Ratings Tuesday: NCIS Beats Dancing With the Stars, ABC Tops Debate Coverage

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October 8th, 2008

Scoreboard ABC CBS NBC FOX Uni CW
Total Viewers (million) 12.990 11.238 8.627 5.749 4.530 2.693
Rating/Share: Adults 18-49 3.6/9 2.9/7 3.3/8 2.3/6 1.9/5 1.4/3
Rating/Share: Adults 18-34 2.6/7 1.9/5 2.9/8 2.1/6 2.3/6 1.8/5

NCIS was the most watched show of the night beating back a direct challenge from an early Dancing with the Stars results show, but it was ABC's Presidential Debate coverage and analysis that helped them take the viewership and demo 18-49 adults crowns for the night. NBC won the demo adults 18-34 nightly average on the strength of Biggest Loser and its young skewing debate viewers.

Note: These fast affiliate results are necessarily inaccurate for live events like the Presidential Debate because of their measurement methods, see below.

Head to head at 8pm, NCIS put Dancing with the Stars in its rear view mirror. NCIS was down a bit in viewers, but up a few tenths in both demos from last week. Not so with Dancing with the Stars, direct NCIS competition pulled down its results from last week 10-15% across the board. Biggest Loser showed surprising strength, up across the board from last week to be the 18-34 demo winner for the hour. Take these results with a grain of salt, House was in repeat last night. 90210 was down slightly from last week in viewers and 18-34 demo and flat for the 18-49 demo.

ABC claimed the viewer and the 18-49 demo win for the Presidential Debate that ran from 9-10:30 Eastern and the analysis that began at about 10:30. It was nip and tuck for the debate 18-34 demo between ABC and NBC and NBC edged ABC for the 18-34 demo analysis segment.

Against debate only English broadcast competition, Priviledged grew its audience 24% and its demo ratings by 0.2 (18-49) and 0.1 (18-34) from last week. Still, it was a distant 6th for its hour.

Full details:

Time Net Show Viewers Live+SD (Millons) 18-49 Rating/ Share 18-34 Rating/ Share
8:00 CBS NCIS 15.692 3.7/10 2.3/7
  ABC Dancing With the Stars 13.445 3.3/9 2.0/6
  NBC Biggest Loser: Families 7.487 3.0/8 2.7/8
  FOX House (repeat) 6.325 2.6/7 2.3/7
  UNI Cuidado con el Angel 4.406 1.8/5 2.3/7
  CW 90210 3.055 1.7/4 2.2/7
9:00 ABC Presidential Debate 14.643 4.2/9 3.2/8
  NBC Presidential Debate 9.935 3.7/8 3.3/8
  CBS Presidential Debate 9.368 2.7/6 1.8/4
  UNI Fuego en la Sangre 5.242 2.2/5 2.7/7
  FOX Presidential Debate 5.172 2.1/5 1.9/5
  CW Privileged 2.331 1.1/3 1.4/4
10:00 ABC Presidential Debate 12.126 3.8/9 3.0/8
  NBC Presidential Debate 9.295 3.4/8 2.9/8
  CBS Presidential Debate 9.171 2.6/6 1.7/4
  UNI Aqui y Ahora 4.310 1.9/4 2.2/6
10:30 ABC Debate Analysis 9.637 3.0/8 2.2/6
  CBS Debate Analysis 8.135 2.2/6 1.5/4
  NBC Debate Analysis 7.626 2.7/7 2.3/6
  UNI Aqui y Ahora 3.576 1.6/4 1.8/5


Shows are sorted by viewers in each time slot. Timeslot demo winners are in bold.

Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2008 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.


Fast Affiliate Ratings: These first national ratings, including demographics, are available at approximately 11 AM (ET) the day after telecast, and are released to subscribing customers daily. These data, from the National People Meter sample, are strictly time-period information, based on the normal broadcast network feed, and include all programming on the affiliated stations, sometimes including network programming, sometimes not. The figures may include stations that did not air the entire network feed, as well as local news breaks or cutaways for local coverage or other programming. Fast Affiliate ratings are not as useful for live programs and are likely to differ significantly from the final results, because the data reflect normal broadcast feed patterns. For example, with a World Series game, Fast Affiliate Ratings would include whatever aired from 8-11PM on affiliates in the Pacific Time Zone, following the live football game, but not game coverage that begins at 5PM PT. The same would be true of Presidential debates as well as live award shows and breaking news reports.

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.)

Time Shifted Viewing – Program ratings for national sources are produced in three streams of data – Live, Live+Same Day (Live+SD) and Live+7 Day. Time shifted figures account for incremental viewing that takes place with DVRs which are currently in approximately 24.4% of all U.S. TV households. Live+Same Day (Live+SD) include viewing during the same broadcast day as the original telecast, with a cut-off of 3:00AM local time when meters transmit daily viewing to Nielsen for processing. Live+7 Day ratings include incremental viewing that takes place during the 7 days following a telecast.

For more information see Numbers 101.

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