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Broadcast TV Ratings for Sunday, May 18, 2008

The two-hour season finale of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and two episodes, including the fourth season finale, of Desperate Housewives put ABC well ahead of the competition Sunday night, despite not being able to quite match last year’s finales.  CBS saw okay results from its lineup of 60 Minutes and The 43rd Annual Academy of Country Music Awards, which drew more viewers and adults 18-49 from last year’s edition.

Fox followed up in third place led by the season finales of The Simpsons, King of the Hill and American Dad, though all three shows were off a good deal from their year-ago season finale numbers.

NBC was even from the week prior, while The CW rounded out the pack in last place, as the network aired its season finales of Everybody Hates Chris, Aliens in America and The Game.

Continue reading for season ratings charts for the eight shows that ended their seasons last night plus a full analysis of the night’s programming.

ABC finished in first place for the evening with a 8.4/14 household rating/share, 13.09 million viewers and a 4.7/13 rating/share among adults 18-49.

  • Last Week:
    • 7.1/12 HH Rating/Share [#1]
    • 11.49M Viewers [#1]
    • 4.0/11 A18-49 Rating [#1]
  • 7:00 p.m.: Hour one of the fifth season finale of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (5.0/9 HH rating/share, 7.69M viewers, 2.6/9 A18-49 rating/share) got things started for ABC, and the hour was ahead, although just slightly, when measured against last season’s first hour of the season finale.
    • Season finale comparison (5/20/2007 – 7:00 – season four finale, hour 1):
      • Households – 4.6/9 to 5.0/9
      • Viewers – 7.39M to 7.69M
      • Adults 18-49 – 2.5/9 to 2.6/9
    • Last week’s numbers (America’s Funniest Home Videos):
      • Households – 4.3/8
      • Viewers – 7.64M
      • Adults 18-49 – 2.4/8
  • 8:00 p.m.: And the final hour of the fifth season finale of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (7.0/12 HH rating/share, 11.15M viewers, 3.8/11 A18-49 rating/share), as expected, grew solidly from the first hour of the finale. However, while the first hour improved upon last year’s comparable hour, the same was not true for the second hour.  The series was off by 1.42 million viewers/11% among viewers and 16% among adults 18-49 from last year’s second hour of the season finale.  Overall, as you can see from the posted chart below, the season was going solidly for the majority of the season, but it hasn’t fared as well in recent weeks, contributing to the slight downward trendline.
    • Week-to-week numbers:
      • Households – 4.3/8
      • Viewers – 7.64M
      • Adults 18-49 – 2.4/8
    • Season finale comparison (5/20/2007 – 8:00 – season four finale, hour 2):
      • Households – 7.7/13 to 7.0/12
      • Viewers – 12.57M to 11.15M
      • Adults 18-49 – 4.5/13 to 3.8/11
    • Season five average (9/30/2007 to 5/18/2008–26 episodes):
  • 9:00 p.m.: Desperate Housewives (10.5/16 HH rating/share, 16.49M viewers, 6.0/15 A18-49 rating/share).  ABC decided to air two episodes of Desperate Housewives tonight, with hour one leading into the show’s fourth season finale.  First up, when compared directly against last week’s 9pm hour, ‘Housewives’ was up a solid 1.06 million viewers/7% among viewers and 7% among adults 18-49.
    • Week-to-week numbers:
      • Households – 9.7/15 to 10.5/16
      • Viewers – 15.43M to 16.49M
      • Adults 18-49 – 5.6/14 to 6.0/15
  • 10:00 p.m.: That led into the fourth season finale of Desperate Housewives (11.0/18 HH rating/share, 17.02M viewers, 6.3/16 A18-49 rating/share).  The good news was that the series managed to build upon the previous episode, but was still off a good deal from last season’s finale (1.80 million/10% among viewers and 12.5% among adults 18-49).  As you can see from the posted chart below, the series actually started off its new season in an okay setting, slowly building to its midseason finale on December 6, 2007, which posted a season high 20.65M viewers.  Ever since that point though, the show has been on a downward trend, which is clearly reflected in the chart.  Put another way, check out the averages for the two part season; 2007: 18.78M viewers, 2008: 16.74M viewers.  That’s a loss of 2.04 million viewers/11%. The WGA strike was NOT favorable to the housewives.
    • Season finale comparison (5/20/2007):
      • Households – 12.0/19 to 11.0/18
      • Viewers – 18.82M to 17.02M
      • Adults 18-49 – 7.2/17 to 6.3/16
    • Season four average (9/30/2007 to 5/18/2008–17 episodes):
    • Last week’s numbers (Brothers & Sisters):
      • Households – 7.2/12
      • Viewers – 10.69M
      • Adults 18-49 – 3.8/10

