September 2007
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Broadcast TV Ratings for Thursday, September 20, 2007

CBS dominates with the return of Survivor.  This year’s edition, Survivor: China, however, was down by significant amounts from past seasons.

CBS finished in first place for the evening with a 8.6/14 household rating/share, 13.52 million viewers and a 3.9/11 rating/share among adults 18-49.

  • Last Week:
    • 5.7/10 HH rating [#1]
    • 8.42M viewers [#1]
    • 2.5/8 A18-49 rating [#1]
  • 8:00 p.m.: The 15th season premiere of Survivor, this year set in China (8.9/15 HH rating/share, 15.12M viewers, 4.9/15 A18-49 rating/share) easily gave CBS the victory on the evening, more importantly, it boosted its lead-out by incredible margins.  However, there was a stiff decline from last season, and the season prior (I’ve included comparisons for both season 13 and 14 because of the TV season they fall in).  Here are the two comparison’s, as you can see, it didn’t experience much of a drop off when you compare it to where it started this past year, but if you move to the comparison from the year prior, the drop off is much more severe. Season 14: -1.32 million or -8% among viewers, -8% among households and -14% among adults 18-49. Season 13: -2.88 million or -16% among viewers, -12% among households and -25% among adults 18-49.  The problem area in both scenarios is the A18-49 demographic.  Regardless, there is always the potential for the show to increase its rating during the season, so improvement can be made.  Also, this is still a very strong number, and as you’ll see in section below, it gave incredible boosts to its lead-outs.
    • Season premiere comparison (Season 14 – Survivor: FijiFebruary 8, 2007):
      • Households – 9.7/15 to 8.9/15
      • Viewers – 16.44M to 15.12M
      • Adults 18-49 – 5.7/16 to 4.9/15
    • Season premiere comparison (Season 13 – Survivor: Cook Islands – September 14, 2006):
      • Households – 10.1/17 to 8.9/15
      • Viewers – 18.00M to 15.12M
      • Adults 18-49 – 6.5/18 to 4.9/15
    • Last week’s numbers (fast nationals – Big Brother 8):
      • Households – 5.7/10
      • Viewers – 8.80M
      • Adults 18-49 – 3.2/10
  • Isn’t this amazing?  Compared to the week prior, Survivor: China boosted the 9:00-11:00 p.m. time period by 55% among viewers, 50% among households and 55% among adults 18-49.  Can’t wait to see how well this compatible duo does when they return for original programming.  But at the moment, it certainly appears that CBS will be running away with the Thursday night crown, at least when it comes to the household and viewer categories (ABC still has a very good chance at winning among adults 18-49).  It really will depend on how well ABC’s new series Big Shots does against Without A Trace and if Ugly Betty continues the slide it began to go through towards the second half of last season.
  • 9:00 p.m.: A repeat of CSI (9.1/14 HH rating/share, 14.12M viewers, 3.9/11 A18-49 rating/share).
  • 10:00 p.m.: Was followed by a repeat of Without A Trace (7.7/14 HH rating/share, 11.34M viewers, 2.9/9 A18-49 rating/share).

Fox followed in second place for the evening with a 5.1/9 household rating/share, 8.31 million viewers and a 2.6/8 among adults 18-49 rating/share.

  • Last Week:
    • 3.9/7 HH rating [#2]
    • 6.26M viewers [#2]
    • 1.9/6 A18-49 rating [#2]
  • 8:00 p.m.: Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader? (5.0/9 HH rating/share, 8.21M viewers, 2.3/7 A18-49 rating/share) remained steady for FOX.  Though not as strong as they probably hoped for (A18-49 rating should be in the 3.0 range), FOX truthfully hasn’t been this competitive in the Thursday time period for quite some time.
    • Week-to-week numbers:
      • Households – 5.3/9 to 5.0/9
      • Viewers – 7.74M to 8.21M
      • Adults 18-49 – 2.1/6 to 2.3/7
  • 9:00 p.m.: After taking a week off, Don’t Forget the Lyrics! (5.1/9 HH rating/share, 8.42M viewers, 2.9/8 A18-49 rating/share) returned with identical household and A18-49 figures, and up by 4% or 330,000 among viewers.
    • Episode-to-episode numbers (fast nationals – September 6, 2007):
      • Households – 5.1/8 to 5.1/9
      • Viewers – 8.09M to 8.42M
      • Adults 18-49 – 2.9/8 to 2.9/8

ABC finished in third place for the evening with a 3.4/6 household rating/share and 4.87 million viewers, but was fourth among adults 18-49 with a 1.6/5 rating/share.

