American Idol was on, so it of course won everything.  NBC aired the series finale of Knight Rider and repeats of Life and Law & Order.  CBS ran repeats and still placed second in total viewers.  ABC was third in viewers but second to FOX in the demos.

The Lost vs. Lie to Me duel that looked so interesting earlier in the season now is only much of a battle in terms of total viewers.  In the youth demos, Lost is now winning handily.  Lie to Me will drop some in the finals due to American Idol overrun, and it’s half hour drops are still fairly noteworthy.  It dropped from 11.14 million the first half with a 3.9/10 (rating/share) in adults 18-49 to 9.24 million in the second half hour with a 3.3/8.

Lost fared better with a 1970s themed episode than the already canceled (but will air its final episodes) Life on Mars.   Not up against American Idol this week, Lost bounced back up from a 4.4 to a 4.8 rating in adults 18-49.  But a little bit of Lost overrun (I think, I wasn’t paying attention to times last night) helped the Life on Mars numbers below.  LOM opened with 6.28 million and a 2.5/7 in 18-49s, but dropped to 5.03 million and a 1.7/5 the last half hour.

America’s Next Top Model couldn’t have returned soon enough for the CW.  The two hour season premiere obviously had better numbers the second hour when it wasn’t up against Idol, but according to the CW, it premiered better than last fall’s cycle, up 13% women 18-34, 5% in adults 18-34, 6% in adults 18-49, and 11% in total viewers (3.9mil).

Last Wednesday’s overnight report.

Full details:

Time Net Show Viewers (Millons) 18-49 Rating/Share 18-34 Rating/Share
8:00 FOX American Idol 22.51 7.8/22 6.3/19
NBC Knight Rider (finale) 5.76 1.8/5 1.4/4
CBS New Adventures of Old Christine (R) 5.51 1.5/4 0.9/3
ABC LOST (R) 4.79 1.7/5 1.2/4
CW America’s Next Top Model (premiere) 3.32 1.5/4 1.9/6
8:30 CBS Gary Unmarried (R) 5.41 1.6/4 0.9/3
9:00 ABC LOST 10.61 4.9/12 4.6/13
CBS Criminal Minds (R) 10.27 2.4/6 1.3/4
FOX Lie To Me 10.19 3.6/9 3.2/9
NBC Life (Repeat) 4.62 1.3/3 0.9/3
CW America’s Next Top Model (premiere) 4.46 2.0/5 2.5/7
10:00 CBS CSI: NY (R) 10.85 2.7/8 1.6/5
NBC Law & Order (R) 5.78 1.6/4 1.1/3
ABC Life on Mars 5.66 2.1/6 1.5/5

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.

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