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TV Ratings: American Idol Dominates; The Middle, Modern Family and Oprah Take a Dive

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March 4th, 2010

Scoreboard FOX CBS NBC ABC Uni CW
Rating: Adults 18-49 8.5/23 2.8/6 2.3/6 2.0/6 1.3/4 0.3/1
Rating: Adults 18-34 7.2/22 1.7/5 1.8/6 1.6/5 1.4/4 0.4/1
Total Viewers (million) 23.55 10.54 7.52 5.57 3.34 .77

FOX easily won the night as American Idol dominated.  It's 8.5/23 with adults 18-49 between 8-10p outpaced the combined competition.

CBS's Wednesday comedy block suffered with The New Adventures of Old Christine down 26% from its last new episode and Gary Unmarried was down 17%.  Criminal Minds fared much better, down only 3% from its last original outing.  CSI:NY was down 9% as Law & Order: SVU gave it much more of a run for the money than The Jay Leno Show ever did, and NBC rose from the cellar to take third place for the night.

ABC had a bad night with The Middle down 28% from its last original outing, and Modern Family down 15%. Cougar Town was down 11%.  With a 1.3 adults 18-49 rating, the Oprah Winfrey Oscar Special was 19% lower than Ugly Betty's last original episode in the time slot.   The daytime Queen held no sway in primetime last night.

I'd expect things will improve for The Middle and CBS's 8pm comedy block next week as Human Target takes the 8-9pm hour back from American Idol.

Details:

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating/Sh Viewers (Millons)
8:00 FOX American Idol 8.3/23 23.24
CBS New Adventures of Old Christine 1.7/5 5.95
ABC Modern Family (R) 1.7/5 5.18
NBC Mercy 1.6/5 6.04
CW Life Unexpected (R) 0.5/1 1.05
8:30 ABC The Middle 2.1/6 6.02
CBS Gary Unmarried 2.0/5 6.02
9:00 FOX American Idol 8.7/22 23.85
CBS Criminal Minds 3.6/9 13.18
ABC Modern Family 3.5/9 8.08
NBC Law & Order: Special Victims Unit 2.5/6 7.47
CW Gossip Girl (R) 0.2/1 0.48
9:30 ABC Cougar Town 2.4/6 5.39
10:00 CBS CSI: NY 3.1/9 12.45
NBC Law & Order: Special Victims Unit 3.0/9 9.04
ABC Oprah Winfrey Oscar Special 1.3/4 4.37

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Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2010 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.

You can see TV ratings from other recent Overnight ratings reports here.

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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