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Broadcast TV Ratings for Tuesday, September 16, 2008

While down year-to-year, the fifth season premiere of House in a new time slot easily powered Fox to a first place finish last night.  However, the network was helped by an impressive second week showing by new series Fringe, which retained a remarkable 93% of its lead-in’s audience.

Elsewhere on the evening, Big Brother 10 closed out the season on a high note, while Wipeout’s first season finale didn’t fare that well.

The CW, meanwhile, got some good news as week three of 90210 stabilized after a weak showing last week.

Check out all the above and more, including my full analysis of the night’s lineup, after the jump.

Fox finished in first place for the evening with an 8.5/13 household rating/share, 13.89 million viewers and a 5.3/14 rating/share among adults 18-49.

  • Last Week:
    • 5.2/8 HH rating/share [#2]
    • 8.00M viewers [#2]
    • 2.9/8 A18-49 rating/share [#1]
  • 8:00 p.m.: The fifth season premiere of House (8.8/14 HH rating/share, 14.41M viewers, 5.5/16 A18-49 rating/share) declined year-to-year by 3.9 million/21% among viewers and 29% among adults 18-49.  Normally those sorts of drops could be cause for concern, but in this case, the show is still remarkably strong and in all reality, these numbers are more in line with the show’s overall audience average.  The season premiere numbers from last year were more an outlier.  There was also some negative reaction to the quality of the fourth season, so it could take a few weeks before some of that abandoned audience finds its way back to the show.
    • Season premiere comparison (9/25/2007):
      • Households – 10.7/16 to 8.8/14
      • Viewers – 18.31M to 14.41M
      • Adults 18-49 – 7.8/19 to 5.5/16
  • 9:00 p.m.: Week two of Fringe, in a new time period, (8.2/13 HH rating/share, 13.36M viewers, 5.2/13 A18-49 rating/share) grew by a remarkable 4.23 million/46% among viewers and an even more impressive 62.5% among adults 18-49 from the week prior.  Coupled with solid numbers from Fox’s re-broadcast of the season premiere this past Sunday in a two-hour format, Fox should be very, very satisifed with this result.  After all, it’s not too common to have two shows that seem to be such a fit together, what with Fringe‘s impressive 93/93/94.5 percent retention levels in terms of households, viewers and adults 18-49 out of House.  It’s of course still too early to make a definitve statement on whether the show is a success (I tend to believe week three is the key, that’s where we see if the show stabilizes), but the early results are encouraging.  Let’s just hope the quality continues to match the ratings.
    • Week-to-week numbers (series premiere – 8-9:35pm):
      • Households – 5.9/9 to 8.2/13
      • Viewers – 9.13M to 13.36M
      • Adults 18-49 – 3.2/9 to 5.2/13
    • Last week’s numbers (Hole in the Wall – 9:35-10pm):
      • Households – 2.6/4
      • Viewers – 4.05M
      • Adults 18-49 – 2.0/5

CBS followed in second place for the evening with a 5.2/9 household rating/share and 7.86 million viewers, but was tied for third among adults 18-49 with a 2.0/6 rating/share.

  • Last Week:
    • 3.7/6 HH rating/share [#4]
    • 5.70M viewers [#4]
    • 2.1/6 A18-49 rating/share [#4]
  • 8:00 p.m.: A repeat of NCIS (6.4/10 HH rating/share, 9.65M viewers, 1.8/5 A18-49 rating/share).
  • 9:00 p.m.: The season finale of Big Brother 10 (4.9/8 HH rating/share, 7.63M viewers, 2.7/7 A18-49 rating/share) posted solid increases from the week prior (and episode prior) among all three key groups.  Though it didn’t have an outstanding summer, Big Brother 10 did seem to pick up as the season progressed, and leveled off into respectable levels in terms of Adults 18-49.
    • Episode-to-episode numbers (SUN, 9/14/2008 – 8:44-9:44pm):
      • Households – 4.3/7 to 4.9/8
      • Viewers – 6.68M to 7.63M
      • Adults 18-49 – 2.2/5 to 2.7/7
    • Week-to-week numbers (8-9pm):
      • Households – 4.4/7 to 4.9/8
      • Viewers – 6.98M to 7.63M
      • Adults 18-49 – 2.6/7 to 2.7/7
  • 9:00 p.m.: A repeat of Without a Trace (4.3/8 HH rating/share, 6.29M viewers, 1.6/5 A18-49 rating/share).
    • Last week’s numbers (Fashion Rocks! – 9-11pm):
      • Households – 3.4/5
      • Viewers – 5.04M
      • Adults 18-49 – 1.9/5

NBC finished in third place for the evening with a 4.7/8 household rating/share and 7.11 million viewers, but managed a second place finish among adults 18-49 with a 2.7/8 rating/share.

  • Last Week:
    • 6.6/11 HH rating/share [#1]
    • 10.30M viewers [#1]
    • 2.4/6 A18-49 rating/share [#3]
  • 8:00 p.m.: The two-hour sixth season premiere of The Biggest Loser, this year entitled The Biggest Loser: Families (5.1/8 HH rating/share, 7.81M viewers, 3.1/8 A18-49 rating/share) was not able to match last season’s more powerful premiere.  It looks like the competition with House really seemed to hurt it.  Overall, the show was down 2.07 million/21% among viewers and 24% among adults 18-49.  Now, that’s not to say its performance was poor (3% of adults 18-49 is nothing to sneeze at), it’s just important to note the year-to-year declines.
    • Season premiere comparison (season five premiere – 1/1/2008):
      • Households – 5.9/9 to 5.1/8
      • Viewers – 9.88M to 7.81M
      • Adults 18-49 – 4.1/10 to 3.1/8
    • Last week’s numbers (America’s Got Talent – 8-10pm):
      • Households -7.3/11
      • Viewers – 11.61M
      • Adults 18-49 – 2.6/7
  • 10:00 p.m.: A repeat of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (4.0/7 HH rating/share, 5.71M viewers, 2.0/6 A18-49 rating/share).

