This year’s People’s Choice Awards on CBS ruled the 9pm hour and was strong enough in the demos at 10pm to lead CBS to a sweep of viewership and both the adults 18-49 and 18-34 age demos on Wednesday. That is significantly better than the show did last year, but in the midst of the writer’s strike the 2008 show was on tape and had no celebrities.

The Barbara Walters Special featuring Patrick Swayze talking about his fight with pancreatic cancer was the most watched show of the night and also took the 18-49 demo for the 10pm hour.

The premiere of the CW’s 13: Fear is Real garnered but 2.399 million viewers and 5th/6th place demo ratings, but was likely very cheap to produce. America’s Next Top Model cannot return soon enough for the net.

A new Knight Rider at 8pm was stuck in the slow lane against repeats from competitors. Law & Order was up noticeably from its typical level following Life. Perhaps commenter “Vader” has a point!

Full details plus the People’s Choice Award winners below:

Time Net Show Viewers Live+SD (000s) 18-49 Rating 18-49 Share 18-34 Rating 18-34 Share
8:00 CBS New Adventures of Old Christine (Repeat) 8,221 2.3 7 1.6 5
FOX Bones (Repeat) 6,631 1.7 5 1.4 4
NBC Knight Rider 5,702 1.7 4 1.3 4
UNI Cuidado con el Ángel 4,754 1.8 5 2.1 6
ABC Scrubs (Repeat) x2 4,501 1.6 4 1.4 5
CW 13—Fear is Real (Premiere) 2,399 1.1 3 1.3 4
8:30 CBS Gary Unmarried (Repeat) 7,362 2.3 6 1.4 4
9:00 CBS People’s Choice Awards 10,212 3.2 8 2.3 8
ABC 20/20 7,999 2.3 6 1.5 4
NBC Law & Order: SVU (Repeat) 7,427 2.2 6 1.5 4
FOX Bones (Repeat) 6,521 2.0 5 1.6 5
UNI Fuego en la Sangre 5,107 2.0 5 2.2 6
CW 90210 (Repeat) 1,086 0.5 1 0.7 1
10:00 ABC Barbara Walters Special 12,572 3.1 8 1.7 5
NBC Law & Order 10,114 3.0 8 2.0 6
CBS People’s Choice Awards 8,427 2.7 7 2.1 8
UNI Don Francisco Presenta 3,540 1.4 4 1.5 4

Here are the People’s Choice TV category winners for your perusal, and to answer the inevitable questions, it’s unlikely that an award will save a show that’s a ratings loser.

  • TV drama: “House”
  • TV comedy: “Two and a Half Men”
  • TV animated comedy: “The Simpsons”
  • Sci-fi/fantasy show: “Heroes”
  • Reality show: “Dancing With the Stars”
  • Game show: “Deal or No Deal”
  • Male TV star: Hugh Laurie
  • Female TV star: Christina Applegate
  • Talk show host: Ellen DeGeneres
  • Scene-stealing guest star: Robin Williams, “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”
  • TV drama diva: Kyra Sedgwick as Brenda Johnson, “The Closer”
  • New TV comedy: “Gary Unmarried”
  • New TV drama: “The Mentalist”

Shows are sorted by viewers in each time slot. Timeslot demo winners are in bold.

Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2008 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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