CBS followed in second place for the evening with a 7.3/12 household rating/share, 11.44 million viewers and a 2.6/7 rating/share among adults 18-49.

  • Last Week
    • 6.9/12 HH Rating/Share [#2]
    • 11.76M Viewers [#1]
    • 3.6/10 A18-49 Rating [#2]
  • 7:00 p.m.: 60 Minutes (7.0/13 HH rating/share, 10.61M viewers, 1.6/6 A18-49 rating/share) drew a consistent audience of over 10 million viewers, but that A18-49 number is starting to get way too low.  Less than 20% of the audience makeup is among the key A18-49 demo.
    • Week-to-week numbers (60 Minutes):
      • Households – 7.0/14 to 7.0/13
      • Viewers – 10.39M to 10.61M
      • Adults 18-49 – 1.8/6 to 1.6/6
  • 8:00 p.m.: The 43rd Annual Academy of Country Music Awards (7.4/12 HH rating/share, 11.72M viewers, 2.9/8 A18-49 rating/share), airing on a Sunday this season instead of Tuesday like last year, drew a solid audience, and increased its viewership over the year prior by 2.45 million viewers/26% and 7% among adults 18-49.
    • Year-to-year numbers (Tuesday, May 15, 2007):
      • Households – 6.1/10 to 7.4/12
      • Viewers – 9.27M to 11.72M
      • Adults 18-49 – 2.7/7 to 2.9/8
    • Last week’s numbers (Survivor Micronesia – season finale):
      • Households – 7.2/12
      • Viewers – 12.98M
      • Adults 18-49 – 4.4/12
    • Last week’s numbers (Survivor Micronesia: Reunion):
      • Households – 6.1/10
      • Viewers – 10.42M
      • Adults 18-49 – 3.8/10

FOX finished in third place for the evening with a 3.1/5 household rating/share, 4.99 million viewers and a 2.4/7 rating/share among adults 18-49.

