, a repeat of 48 Hours Mystery outperformed the typical airing of Jericho, pulling in 8.31m viewers and a 2.3/7 in the 18-49 demo.

Tuesday night's details:

Time Net Show Viewers (Millons) 18-49 Rating/Share
8:00 FOX Moment of Truth 7.28 3.1/10
  CBS NCIS (Repeat) 9.67 1.8/6
  NBC Most Outrageous Moments 6.13 1.8/5
ABC According to Jim 5.03 1.8/5
  CW Beauty and the Geek (Repeat) 1.29 0.6/2
9:00 ABC Samtha Who? (2 repeats) 5.27 1.6/4
  CBS The Unit (Repeat) 5.99 1.2/3
  FOX Hells Kitchen 9.41 4.4/12
  CW Reaper (Repeat) 1.5 0.6/2
  NBC Law & Order: SVU (Repeat) 7.08 2.1/6
10:00 CBS 48 Hours Mystery (Repeat) 8.31 2.3/7
  ABC Boston Legal (Repeat) 4.34 1.3/3
  NBC Law & Order: SVU (Repeat) 7.29 2.5/7

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

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