World Series, NFL and The Simpsons Lead Weekly TV Viewing

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November 4th, 2008

The three and a half inning curiosity to conclude game five of the World Series between the Tampa Bay Rays and Philadelphia Phillies led Fox to the top of the charts. It was last week's top-ranked program, both in total viewers and 18-49 year old viewers. Congrats again to the Phillies. The ratings have led some sports pundits to suggest that all baseball games should be three innings. I think more accurately what it means, as some of the pundits have suggested is that these games start too late. If you're on the east coast and have a fairly normal sleeping pattern, you have no hope of ever seeing the last few inning of most games that start at 8:30pm.

I know the start times are driven by the desire to be in primetime, but I can't help but think Fox would be better off in the end if it started these games at 7p or 7:30p eastern time. Sure, people on the west coast will have problem catching the beginning of the game, but at least everyone in the country wouldn't struggle as much to catch the end of the game. Moving right along...

CBS placed the most shows in the overall top twenty with eight, but five out of eight of them did not land in the 18-49 demographic top twenty-five. I think the New York Times writing about CBS' season lead in the 18-49 demo through last week might have been the equivalent of the "Sports Illustrated Cover Jinx". We'll see. ABC and Fox tied with five shows each in the list, and NBC could muster but two shows - Sunday Night Football and its pregame. The peacocks fared a bit better in the 18-49 top twenty, where NBC placed five shows.

The extremely rare occurrence: a Saturday airing making the weekly top twenty. ABC's Saturday Night Football college matchup between then number one Texas and then number seven Texas Tech was the week's seventeenth most watched program. Texas Tech won in dramatic fashion in a great game, it was definitely the highlight of my own TV viewing week, so it's great to see it make the list.

It is sort of amazing to me that NCIS can draw soooo many viewers and still not wind up in the 18-49 top twenty-five. I could opine on this, but it would only get me into trouble. So on to the list...

Nielsen Top Twenty Shows by viewers for the week ending 11/02/08:

Rank Shows R=Repeat S=Special P=Premiere Net # Viewers (LIVE+SD) (000) HH RATING (LIVE+SD) HH SHARE (LIVE+SD) 18-49 Rank
1 FOX WRLD SERIES GM5 CONCL(S) S FOX 19,844 11.9 18 1
2 CSI CBS 19,098 11.7 18 9
3 DANCING WITH THE STARS ABC 18,876 12.0 18 13
4 DANCING W/STARS RESULTS ABC 17,445 11.0 16 18
5 NCIS CBS 17,258 10.8 16
7 MENTALIST, THE CBS 16,073 10.1 15 20
9 GREY'S ANATOMY-THU 9PM ABC 15,319 10.0 15 5
10 60 MINUTES CBS 14,322 9.1 14
11 CRIMINAL MINDS CBS 13,966 8.9 13
12 CSI: NY CBS 13,754 8.9 15
13 HOUSE FOX 13,498 8.0 12 6
14 FOX WORLD SERIES GAME 5(S) S FOX 13,237 8.2 12 17
15 SURVIVOR: GABON CBS 13,015 7.7 13 16
16 SIMPSONS FOX 12,397 6.8 10 3
17 SAT NIGHT FOOTBALL ABC 12,204 7.5 14
18 WITHOUT A TRACE CBS 12,192 8.1 13
19 FOX WRLD SRS GM5 CONCLPRE(S) S FOX 12,080 7.3 12 23
20 SUNDAY NIGHT NFL PRE-KICK NBC 12,025 7.7 12 14

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

All numbers above based on live plus same day DVR viewing.

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