Nielsen Ratings Sunday, August 17: NBC Olympic Viewing Down 20% After Phelps?

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August 18th, 2008

Total Viewers (million) 26.41 5.50 4.10 2.69 .69
Rating/Share: Adults 18-49 8.8/24 1.5/4 1.3/4 1.2/3 0.3/1

NBC was still dominant last night, but the preliminary overnight numbers for the primetime portion of Sunday (7pm-11pm) were down around 19% overall and 21% among 18-49 year olds versus last week's preliminary numbers, and NBC averaged below 30 million viewers, averaging 26.4 million and and a 8.8/24 (rating/share) among 18-49 year olds.

As everyone, including NBC was expecting drops in week two, these numbers, even without the "Michael Phelps Effect" are still probably looking very good from NBC's perspective.

There's not a whole lot to say about the rest of the night which aside from the Olympic Games and CBS' Big Brother, everything else was a repeat.   Sarah Connor fans, relax!  Sure the ratings for Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles got crushed again, but it's a repeat!  Unless FOX issues a statement along the lines of "It needs to clear four million in reruns against the Olympics or we're going to cancel season two before airing a single episode," -- and that's not going to happen -- there's not much point in wringing your hands over it.

We will not see how some of the Sunday night cable competition held up until tomorrow, but as it held up great against the Olympics last week, I'm sure it did last night as well.  I'd guess In Plain Sight, Army Wives, Law & Order: CI and Mad Men (ok, just kidding about Mad Men, though I enjoyed last night's episode a lot) fared better, especially among 18-49 year olds than almost everything on broadcast primetime last night.

The Big Brother faithful may only number in the six millions, but they are very faithful and watch a show that hardly costs anything to produce three times a week.

Full details:

Time Net Show Viewers (Millons) 18-49 Rating/Share
7:00 ABC America's Funniest Home Videos (R) 4.31 1.2/4
CBS 60 Minutes 7.13 1.3/5
NBC Olympics 7pm-11pm 26.41 8.8/24
FOX Til Death (R) 8p-9p 1.86 0.9/3
CW One Tree Hill (R ) 0.49 0.2/1
8:00 CBS Big Brother 10 6.39 2.3/7
FOX The Simpsons (R) 3.60 1.7/5
CW Everybody Hates Chris (R) 0.34 0.2/1
ABC Extreme Makeover: Home Ed. (R) 8p-10p 1.65 1.5/4
8:30 CW Aliens in America (R) 0.63 0.2/1
FOX Family Guy (R) 3.57 1.7/5
9:00 CBS Million Dollar Password (R) 4.08 1.2/4
FOX Terminator: TSCC (R) 2.59 1.1/3
CW The Game (R) 1.02 0.4/1
9:30 CW Girlfriends (R) 0.88 0.3/1
10:00 ABC Desperate Housewives (R) 2.76 1.0/3
CBS Cold Case (R) 4.38 1.2/3
Half Hour Olympic Data
7:00 NBC Olympics 16.33 5.1/18
7:30 NBC Olympics 18.55 5.9/19
8:00 NBC Olympics 23.43 7.2/22
8:30 NBC Olympics 26.84 8.5/24
9:00 NBC Olympics 28.13 9.2/24
9:30 NBC Olympics 29.78 10.4/26
10:00 NBC Olympics 30.32 10.7/27
10:30 NBC Olympics 27.85 10.0/26

Nielsen Ratings Source: Nielsen Media Research. Source Marc Berman/Mediaweek.


Overnights: Local metered-market ratings service of Nielsen Station Index (NSI) in which household ratings and shares are provided to clients the morning following the day or evening of telecast.

Rating: Estimated percentage of the universe of TV households (or other specified group) tuned to a program in the average minute. Ratings are expressed as a percent.

Share (of Audience): The percent of households (or persons) using television who are tuned to a specific program, station or network in a specific area at a specific time. (See also, Rating, which represents tuning or viewing as a percent of the entire population being measured.)

LIVE+SD: The number that watched a program either while it was broadcast OR watched via DVR on the same day [through 3AM the next day] the program was broadcast.

For more information see Numbers 101.

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