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Wednesday Night Ratings: Post Election Blahs Or Just Broadcast TV?

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November 6th, 2008

Scoreboard ABC CBS FOX NBC Uni CW
Total Viewers (million) 10.85 10.48 8.41 6.27 4.51 2.97
rating/Share: Adults 18-49 3.0/8 2.8/7 3.0/8 1.9/5 1.8/5 1.5/4
Rating/Share: Adults 18-34 1.8/5 2.2/6 2.5/7 1.4/4 1.9/5 1.8/5

ABC had the most viewers for the first Wednesday of November sweeps thanks to Dancing with the Stars at 8pm. But second place CBS and third place Fox tied among 18-49 year olds. And to hammer home the point of what a v ast wasteland the broadcast networks are among the youth, Fox won the 18-34 year old demo with a new Bones and a repeat of House, though ABC's Private Practice in the same hour was night's most watched show among the 18-34 set.

There were many season lows last night.

Though Bones had more than 5 million fewer viewers at 8pm than DWTS, it took the 18-49 win for the hour and tied with America's Next Top Model for the lead among 18-34 year olds. Speaking of ANTM, I know some want to say it's bad compared to its past history. But the past is the past. With almost twelve million fewer viewers than DWTS, it beat DWTS among 18-34 year olds by almost 45%. The problem for the CW on Wednesdays isn't ANTM, it's that the ANTM crowd isn't sticking around for the new Stylista.

Criminal Minds was the night's most-watched scripted show both in total viewers and among 18-49 year olds, but the tale the numbers paint for CBS is this: 35-49 year old viewers seem to compose most of its 18-49 year old demo numbers.

I hoped the numbers in the fast nationals would allow me to find some silver lining for the timeslot premiere of Life at 9pm, but all I really have is that NBC has so many lousy performers in the demo, I can cross my fingers that Life more or less winds up as average. But Life tied with Fuego en la Sangre among 18-49 year olds, and Fuego crushed it among 18-34 year olds. It could be worse, Knight Rider was beat across the board by Cuidado con el Angel.

The nineteenth season premiere of Law & Order didn't fare much better for the peacocks. It drew less than 8 million and had less 18-34 year old viewers than Dirty Sexy Money. Still, it beat the snot out of the of Lipstick Jungle in that time slot two weeks ago, but not really by so much when compared to last week.

Full details:

Time Net Show Viewers (Millons) 18-49 Rating/Share 18-34 Rating/Share
8:00 ABC Dancing With the Stars 15.64 3.2/9 1.8/6
FOX Bones 10.09 3.3/9 2.6/8
CBS The New Adventures of Old Christine 6.57 1.9/5 1.2/4
UNI Cuidado con el Angel 5.19 2.1/6 2.3/7
NBC Knight Rider 5.14 1.6/4 1.4/4
CW America's Next Top Model 3.94 2.1/6 2.6/8
8:30 CBS Gary Unmarried 6.44 2.1/6 1.5/4
9:00 CBS Criminal Minds 14.29 3.5/9 1.9/5
ABC Private Practice 9.54 3.2/8 3.0/8
FOX House (R) 6.73 2.7/7 2.4/7
NBC Life 5.82 2.0/5 1.4/4
UNI Fuego en la Sangre 5.04 2.0/5 2.1/6
CW Stylista 2.00 1.0/2 1.1/3
10:00 CBS CSI: NY 11.75 3.3/9 2.2/6
NBC Law & Order (Season premiere) 7.85 2.2/6 1.4/4
ABC Dirty Sexy Money 6.25 2.0/5 1.7/5
UNI Don Francisco Presenta 3.29 1.3/4 1.3/4

Shows are sorted by viewers in each time slot.

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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