Broadcast ratings: American Idol wins again, Fringe is 18-49 hit

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fringe-hand

As usual, American Idol won, well, everything.    This week I am combining the 18-49 top twenty that used to be in a separate weekly posting into the weekly overall viewing rankings.  I know people are very interested in overall viewing and will continue to produce that table as well (scroll down), but, it’s the  adults 18-49 demo rankings that matter more, both in terms of ad revenue and a show’s renewal prospects.

So let’s take a look at the broadcast network 18-49 rankings for the week ending April 26, 2009:

Shows R=Repeat S=Special P=Premiere Net 18-49 Rating 18-49 Viewers (000)
1 AMERICAN IDOL-WEDNESDAY FOX 8.3 10,941
2 AMERICAN IDOL-TUESDAY FOX 8.2 10,881
3 GREY’S ANATOMY-THU 9PM ABC 5.0 6,578
4 DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES ABC 4.7 6,255
5 DANCING WITH THE STARS ABC 4.7 6,252
6 TWO AND A HALF MEN R CBS 3.9 5,198
7 FRINGE FOX 3.9 5,100
8 RULES OF ENGAGEMENT CBS 3.8 5,020
9 OFFICE NBC 3.8 4,960
10 BIGGEST LOSER 7 NBC 3.7 4,928
11 CSI CBS 3.7 4,817
12 SURVIVOR: TOCANTINS CBS 3.5 4,662
13 CRIMINAL MINDS 10PM-SP(S) S CBS 3.5 4,639
14 FAMILY GUY FOX 3.4 4,477
15 PRIVATE PRACTICE ABC 3.3 4,361
16 DANCING W/STARS RESULTS ABC 3.2 4,275
17 24 FOX 3.2 4,250
18 AMAZING RACE 14 CBS 3.2 4,161
19 30 ROCK NBC 3.1 4,108
20 BROTHERS & SISTERS ABC 3.1 4,069

Nothing too surprising in the top five since House had the week off.  Props to CBS and Two and a Half Men – with a repeat making the top 10 and that same repeat beating out new episodes of Fringe, Rules of Engagement, The Office and The Biggest Loser with adults 18-49.

But, I’m fine with FOX declaring Fringe an adults 18-49 hit.   Sure, a repeat of Two and a Half Men beat it, but it beat The Office, too and nobody will have any problem if I declare The Office a demo hit.  Obviously not one of The Office’s better ratings performances, but it’s still top 10, with more  adults 18-49 than CSI, Survivor, Family Guy or Private Practice.    But back to Fringe, it’s a demo hit.

There seem to be a lot of Fringe haters on our blog, and if you’re a fan of one of the  shows that beat it, especially the Two and a Half Men repeat, you can raise your arms triumphantly and say, “Fringe!?  Ha!” if it suits you. But otherwise, you’re looking up at Fringe, not down at it.

I know, I know, “Where would Fringe be without American Idol!?  Huh!? Where!?”

Not in the top 10😀

There’s no doubt that the Idol lead-in helps Fringe a lot, but realistically, nobody expected Fringe to beat any of the shows that came above it even with the lead-in.  Not even the Two and Half Men rerun (and that’s to Men’s credit).

So, yes, Fringe benefits from the Idol lead-in, but if I’m at FOX, I’m thinking good use of the lead-in is being made.  Fringe will  certainly be back next season, and without the Idol lead-in.  We’ll have to wait until then to examine the “what if”.

NBC also placed Celebrity Apprentice (#21) and Heroes (#22) in the top 25.  FOX also placed Hell’s Kitchen (#23), and The Simpsons (#24).  A Lost clip show on ABC was #25 with a 2.9 rating.   And more props to CBS comedy repeats, a rerun of The Big Bang Theory came in at #26, also at a 2.9 rating with ever so slightly fewer adults 18-49 viewers than the Lost clip show.

Here’s the overall viewing broadcast top 20 for the week ending April 26, 2009:

Rank Shows R=Repeat S=Special P=Premiere Net # Viewers (LIVE+SD) (000) HH RATING (LIVE+SD) HH SHARE (LIVE+SD) 18-49 Rank
1 AMERICAN IDOL-TUESDAY FOX 23,963 13.9 22 2
2 AMERICAN IDOL-WEDNESDAY FOX 23,947 14.0 22 1
3 DANCING WITH THE STARS ABC 20,528 13.0 20 5
4 DANCING W/STARS RESULTS ABC 14,725 9.6 14 16
5 CSI CBS 14,639 9.2 15 11
6 CRIMINAL MINDS 10PM-SP(S) S CBS 13,723 8.9 15 13
7 DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES ABC 13,642 8.5 13 4
8 GREY’S ANATOMY-THU 9PM ABC 13,511 8.9 14 3
9 NCIS 9P-SPECIAL(S) SR CBS 12,648 8.0 12
10 MENTALIST, THE-10PM SP(S) SR CBS 12,456 8.1 14
11 TWO AND A HALF MEN R CBS 11,484 7.1 11 6
12 SURVIVOR: TOCANTINS CBS 11,303 6.8 12 12
13 RULES OF ENGAGEMENT CBS 10,588 6.5 10 8
14 COLD CASE CBS 10,566 6.5 10
15 60 MINUTES CBS 10,520 6.8 13
16 24 FOX 10,341 6.1 9 17
17 AMAZING RACE 14 CBS 10,268 6.0 10 18
18 FRINGE FOX 9,895 5.9 9 7
19 SURVIVING SUBURBIA ABC 9,869 6.6 10
20 CRIMINAL MINDS R CBS 9,843 6.4 10


Nielsen TV Ratings Data: ©2009 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.

All numbers are Live + SD (live, plus same day DVR viewing)

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