As the saying goes in the current economy, "Flat is the new up". So the fact that CBS is now even or better in all the demographic groups we track vs. last season is a reason for their celebration. The Eye network just hit the "even" mark for Adults 18-34 this week vs. last season, and is ahead in the other 3 viewership groups we track.
ABC on the other hand remains down across the board and is hoping their new spring shows can turn it around. My guess is that they improve on the current comparisons because last year's spring was so dreadful for them. The CW remains significantly down vs. last season as well and fell further in the past week. With the deadweight of the Sunday collapse still weighing them down, they may not be able to make much progress vs. last season even though it was damaged by the WGA strike.
Now that the Super Bowl has boosted NBC's season to date averages, just as it did Fox's last season, both of their comparisons on a season to season basis will be very tricky. In the weeks going forward, all I will be able to do is note the changes from week to week for both of those networks. At this point, their numbers are very difficult to interpret with the data I have.
Univision is up across the board vs. last season as is MyNetworkTV (MNT). They're up drastically over last season, thanks mainly to the addition of Friday Night Smackdown!. Note just their numbers, because their bars are truncated. The scale for the other networks would be useless if I adjusted the scale for them.
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: ©2009 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.