Tuesday Ratings: NCIS and The Mentalist Get Viewers, House and Fringe Rock Demos

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October 15th, 2008

Scoreboard CBS FOX ABC NBC Uni CW
Total Viewers (million) 14.57 11.17 9.50 8.10 4.21 1.51
Rating/Share: Adults 18-49 3.3/9 4.6/12 2.3/6 3.3/9 1.6/4 0.9/2
Rating/Share: Adults 18-34 1.8/5 4.4/12 1.6/5 2.9/8 1.7/5 0.9/2

Another Tuesday of mixed leadership with CBS winning in terms of total viewers and Fox winning in terms of the 18-49 and 18-34 year old demographics.  NBC which was fourth overall was tied for second with CBS in terms of 18-49 viewers and was second outright among 18-34 year old viewers.

Earlier in the day I'd facetiously declared The Mentalist, not Fringe as the season's new hit.  The truth is, both shows are hits depending on how you want to look at it.  The Mentalist won the hour in total viewers, even besting Dancing With the Stars, but while The Mentalist had more than 50% more total viewers than Fringe, Fringe still easily bested it among 18-49 year olds and when it came to 18-34 year olds, Fringe performed 100% better (3.8 rating vs. 1.9 rating).

And while NCIS led House in the 8pm hour by an equally wide margin in terms of total viewers, House dominated the 18-49 and 18-34 demos (and led by more than 100% among 18-34 year olds).  We understand the desire to focus on total viewers, but it's the demos that pay the bills.  But the fact is, both CBS and Fox will "get paid" for their respective Tuesday night performances.   Fringe does benefit from the House lead-in and lost almost a million viewers in the second half hour, although it still won both demos from 9:30-10p.

At 10pm the premiere of Eli Stone was lackluster-ish. It benefited from the DWTS lead-in and it's half hourly numbers are telling due to the overrun. From 10-10:30p Eli had 10.075 million, a 2.5/7 (18-49 and a 1.8/5 (18-34), but from 10:30-11p those numbers dropped to 7.568 million, 2.0/5 and 1.4/4.  Excluding Univision it was last in total viewers and in the demos.  The only good news for Eli is that Opportunity Knocks' numbers are so bad it will help lower the overall network averages among 18-49 year olds to the point where Eli looks better in the Renew or Cancel Index!   Without a Trace won the hour in total viewers but Gorman favorite Law & Order: SVU dominated in the demos.

Full details:

Time Net Show Viewers (Millons) 18-49 Rating/Share 18-34 Rating/Share
8:00 CBS NCIS 17.86 3.9/11 2.3/7
  FOX House 12.82 5.1/14 5.0/15
  NBC Biggest Loser 7.20 2.9/8 2.6/8
  ABC Opportunity Knocks 5.31 1.3/4 1.3/4
  UNI Cuidada con el Angel 4.42 1.7/5 1.9/6
  CW 90210 (R) 1.78 0.8/2 1.0/3
9:00 CBS The Mentalist 14.86 3.4/8 1.9/5
  ABC Dancing With the Stars Results 14.37 3.2/8 2.0/6
  FOX Fringe 9.53 4.2/10 3.8/10
  NBC Biggest Loser 7.71 3.3/8 2.9/8
  UNI Fuego en la Sangre 4.80 1.9/5 1.9/5
  CW Privileged (R) 1.24 0.6/1 0.7/2
10:00 CBS Without a Trace 10.99 2.5/7 1.3/4
  NBC Law & Order: SVU 9.40 3.7/10 3.3/10
  ABC Eli Stone 8.82 2.3/6 1.6/5
  UNI Aqui y Ahora 3.41 1.4/4 1.4/4

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. Definitions:

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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