Of course the curse of posting about delays worked! Two minutes after I posted the delay message, I received the data.

Katie Couric: not on fire. The CBS News with Katie Couric was not a hit in prime time. While it did have more viewers from 8pm-8:30 than Knight Rider (6.45 million for Katie vs. 5.852 million for KITT), the car resoundingly thrashed Couric in the age demos. From 8p-8:30 Couric drew a 1.2/3 (rating share) among 18-49 year olds and an 0.8/2 share among 18-34 year olds. Knight Rider had a 1.8/5, and 1.4/4 in those demos for the half hour. CBS said this was a one-off, one time experiment, and I’m guessing they’ll definitely stand by that now.

The good news for LOST is that the people who watched the premiere stuck around. It averaged 11.067 million. FOX’s new Lie to Me averaged 12.113 million, but LOST had the better 18-49 demo – 4.8/11 for LOST vs. 4.4/10 for Lie to Me. Lie to Me has a little bit of Idol overrun which will be stripped out in the finals and lower its number some.

Life on Mars was back and the hoped for synergy with LOST, sadly didn’t happen. LOM dropped to 6.506 million and only had a 2.3/6 among 18-49 year olds, it’s lowest rating to date. 😦 I really enjoyed last night’s episode, but these numbers aren’t pretty.

Update: American Idol naturally won the night and it has to be a bit dispiriting for the competition, as American Idol is holding its ground. It had more viewers than it did the same night a year ago (26.97M vs. 25.6M) and its performance in the 18-49 year old demographic was the same as last year’s 10.1. 25% of all 18-49 year olds watching TV last night from 8pm-9pm were watching American Idol. Impressive.

Please note all of the numbers above are preliminary, not time-zone adjusted and will change in the final numbers…

Full night’s data:

Time Net Show Viewers (Millons) 18-49 Rating/Share 18-34 Rating/Share
8:00 FOX American Idol 26.97 10.1/25 8.8/24
CBS CBS Evening News with Katie Couric 6.45 1.2/3 0.8/2
NBC Knight Rider 6.13 1.9/5 1.5/4
ABC LOST (R) 5.28 1.8/4 1.5/4
UNI Cuidado con el Angel 4.84 1.9/5 2.1/6
CW Privileged (R) 1.07 0.4/1 0.4/1
8:30 CBS The New Adventures of Old Christine (R) 4.97 1.1/3 0.7/2
9:00 FOX Lie to Me 12.11 4.4/10 4.1/11
ABC LOST 11.07 4.8/11 4.5/12
CBS Criminal Minds (R) 10.63 2.5/6 1.5/4
NBC Law & Order: SVU (R) 6.44 1.9/4 1.5/4
UNI Fuego en la Sangre 5.18 2.2/5 2.4/6
CW 90210 (R) 0.98 0.4/1 0.5/1
10:00 CBS CSI: NY (R) 9.49 2.4/6 1.5/4
NBC Law & Order 8.89 2.6/7 2.0/6
ABC Life on Mars 6.51 2.3/6 1.6/5
UNI Don Francisco Presenta 4.03 1.5/4 1.6/5

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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