CBS and ABC took the top five spots when it came to broadcast primetime shows with the largest average audiences, with Fox sneaking into the top ten twice with the 2008 World Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and Tampa Bay Rays.
CBS had the most shows on this list, with 9, a sports-fueled Fox was second with six and ABC was third with five. The peacocks at NBC were completely shut out.
We believe this list mostly just amounts to bragging rights and it's the 18-49 demographic viewing that generally pays the bills. So while Desperate Housewives had fewer viewers than NCIS, it still had much more advertising revenue because it was number one among 18-49 year olds while NCIS was number twenty-three.
You can see the full top twenty shows among 18-49 year olds, that list is quite different than the one below. NBC fared at least a bit better on that list where it placed The Office, The Saturday Night Live Weekend Update special, and Heroes. Fringe and How I Met Your Mother also made that list, but not this one.
Only eight shows averaged more than fifteen million viewers, and Grey's Anatomy was not one of them. Worse still for Shonda Rhimes and crew is that Grey's, while still a "hit" in the demos is starting to slip, and among 18-49 year olds, Desperate Housewives jumped ahead of it (Desperate Housewives was already ahead in total viewers).
The 2008 World Series on Fox will go down as the lowest-rated, barring some miracles and a game seven, and that isn't a surprise to us. But three out of four games still made this list. Game three on Saturday didn't, however. It was number twenty-eight.
Nielsen Top Twenty Shows by viewers for the week ending 10/26/08:
|Rank||Shows||Net||# Viewers (LIVE+SD) (000)||HH RATING (LIVE+SD)||HH SHARE (LIVE+SD)||# OF HOMES (LIVE+SD) (000)||18-49 Rank|
|2||DANCING WITH THE STARS||ABC||18,497||12.0||18||13,723||13|
|4||DANCING W/STARS RESULTS||ABC||16,350||10.7||16||12,231||22|
|6||FOX WORLD SERIES GAME 4(S)||FOX||15,479||9.3||15||10,689||6|
|9||FOX WORLD SERIES GAME 1(S)||FOX||14,634||9.2||15||10,480||8|
|10||TWO AND A HALF MEN||CBS||14,630||8.9||13||10,150||5|
|11||GREY'S ANATOMY-THU 9PM||ABC||14,451||9.5||14||10,887||4|
|17||FOX WORLD SERIES GM4-PRE(S)||FOX||13,059||8.0||13||9,135||9|
|19||FOX WORLD SERIES GAME 2(S)||FOX||12,777||8.1||13||9,263||14|
|20||EXTREME MAKEOVER:HM ED-8P||ABC||12,257||7.3||11||8,375||18|
Nielsen Ratings Data: ©2008 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved
All numbers above based on live plus same day DVR viewing.