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Ratings Monday, September 22: First Night Wins To ABC, CBS & NBC

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September 23rd, 2008

Scoreboard ABC CBS NBC FOX Uni CW
Total Viewers (million) 17.221 13.133 8.579 5.872 4.338 3.225
rating/Share: Adults 18-49 4.4/11 4.5/11 4.2/10 2.4/6 1.8/4 1.6/4
Rating/Share: Adults 18-34 3.0/8 2.9/8 4.6/12 2.3/6 2.0/5 2.3/6

For the first night of the new television season, many networks will have something to be happy about.

ABC topped the night for average viewership with 17.221 million viewers (over CBS with 13.133 million). CBS won a close race for the adults 18-49 demo with a 4.5 rating (over ABC with a 4.4). NBC won the adults 18-34 demo with a 4.6 rating (over ABC with a 3.0).

We continue to experience hosting difficulties, and there's no point in apologizing about it for another week -- Bill and I will be evaluating our options later. While we are very sorry, we're also very frustrated and we know you are too. We're basically just a two man team doing this for fun and love of it, while the last 5 days have not been fun, it's on us to sort out, and we will...We now return you to our regular scheduled overnight post...

The premiere of Dancing with the Stars was the most watched show of the night averaging 21.123 million viewers. It won both age demos from 8-9, and the 18-49 demo from 9-10. It had the best overall 18-49 demo rating for the night with a 5.3. That's similar to last season's debut final viewers of 21.25 but a 9% demo drop from 5.8/15 for adults 18-49.

Heroes was down significantly from last year's premiere which netted over 16 million viewers, and the 9pm-11pm premiere last night averaged under 10. Still, NBC will likely declare it a hit, and rightly so because it performed well int he 18-49 demo, and crushed the field among 18-34 year olds. Among that youthful demo, Heroes was the most-viewed show last night. Even with less than half the total viewers that DWTS had, it outperformed DWTS by over 40% in the demo.

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles performed a bit better than it did last week, even against more competition. But the numbers are not great, and while I do think DVR viewing will improve the numbers, I am not a big believe that the live plus seven numbers factor in hugely with the networks.

The return of the CBS Monday night lineup plus newbie, Worst Week performed well for CBS, particularly among 18-49 year olds. The worst news for Worst Week is while not the weakest performer in the lineup among 18-49 year olds, it was the weakest among 18-34 year olds and underperformed both Rules of Engagement and The New Adventures of Old Christine in that slot.. We'll have to see how it does next week. CSI: Miami posted really good numbers, especially for the 10pm hour.

Sorry for forgetting to show the Gossip Girl love. The CW declared the results "mind-blowingly resilient!"

Full details:

Time Net Show Viewers Live+SD (Millons) 18-49 Rating/ Share 18-34 Rating/ Share
8:00 ABC Dancing with the Stars (8-10p) (premiere) 21.061 5.2/13 4.0/11
CBS The Big Bang Theory (premiere) 9.359 3.6/10 2.5/8
NBC Heroes (clips) 5.958 2.6/7 2.7/8
FOX Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles 5.816 2.3/6 2.1/6
UNI Cuidado con el Angel 4.048 1.7/4 2.0/6
CW Gossip Girl 3.350 1.6/4 2.5/7
8:30 CBS How I Met Your Mother (premiere) 9.745 4.0/10 3.1/9
9:00 ABC Dancing with the Stars (8-10p) (premiere) 21.184 5.5/12 3.8/9
CBS Two and a Half Men (premiere) 14.926 5.3/12 3.1/8
NBC Heroes (9-11p) (premiere) 10.215 5.0/11 5.5/14
FOX Prison Break 5.929 2.5/6 2.6/6
UNI Fuego en la Sangre 4.617 1.9/4 2.2/5
CW One Tree Hill 3.100 1.5/3 2.2/5
9:30 CBS Worst Week (premiere) 11.036 3.8/9 2.2/5
10:00 CBS CSI Miami (premiere) 16.866 5.1/12 3.1/8
NBC Heroes (9-11p) (premiere) 9.565 4.9/12 5.4/14
ABC Boston Legal (premiere) 9.419 2.5/6 1.4/4
UNI Cristina 4.349 1.8/4 1.9/4

Shows are sorted by viewers in each time slot. Demo wins for each period are in bold.

Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2008 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved. Source Marc Berman/Mediaweek.

Definitions:

Fast Affiliate Overnight Ratings: 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. While routinely used for "next day" immediate analysis, these fast affiliate ratings are by process inaccurate for programs that air live across a network since they represent affiliate time period performance. For example, last night's 10-11pm affiliate #'s would reflect 10pm on the East Coast but also 10pm on the West Coast which for a live event would not represent the same broadcast or portion of the broadcast.

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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