After two Thursday appearances in a row, the competition is glad American Idol isn’t coming back anytime soon. Of course, Idol lifted Fox to the nightly sweep, as both Fox, CBS and NBC improved from last week. With just the recently confirmed as renewed Ugly Betty airing a new episode, ABC slipped back to battling Univision in the demos.

American Idol dominated the 8pm hour, and increased its numbers by about 10% in the demos from last Thursday. Still, Thursday at  8 is not Idol’s preferred airtime, its numbers are better on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Under Idol competition, Survivor held pretty steady vs. last week. My Name is Earl missed getting run over by the Idol bandwagon last week, but managed only a 2.2 18-49 demo this week. Ugly Betty just threw in the towel this week and slumped to a series low. No matter, she’ll be back.

The metered market reports hinted that CSI might top Idol for average viewership, but it was not to be as the CBS flagship finished agonizingly close, but no cigar. Still, its demo performance was up sharply from last week to a level that probably has corks popping at CBS. Hell’s Kitchen was up from last week as well, but some of that was due to an Idol overrun. Here are the half hours for Kitchen (9pm: 12.3, 5.1/13, 4.1/12; 9:30pm 8.9, 4.1/10, 3.4/10). The Office was near its new episode average, while 30 Rock was up 30%+ in the 18-49 demo from last week with a new Office lead in.

In its waning days, ER is perking up, gaining a few ticks in the demo from last week. Eleventh Hour was up a tick in each demo as well. The retentionistas howl about Eleventh Hour, but the Renew/Cancel Index likes it. It’s going to prove to be somebody’s Waterloo. Stay tuned.

Note: American Idol overran into Hell’s Kitchen hour by 5 minutes. That will cause the fast affiliate results for both shows to be adjusted, Idol likely upwards, Kitchen certainly downwards.

For comparison, here’s last Thursday’s overnight report.

Full details:

Time Net Show Viewers Live+SD (Millons) 18-49 Rating/ Share 18-34 Rating/ Share
8:00 FOX American Idol 21.244 7.6/20 6.1/18
  CBS Survivor: Tocantins 11.980 3.9/10 2.4/7
  ABC Ugly Betty 6.357 1.8/5 1.5/5
  NBC My Name is Earl 5.552 2.2/6 1.7/6
  UNI Cuidado con el Ángel 4.111 1.5/4 1.7/5
  CW Smallville (repeat) 2.179 0.8/2 0.9/3
8:30 NBC Kath & Kim 4.163 1.8/5 1.7/5
9:00 CBS CSI 20.802 5.3/13 3.4/9
  FOX Hell’s Kitchen 10.641 4.7/12 3.9/11
  NBC The Office 8.627 4.5/11 5.1/14
  ABC Grey’s Anatomy (repeat) 5.681 1.6/4 1.3/4
  UNI Mañana Es para Siempre 4.205 1.8/5 2.0/5
  CW Supernatural (repeat) 1.993 0.8/2 0.8/2
9:30 NBC 30 Rock 7.350 3.8/9 4.0/11
10:00 CBS Eleventh Hour 12.151 3.0/8 1.9/6
  NBC E.R. 8.796 3.5/9 2.6/8
  ABC Private Practice (repeat) 4.497 1.3/4 1.1/3
  UNI Rosa de Guadalupe 2.787 1.2/3 1.3/4

Shows are sorted by viewers in each time slot.

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


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 and Numbers 102.

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