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Fox Still Ahead vs. Last Season, But American Idol Will Determine Where It Finishes

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January 6th, 2010

Ratings Increase / Decrease: 2009-10 Season vs. 2008-9 Season

Fox continues to be well ahead in all ratings demographic groups vs. last season. However, American Idol returns in a week, and because it is such a big part of Fox's seasonal ratings averages if Idol's ratings erode just a bit, which seems reasonably likely, Fox's overall comparisons vs. last season will suffer noticeably.

While Fox was certainly helped by a big improvement in the World Series numbers, they were ahead of last season’s ratings before the baseball playoffs began.

The CW's ratings averages are ahead of last season in viewership and adults 18-34 and 18-49, but they would be about 20% ahead of last season across the board if they'd just kept their Monday-Friday numbers steady because of the automatic boost to their ratings averages just by dumping Sunday nights. Compared to last season, the CW's Monday-Friday ratings averages are down, but don't be surprised if the CW's crack PR troops can pull one over on the credulous TV media.

ABC and CBS have each lost about 3% of their adults 18-49 viewership compared to last season, if they were to end the season with that much of a loss I think they'd be quite pleased, but there's still 20 weeks of the season to go.

Season To Date Ratings

Helped by bowl games, Fox stretched its season leads in both adults 18-49 and 18-34, and even cut a bit into CBS' lead in adults 25-54. Fox will certainly hang onto the lead until American Idol and 24 return and the Fox annual spring ratings beatdowns resume, although the Winter Olympics will boost NBC and the Super Bowl will boost CBS.

Fox continues its big lead in adults 18-34 ratings. This season is shaping up to be a huge margin of victory for them in that demo. CBS continues to hold both the adults 25-54 rating title (which Fox may challenge depending on how Idol does), and the average viewership title, which is unlikely to be challenged.

You can see past week's broadcast network primetime season to date average TV ratings results here.

Each rating point is a percentage of the US TV population in that demographic group and equals: 2.90 million viewers, 1.32 million adults 18-49, 0.68 million adults 18-34 and 1.24 million adults 25-54.

Note that the chart includes RATINGS not VIEWERSHIP as was typical in our weekly network ratings posts prior to July, 2009.

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

 
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