Through 6 weeks of the 2008-9 broadcast prime-time season, among big English networks, CBS is in the best shape vs. last season, down "only" 6.7% in the key adults 18-49 demo. There is plenty of pain to be spread around with double digit percentage losses in most demo categories for most networks. My guess is that CBS, CW and ABC will begin to see some improvement vs. last season in early 2009 when prior year comparisons to the strike damaged portion of the season get a lot easier. NBC may be another matter, their results last season actually improved on a relative basis during the strike, but they have the Super Bowl this year, which will also lead to a huge spike in their average making comparisons tricky.
The 18-34 demo adults performance of the CW is a notable exception to the overall trend this season. Our Nielsen reported numbers show it down just 1.2% vs. last season, a huge success on a relative basis. CW's Nielsen numbers (which we see via press release only) show them up with 18-34 women on the season.
As we've covered before, Univision is up across the board vs. last season. New to the chart this week are the numbers for MyNetworkTV (MNT). They're up drastically over last season, thanks mainly to the addition of Friday Night Smackdown!. I included their numbers, but their bars are truncated. The scale for the other networks would be useless otherwise.
Our chart shows broadcast network prime-time season to date average prime-time viewership for the 2008-9 season compared to the 2007-8 season. Click the image for a full sized chart.
Nielsen TV Ratings Data: ©2008 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.