Is a 2.5 summer adults 18-49 Nielsen rating the new 4.0?

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Gordon Ramsay on FOX's Hell's Kitchen

Our friend Brian Stelter at The New York Times has a nice write-up about ABC’s Wipeout.  In it, Brian quotes me being a little negative on the numbers given the dropoffs versus a similar point a year ago.  Wipeout had been doing about a 2.8 adults 18-49 rating when I spoke with Stelter, versus a 4.0 rating for a similar period last year.

ABC appropriately noted that last year Wipeout didn’t face off against So You Think You Can Dance. I also agree for what must be relatively low production costs, Wipeout can continue for some time, and ABC is happy about that.  Plus, I have little doubt ABC actually is celebrating last night’s preliminary 2.5 adults 18-49 rating for Dating in the Dark.

Wipeout has suffered more year over year ratings attrition than shows like America’s Got Talent and So You Think You Can Dance, and I would definitely attribute some of that to going up against So You Think you Can Dance, but we should get a better idea of general summer ratings attrition tomorrow when we see the overnight results for the premiere of Hell’s Kitchen.   The year over year comparisons  won’t be quite apples-to-apples since last year the Hell’s Kitchen’s finale was in early July, but it finished strong with a 4.2 adults 18-49 rating, leading the week ending 7/13/08, and edging out Wipeout’s 4.0.

While I don’t think FOX will be celebrating  if Hell’s Kitchen bows with a 2.5, with summer ratings being what they are, FOX can certainly celebrate anything over a 3.0. Tonight’s two hour premiere faces off against a rerun of NCIS and a new Big Brother on CBS, America’s Got Talent on NBC, and The Superstars, a new Better Off Ted and a Scrubs repeat on ABC.  I’m predicting somewhere in the 3.3-3.5 adults 18-49 average for Hell’s Kitchen between 8pm-10pm, but…I also predicted Dollhouse would be canceled!😉

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