  • Last Week:
    • 3.1/5 HH rating [#3]
    • 4.27M viewers [#3]
    • 1.4/4 A18-49 rating [#4]
  • ABC’s lineup was a tad bit stronger than usual, anchored by the repeat of Grey’s Anatomy.  As I briefly touched upon in the CBS section above, this is going to be a very interesting Thursday night showdown between ABC and CBS.  Some may look at these numbers and declare: no contest, CBS will win easily.  But you must keep in mind that serialized programming repeats quite poorly, in comparison to the procedural repeats that CBS fills its schedule up.  The numbers will come closer together when original programming comes on the air.  ABC’s best chance comes within the A18-49 demographic.  But that’s not to say that they can’t win the household and viewer categories because they certainly could.
  • 8:00 p.m.: A repeat of Ugly Betty (3.3/6 HH rating/share, 4.69M viewers, 1.4/4 A18-49 rating/share).
  • 9:00 p.m.: A repeat of Grey’s Anatomy (3.9/6 HH rating/share, 5.55M viewers, 1.9/5 A18-49 rating/share).
  • 10:00 p.m.: A repeat of Men In Trees (3.1/5 HH rating/share, 4.36M viewers, 1.4/4 A18-49 rating/share).

NBC followed in fourth place for the evening with a 3.2/5 household rating/share and 4.71 million viewers, but managed a third place finish among adults 18-49 with a 2.1/6 rating/share.

  • Last Week:
    • 2.7/5 HH rating [#4]
    • 4.01M viewers [#4]
    • 1.6/5 A18-49 rating [#3]
  • NBC programmed its usual mix of comedies and the ER repeat.  As with ABC above, the numbers will improve by significant amounts when originals begin to air, especially among the A18-49 demographic.
  • 8:00 p.m.: A one-hour repeat of My Name Is Earl (3.4/6 HH rating/share, 5.22M viewers, 2.2/7 A18-49 rating/share).
  • 9:00 p.m.: A one-hour repeat of The Office (3.4/6 HH rating/share, 4.98M viewers, 2.4/7 A18-49 rating/share).
  • 10:00 p.m.: And a repeat of ER (2.8/5 HH rating/share, 3.94M viewers, 1.6/5 A18-49 rating/share) ended the evening for NBC.

The CW was left then in fifth place earning a 1.2/2 household rating/share, 1.79 million viewers and a 0.8/2 rating/share among adults 18-49.

  • Last Week:
    • 1.6/3 HH rating [#5]
    • 2.35M viewers [#5]
    • 0.9/3 A18-49 rating [#5]
  • The CW got okay results out of a repeat of Tuesday night’s premiere of Beauty and the Geek.  We’ll see if this helps the show garner a better rating next week, after its below-average premiere earlier in the week.
  • 8:00 p.m.: A repeat of Tuesday night’s fourth season premiere of Beauty and the Geek (1.2/2 HH rating/share, 1.79M viewers, 0.8/2 A18-49 rating/share).

Note: Network average numbers from the week prior are based on fast national data. Comparison’s from the week prior (or episode-to-episode, etc.) on specific shows are based on final national data. Ratings for the current day are based on fast nationals. (Expect all three scenarios to be the case at all times, unless otherwise noted). The final rating for first-run episodes that aired this evening will be reported the following week. So for example, the final rating for tonights episode of “Big Brother” will be reported in next weeks report for Thursday, September 27, 2007.

Also keep in mind that because these are fast national ratings, numbers may increase or decrease when the final nationals are released.

Source: Fast/Final National Ratings Data from Nielsen Media Research and PIFeedback

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