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Friday Ratings: Prison Break returns with a whimper

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April 18th, 2009

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Scoreboard ABC CBS NBC FOX CW
rating/Share: Adults 18-49 1.6/5 1.4/5 1.4/5 1.0/4 0.5/2
Total Viewers (million) 5.19 6.55 5.70 3.03 1.28

Sorry for the delays in posting this...

The question on everyone's mind was how many people would watch Prison Break?  Apparently more people had that question than actually watched Prison Break's return.  The original episode at 9pm drew a 1.2 adults 18-49 rating and 3.38 million viewers.  That was a little bit worse than I expected.  There were fewer people watching broadcast television last night because CBS ran all repeats, but anyone who was hoping Prison Break was going to be a better lead-in for Dollhouse than Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles has now given up that ghost!

I actually did think that Prison Break might be a slightly better lead-in, but didn't think it would make any difference for Dollhouse's numbers.  We'll have to wait and see what happens next week.  But for now it looks like FOX has inched one step closer to returning to unscripted content on Friday night.

Speaking of which, with CBS in repeats, ABC won the night in terms of 18-49 year olds with its unscripted fare, and NBC found itself in the rare Friday position of winning an hour and having the most-watched hour of the night in the adult 18-49 demo with the 10pm hour of Dateline.

You can compare with previous Friday overnight reports.

Full details:

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating/Share Viewers (Millons)
8:00 ABC Wife Swap 1.7/7 5.46
CBS Ghost Whisperer (R) 1.3/5 6.58
NBC Howie Do It 0.9/3 3.34
FOX Prison Break (R) 0.8/3 2.68
CW Everybody Hates Chris (R) 0.6/2 1.44
8:30 CW The Game (R) 0.5/2 1.31
9:00 ABC Supernanny (R) 1.6/5 4.71
NBC Dateline 1.5/5 5.98
CBS Flashpoint (R) 1.3/4 6.38
FOX Prison Break 1.2/4 3.38
CW America's Next Top Model (R) 0.5/2 1.17
10:00 NBC Dateline 2.0/6 7.80
CBS Numb3rs (R) 1.6/5 6.68
ABC 20/20 1.4/5 5.39

Shows are sorted by 18-49 rating in each time slot.

Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2009 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved. Source Marc Berman/Mediaweek.

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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