Tuesday Nielsen Ratings: House and Fringe Dominate Age Demos for Fox

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November 12th, 2008

Scoreboard CBS ABC FOX NBC Uni CW
Total Viewers (million) 15.82 11.42 10.88 8.50 4.11 2.30
Rating/Share: Adults 18-49 3.5/9 2.5/6 4.7/12 3.5/9 1.6/4 1.1/3
Rating/Share: Adults 18-34 2.2/6 1.6/5 4.4/12 3.0/9 1.7/5 1.7/5

While we do love seeing the total viewer numbers, increasingly it's as meaningless as DVR numbers. It's used for PR, chest-thumping and bragging rights -- and CBS can say it's "America's Most Watched Network", last night it certainly was. But consider in the important age demographics NBC with two hours of The Biggest Loser and an hour of Law & Order: SVU tied CBS among 18-49 year olds and beat it outright among 18-34 year olds even though CBS had almost twice as many viewers.

But in CBS' defense both NCIS (4.0 rating among 18-49 year olds) and The Mentalist (3.9) had good demo numbers. CBS demos were dragged down by Without a Trace which even though it had almost three million more total viewers than Law & Order: SVU, it trailed badly among 18-49 year olds. And props to The Mentalist for actually winning the 9pm hour in viewers and beating out the Dancing With the Stars results show.

Fox's House may be past its prime, but its middle-age years still dominated the 8pm hour among 18-49 and 18-34 year olds. It averaged a 5.5 rating among 18-49 year olds compared to NCIS' 4.0. NCIS' number isn't bad, it's just House's number is relatively...great. Unless you compare it to past years' performances of House, in which case you could theoretically get depressed. But the landscape keeps changing and now a 5.5 is great.

Fringe, while not dominate like House still won the demos for the 9pm hour, although in the second half hour, Mentalist beat it among 18-49 year olds (3.9 to 3.7).

Eli Stone fans, sorry... At this point if ABC keeps this show, all I can do is throw my hands up in the air and ask WHY!? I mean seriously, it couldn't even get to a 2.0 in the 18-49 demographic without needing to round up and that includes a couple minutes of Dancing With the Stars overrun baked in.

Keeping it just seems wacky to me, but I understand that perhaps I just do not understand. Because seriously, I don't. If you're a major shareholder of Disney stock and ABC keeps Eli Stone, would you do me a favor as a major investor in Disney and please ask them why they are investing your money like that? And then explain it to us so we will understand.

Full details:

Time Net Show Viewers (Millons) 18-49 Rating/Share 18-34 Rating/Share
8:00 CBS NCIS 18.79 4.0/10 2.3/7
FOX House 12.88 5.5/14 5.4/15
ABC Dancing With the Stars (Recap) 10.43 2.1/5 2.3/7
NBC Biggest Loser: Families 7.55 3.2/8 2.8/8
UNI Cuidada con el Angel 4.38 1.6/4 1.8/5
CW 90210 2.73 1.4/4 2.0/6
9:00 CBS The Mentalist 16.46 3.9/9 2.5/7
ABC Dancing With the Stars Results 16.39 3.6/9 2.1/5
FOX Fringe 8.88 4.0/9 3.6/9
NBC Biggest Loser: Families 8.53 3.7/9 3.3/9
UNI Fuego en la Sangre 4.84 1.9/4 2.1/5
CW Privileged 1.87 0.9/2 1.4/4
10:00 CBS Without a Trace 12.21 2.8/7 1.7/5
NBC Law & Order: SVU 9.42 3.7/10 3.2/9
ABC Eli Stone 7.44 2.0/5 1.4/4
UNI Aqui y Ahora 3.12 1.3/3 1.3/4

Shows are sorted by viewers in each time slot.

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


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.

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