  • Last Week:
    • 2.9/5 HH Rating/Share [#3]
    • 4.76M Viewers [#3]
    • 2.3/6 A18-49 Rating [#3]
  • 7:00 p.m.: A repeat of King of the Hill (1.8/3 HH rating/share, 2.71M viewers, 1.2/4 A18-49 rating/share).
  • 7:30 p.m.: A repeat of The Simpsons (2.4/4 HH rating/share, 3.82M viewers, 1.8/6 A18-49 rating/share).
  • 8:00 p.m.: The 19th season finale of The Simpsons (3.7/6 HH rating/share, 6.11M viewers, 2.9/9 A18-49 rating/share).  Boy, what happened to the Simpsons huh? Just take a gander at that chart below.  The series hit a high mark with episode five (11.74M viewers) and went downhill from there with a season average of just 8.25 million viewers (30% off from that high mark).  These numbers aren’t terrible as it still does well in the key A18-49 demographic, but all you really have to do is look at where the series finished last season.  Year-to-year, the show is off 3.83 million viewers/39% and 36% among adults 18-49.
    • Week-to-week numbers:
      • Households – 3.7/7 to 3.7/6
      • Viewers – 6.08M to 6.11M
      • Adults 18-49 – 2.9/9 to 2.9/9
    • Season finale comparison (5/20/2007 – season 18 finale):
      • Households – 5.4/9 to 3.7/6
      • Viewers – 9.94M to 6.11M
      • Adults 18-49 – 4.5/13 to 2.9/9
    • Season 19 average (9/23/2007 to 5/18/2008–20 episodes):
  • 8:30 p.m.: The 12th season finale of King of the Hill (3.3/5 HH rating/share, 5.41M viewers, 2.6/7 A18-49 rating/share).  Despite also having a downward trend throughout the season, King of the Hill was able to actually match its year-ago season finale performance, growing by 190,000/4% among viewers and a more signficant 13% among adults 18-49.
    • Week-to-week numbers:
      • Households – 3.1/5 to 3.3/5
      • Viewers – 5.04M to 5.41M
      • Adults 18-49 – 2.5/7 to 2.6/7
    • Season finale comparison (5/20/2007 – season 11 finale – 7:29pm):
      • Households – 3.0/6 to 3.3/5
      • Viewers – 5.22M to 5.41M
      • Adults 18-49 -2.3/8 to 2.6/7
    • Season 12 average (9/23/2007 to 5/18/2008–22 episodes):
  • 9:00 p.m.: A repeat of Family Guy (3.9/6 HH rating/share, 6.24M viewers, 3.0/8 A18-49 rating/share).
  • 9:30 p.m.: The third season finale of American Dad (3.6/6 HH rating/share, 5.63M viewers, 2.7/7 A18-49 rating/share) ended the evening for Fox.  The narrative here isn’t much changed, as American Dad was off from the year prior, and also had a downward trending season.
    • Week-to-week numbers:
      • Households – 3.4/5 to 3.6/6
      • Viewers – 5.67M to 5.63M
      • Adults 18-49 – 2.7/7 to 2.7/7
    • Season finale comparison (5/20/2007 – season 2 finale):
      • Households – 4.4/7 to 3.6/6
      • Viewers – 7.62M to 5.63M
      • Adults 18-49 – 3.6/9 to 2.7/7
    • Season three average (9/30/2007 to 5/18/2008–16 episodes):

NBC followed in fourth place for the evening with a 2.5/4 household rating/share, 3.71 million viewers and a 1.3/4 rating/share among adults 18-49.

  • Last Week:
    • 2.7/5 HH Rating/Share [#4]
    • 3.97M Viewers [#4]
    • 1.1/3 A18-49 Rating [#4]
  • 7:00 p.m: Dateline (3.0/6 HH rating/share, 4.44M viewers, 1.1/4 A18-49 rating/share).
    • Episode-to-episode numbers (5/4/2008):
      • Households – 3.0/6 to 3.0/6
      • Viewers – 4.25M to 4.44M
      • Adults 18-49 – 1.2/4 to 1.1/4
    • Last week’s numbers (Golf: Players Championship – to 7:50pm):
      • Households – 3.1/8
      • Viewers – 4.69M
      • Adults 18-49 – 1.2/5
    • Last week’s numbers (America’s Favorite Mom – 7:50-8:50pm):
      • Households – 1.7/3
      • Viewers – 2.41M
      • Adults 18-49 – 0.5/2
  • 8:00 p.m.: Four back-to-back repeats of The Office (1.9/3 HH rating/share, 2.88M viewers, 0.9/3 A18-49 rating/share).
  • 10:00 p.m.: And that was followed by a repeat of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (4.2/7 HH rating/share, 5.58M viewers, 1.3/4 A18-49 rating/share).

The CW was left in fifth place with a 0.9/2 household rating/share, 1.29 million viewers and a 0.5/2 rating/share among adults 18-49.

