Although CBS is the only network ahead of all its major demo group results from last season, in the past week CBS, ABC, Fox and Univision all improved their comparisons vs. last season. That’s to be expected of the English broadcasters. At this point last season the WGA strike was causing havoc with their scheduling. That NBC mostly slipped backwards vs. last season, and the CW either slipped or held steady were notable exceptions.
I have adjusted the NBC numbers to remove the effects of Super Bowl week 2009 and adjusted the Fox numbers to remove the effects of Super Bowl week 2008. My adjustments remove the effect of the entire week, not just the game, so they’re crude, but they make season to season comparisons at least reasonably possible. With the data I have available I cannot make a finer adjustment.
Some of the CW decline is due to the fact that they started their new shows before the official Nielsen start to the season (but so did Fox for several shows), and so the timelines don’t line up well and they are airing increased reruns in the middle of the season. Still, we use the data we get, and by that measure the CW keeps falling further behind.
Univision is up across the board vs. last season (but not as much as CBS in some cases now!). MyNetworkTV (MNT) is 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.