Thursday Ratings: CBS Dominates With CSI; World Series and Life on Mars Drop

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October 24th, 2008

Scoreboard CBS FOX ABC NBC Uni CW
Total Viewers (million) 14.91 11.00 10.31 7.50 4.61 3.74
Rating/Share: Adults 18-49 4.4/11 3.3/8 3.6/9 3.2/8 1.9/5 1.5/4
Rating/Share: Adults 18-34 2.7/7 2.6/7 3.3/9 3.0/8 2.1/6 1.6/4

A good night for CBS, winning the most viewers and the 18-49 demographic, and rather handily at that.

Please keep in mind that our World Series data is only for the 8pm-10pm portion and last night's game ran well towards midnight. Triangulating based on limited data isn't easy, but the early indications are it was down - significantly so versus last year's game two (Colorado Rockies vs. Boston Red Sox - also airing on a Thursday night) which garnered 16.95 million, and even down from this year's game one on Wednesday night that drew 14.6 million. But guessing from early data for live events is sometimes fraught with peril. Either way, I'll post the information once we've seen the results for the entire game. I've watched both games, and they've been enjoyable. It must be frustrating for Phillies fans to see so many runners stranded on base!

Update: According to FOX and the preliminary numbers for the full game (8:26pm to 11:36pm) it drew 12.777 million. Additional detail on last night's game ratings can be found here. Through two games, the World Series is down 19% vs. last year's first two games.

I know it's day old news, but our friends at Watch With Kristen let us know early yesterday that Lindsay Lohan had been unceremoniously dumped from Ugly Betty. She won't be back, and the stuff they've already shot with her is being cut out. I was so completely devastated by this news that I needed a day to come to grips with it. Perhaps LiLo will fare better with My Name is Earl and Kath & Kim. Those shows are doing worse than Ugly Betty. Still, the peacocks must be fairly happy with the performance of The Office (at least in the demos), the Saturday Night Live Weekend Update special (though this has a limited lifespan) and especially ER which is holding up very well. ER had fewer viewers than Eleventh Hour, but tied it among 18-49 year olds and beat it by a wide margin among 18-34 year olds. Still I believe across the board these are season lows for NBC if the numbers hold up.

Life on Mars dropped almost another 500,000 versus last week's overnight numbers and dipped a little among 18-49 year olds. Plus, since on minute of Grey's Anatomy ran into the 10pm hour, it probably will look a little worse in the finals. Yes, it's doing better than Dirty Sexy Money and Eli Stone, but I don't know if that will be enough -- I doubt it will be enough to keep it on Thursdays at 10pm, but, we'll see.

CSI took the night, and with significantly more viewers than Grey's Anatomy but Grey's almost tied CSI among 18-49 year olds and, as is always the case, completely stomped it among 18-34 year olds.

Full details:

Time Net Show Viewers (Millons) 18-49 Rating/Share 18-34 Rating/Share
8:00 CBS Survivor: Gabon 13.40 4.4/12 2.8/8
FOX World Series Pregame/Game 10.37 3.0/8 2.4/7
ABC Ugly Betty 8.66 2.8/8 2.4/7
NBC My Name is Earl 6.33 2.4/7 1.9/6
UNI Cuidado con el Angel 4.70 1.9/5 2.2/6
CW Smallville 4.22 1.7/5 1.9/5
8:30 NBC Kath & Kim 4.97 2.2/6 1.8/5
9:00 CBS CSI 19.17 5.5/13 3.4/8
ABC Grey's Anatomy 14.21 5.4/13 5.4/14
FOX World Series Game 2 11.64 3.6/8 2.8/7
NBC The Office 7.74 4.0/10 4.6/12
UNI Fuego en la Sangre 5.11 2.1/5 2.3/6
CW Supernatural 3.25 1.3/3 1.3/3
9:30 NBC SNL: Weekend Update 8.55 3.9/9 4.2/11
10:00 CBS Eleventh Hour 12.16 3.2/8 2.0/6
NBC ER 8.69 3.2/8 2.6/7
ABC Life on Mars 8.06 2.5/7 2.1/6
UNI Noche de 10 con El Gody y La Flaca 4.40 1.8/5 2.0/6

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. Source Marc Berman/Mediaweek.


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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