  • Last Week:
    • 0.9/1 HH Rating/Share [#5]
    • 1.19M Viewers [#5]
    • 0.5/1 A18-49 Rating [#5]
  • The CW’s three season’s finales managed to all increase slightly from the week prior.  Year-to-year season finale comparisons are mostly pointless though, considering the network moved their comedy block from Monday’s to Sunday’s. Suffice it to say, the year-to-year loss was signficant.  I’ve included all the comparisons below, in addition to the season charts, which clearly show the weak Sunday performance of the comedies.
  • 7:00 p.m.: A repeat of America’s Next Top Model (0.8/1 HH rating/share, 1.16M viewers, 0.4/2 A18-49 rating/share).
  • 8:00 p.m.: The third season finale of Everybody Hates Chris (1.0/2 HH rating/share, 1.43M viewers, 0.5/2 A18-49 rating/share).
    • Week-to-week numbers:
      • Households – 0.9/1 to 1.0/2
      • Viewers – 1.27M to 1.43M
      • Adults 18-49 – 0.5/1 to 0.5/2
    • Season finale comparison (5/14/2007 – season 2 finale – 8-8:30pm):
      • Households – 1.6/3 to 1.0/2
      • Viewers – 2.34M to 1.43M
      • Adults 18-49 – 1.0/3 to 0.5/2
    • Season three average (10/1/2007 to 5/18/2008–22 episodes):
  • 8:30 p.m.: The first season/series finale of Aliens in America (0.9/1 HH rating/share, 1.21M viewers, 0.5/1 A18-49 rating/share).
    • Week-to-week numbers:
      • Households – 0.7/1 to 0.9/1
      • Viewers – 1.14M to 1.21M
      • Adults 18-49 – 0.4/1 to 0.5/1
    • Season one average (10/1/2007 to 5/18/2008–18 episodes):
  • 9:00 p.m.: The second season finale of The Game (1.1/2 HH rating/share, 1.62M viewers, 0.8/2 A18-49 rating/share).
    • Week-to-week numbers:
      • Households – 1.1/2 to 1.1/2
      • Viewers – 1.58M to 1.62M
      • Adults 18-49 – 0.7/2 to 0.8/2
    • Season finale comparison (5/14/2007 – season one finale – 8-9pm):
      • Households – 1.7/3 to 1.1/2
      • Viewers – 2.51M to 1.62M
      • Adults 18-49 – 1.1/3 to 0.8/2
    • Season two average (10/1/2007 to 5/18/2008–20 episodes):
  • 9:30 p.m.: A repeat of Girlfriends (0.9/1 HH rating/share, 1.25M viewers, 0.6/1 A18-49 rating/share).
GO TO WEEKLY RATINGS PAGE

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 tonight’s episode of “Desperate Housewives” will be reported in next weeks report for Sunday, May 25, 2008.

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. Daily ratings figures can be found at PIFeedback and Zap2It.

  • Interesting numbers from Desperate Housewives. Considering how many of the storylines had to suffer during the writer’s strike, the stats seem pretty good. I just wonder if all of these ratings would be higher if the season would have progressed uninterrupted.

  • Interesting numbers from Desperate Housewives. Considering how many of the storylines had to suffer during the writer’s strike, the stats seem pretty good. I just wonder if all of these ratings would be higher if the season would have progressed uninterrupted.

  • You’re right Michael. I thought this season was a nice improvement over last.

    And besides, the show can still attract a large audience, as evidenced by the 20.65M viewers it registered for that December episode. When it came back in January, the second part of the episode held mostly firm, registering 19.78M viewers.

    Then April hit and the final seven episodes, including the two from tonight, averaged 16.31M viewers.

    But a show that is still able to consistently attract over 15 million viewers (the low end for the season was 15.43M–the only time it drew less than 16 million) is nothing look down upon, especially in the television climate we live in today.

  • You’re right Michael. I thought this season was a nice improvement over last.

    And besides, the show can still attract a large audience, as evidenced by the 20.65M viewers it registered for that December episode. When it came back in January, the second part of the episode held mostly firm, registering 19.78M viewers.

    Then April hit and the final seven episodes, including the two from tonight, averaged 16.31M viewers.

    But a show that is still able to consistently attract over 15 million viewers (the low end for the season was 15.43M–the only time it drew less than 16 million) is nothing look down upon, especially in the television climate we live in today.

  • Sean Mathis

    Like always CW is in Last Place and look they barley average 2.0 million viewers

  • Sean Mathis

    Like always CW is in Last Place and look they barley average 2.0 million viewers