ABC followed in fourth place for the evening with a 3.6/6 household rating/share and 5.82 million viewers, but managed a slightly stronger tie for third among adults 18-49 with a 2.0/5 rating/share.

  • Last Week:
    • 4.1/7 HH rating/share [#3]
    • 7.00M viewers [#3]
    • 2.7/7 A18-49 rating/share [#2]
  • 8:00 p.m.: The 90-minute first season finale of Wipeout (3.5/5 HH rating/share, 5.96M viewers, 2.0/6 A18-49 rating/share), which was really more of a clip show, faltered some, dropping more than 1 million/16% among viewers and more than 30% among adults 18-49 from the week prior.  This was definitely a strange way to close out a season, in terms of the type of episode ABC chose to run.  Let’s hope ABC keeps this reality series, which was often quite funny, in the summer months and on a limited basis so as to not allow it to overstay its welcome.
    • Last week’s numbers (Wipeout – 8pm):
      • Households – 4.0/6
      • Viewers – 7.26M
      • Adults 18-49 – 2.9/8
    • Last week’s numbers (Wipeout – 9pm):
      • Households – 3.8/6
      • Viewers – 6.97M
      • Adults 18-49 – 3.0/8
  • 9:30 (9:31) p.m.: Primetime: UFOs…Seeing Is Believing (3.7/6 HH rating/share, 5.69M viewers, 1.9/6 A18-49 rating/share) drew slightly lower numbers than the more common Primetime fare, but did the best it could with its lead-in, retaining a full 95% of its audience.
    • Last week’s numbers (Primetime: Medical Mysteries – 10-11pm):
      • Households – 4.4/7
      • Viewers – 6.73M
      • Adults 18-49 – 2.2/6

The CW finished in fifth place for the evening with a 2.0/3 household rating/share, 2.88 million viewers and a 1.4/4 rating/share among adults 18-49.

  • Last Week:
    • 2.2/3 HH rating/share [#5]
    • 3.10M viewers [#5]
    • 1.5/4 A18-49 rating/share [#5]
  • 8:00 p.m.: After a poor week two, 90210 (2.3/4 HH rating/share, 3.33M viewers, 1.8/5 A18-49 rating/share) has stabilized into a promising territory.  That second week drop really took a lot out of the show, but to its credit, it didn’t shed any more viewers or adults 18-49 in its third go-around.  I admit I haven’t checked it out, nor do I really plan to, but I imagine so long as the quality remains on a level agreeable to its current audience, it won’t slide any further.  Sure the hype was there for it to perform better (that includes the season premiere which really should have been able to top 5M viewers), but the reality here is that any show on The CW that averages more than 3 million viewers and a 1.5 in A18-49 can safely be labeled successful.
    • Week-to-week numbers (1×01 to 1×02 to 1×03):
      • Households – 3.2/5 to 2.2/4 to 2.3/4
      • Viewers – 4.65M to 3.23M to 3.33M
      • Adults 18-49 – 2.6/7 to 1.7/5 to 1.8/5
  • 9:00 p.m.: Meanwhile, fellow newcomer Privileged (1.8/3 HH rating/share, 2.43M viewers, 1.1/3 A18-49 rating/share) failed to rebound in its second week, falling by 210,000/8% among viewers and 8% among adults 18-49.  The series doesn’t appear to be all that compatible with its lead-in (73% retention among viewers, an even lower 61% among adults 18-49) which could spell future trouble.  Typically, you want a regular lead-out to maintain at least 80% of its lead-in audience.
    • Week-to-week numbers (series premiere):
      • Households – 1.9/3 to 1.8/3
      • Viewers – 2.64M to 2.43M
      • Adults 18-49 – 1.2/3 to 1.1/3
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 “America’s Got Talent” will be reported in next weeks report for Tuesday, September 23, 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.

  • Scot

    That’s awesome that Fringe jumped up the way it did in total viewers this week. I was hoping that would happen with the House lead-in. This show deserves a long and healthy run, because the two eps that have aired so far have been excellent!

  • Scot

    That’s awesome that Fringe jumped up the way it did in total viewers this week. I was hoping that would happen with the House lead-in. This show deserves a long and healthy run, because the two eps that have aired so far have been excellent!

  • Very impressive jump, Scot, yes. Improving lead-outs is often something that works with Fox more frequently with American Idol. And even in that case, it’s usually restricted to reality shows (which lose much of their audience once they’re separated from Idol).

    So long as it can hold up in future weeks–and I agree the two episodes thus far have been strong–then Fox has got a nice hit on their hands. It’s not like House is going anywhere anytime soon.

  • Very impressive jump, Scot, yes. Improving lead-outs is often something that works with Fox more frequently with American Idol. And even in that case, it’s usually restricted to reality shows (which lose much of their audience once they’re separated from Idol).

    So long as it can hold up in future weeks–and I agree the two episodes thus far have been strong–then Fox has got a nice hit on their hands. It’s not like House is going anywhere anytime soon.