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Broadcast TV Ratings for Tuesday, September 23, 2008

My full analysis follows after the jump.

CBS finished in first place for the evening with a 9.5/15 household rating/share and 14.88 million viewers, but was third among adults 18-49 with a 3.3/9 rating/share.

  • Last Week:
    • 5.2/9 HH rating/share [#2]
    • 7.86M viewers [#2]
    • 2.0/6 A18-49 rating/share [#t3]
  • 8:00 p.m.: The sixth season premiere of NCIS (11.2/18 HH rating/share, 18.38M viewers, 3.6/10 A18-49 rating/share) dominated the competition as the night’s most-watched program and anchored CBS as the night’s most-watched network among households and viewers.  However, the show still continues to do poorly among adults 18-49 (at least in terms of its viewers to adults ratio), with only about a quarter of its audience within the key demo.  Of course, it’s quite unfair to criticize a show with such a huge audience and it should be noted that it grew 4.49M/32% among viewers and 12.5% among adults 18-49 from its year-ago premiere.  Still though, it’s very odd for a show to skew so old and do so poorly among adults 18-49.
    • Season premiere comparison (9/25/2007):
      • Households – 8.4/14 to 11.2/18
      • Viewers – 13.89M to 18.38M
      • Adults 18-49 – 3.2/9 to 3.6/10
  • 9:00 p.m.: The series premiere of The Mentalist (9.9/15 HH rating/share, 15.55M viewers, 3.5/9 A18-49 rating/share) was more than amptly sampled and proved to be a compatible lead-out to NCIS (85% among viewers and an even more impressive 97% among adults 18-49). The Mentalist also improved upon the numbers posted by last year’s time slot occupant The Unit, which drew a 6.7/10 HH rating/share, 10.70M viewers and a 2.8/7 A18-49 rating/share in its premiere.
    • Last week’s numbers (Big Brother 10 – season finale):
      • Households – 4.9/8
      • Viewers – 7.56M
      • Adults 18-49 – 2.7/7
  • 10:00 p.m.: The seventh season premiere of Without a Trace (7.8/12 HH rating/share, 11.38M viewers, 2.8/7 A18-49 rating/share) didn’t fare nearly as well as NCIS.  In fact, the show was off quite significantly from last season’s premiere, declining by 5.30M/32% among viewers and 40% among adults 18-49.  To be fair, last year the show had the benefit of airing out of CSI on Thursday’s, but even still, the decline among viewers is somewhat discouraging (just 73% retention).  The one good thing is that it performed slightly better (80% retention) among adults 18-49.  Additionally, CBS can’t be too pleased that the show only barely out-rated last season’s time slot occupant, Cane (11.21M viewers and a 7.5/13 HH rating/share) which eventually got canned.  Without a Trace also failed to match Cane’s year-ago A18-49 performance (3.0/8 rating/share).
    • Season premiere comparison (THUR; 9/27/2007 – 10pm):
      • Households – 10.9/18 to 7.8/12
      • Viewers – 16.68M to 11.38M
      • Adults 18-49 – 4.7/13 to 2.8/7

ABC followed in second place for the evening with a 9.2/14 household rating/share, 14.34 million viewers and a 3.7/10 rating/share among adults 18-49.

  • Last Week:
    • 3.6/6 HH rating/share [#4]
    • 5.82M viewers [#4]
    • 2.0/5 A18-49 rating/share [#t3]
  • 8:00 p.m.: In hardly unexpected news, the series premiere of Opportunity Knocks (4.2/7 HH rating/share, 6.63M viewers, 1.8/5 A18-49 rating/share) faltered.  I honestly don’t understand why ABC held this show for a fall premiere.  This is obviously a summer series.
    • Last week’s numbers (Wipeout – season one finale – 8-9:30pm):
      • Households – 3.5/6
      • Viewers – 5.96M
      • Adults 18-49 – 2.0/6
  • 9:00 p.m.: The first elimination episode of the new season of Dancing With The Stars (11.7/18 HH rating/share, 18.20M viewers, 4.7/12 A18-49 rating/share), just like last night’s premiere, drew consistent ratings.  I’ve included the fall and spring numbers below and as you can see, there were only slight decreases from last year’s episode (-310,000/2% among viewers and -2% among adults 18-49).
    • Year-to-year numbers (9/25/2007 – Fall – 8-10pm):
      • Households – 12.2/19 to 11.7/18
      • Viewers – 18.51M to 18.20M
      • Adults 18-49 – 4.8/13 to 4.7/12
    • Year-to-year numbers (3/18/2008 – Spring – 9-10:32pm):
      • Households – 10.8/16 to 11.7/18
      • Viewers – 17.02M to 18.20M
      • Adults 18-49 – 4.1/10 to 4.7/12
    • Last week’s numbers (Primetime: UFOs…Seeing Is Believing – 9:31-11pm):
      • Households – 3.7/6
      • Viewers – 5.69M
      • Adults 18-49 – 1.9/5

Fox finished in third place for the evening with an 6.7/10 household rating/share and 10.90 million viewers, but managed a strong first place finish among adults 18-49 with a 4.5/12 rating/share.

  • Last Week:
    • 8.5/13 HH rating/share [#1]
    • 13.89M viewers [#1]
    • 5.3/14 A18-49 rating/share [#1]
  • 8:00 p.m.: House (7.4/12 HH rating/share, 12.14M viewers, 4.9/14 A18-49 rating/share) fell signficantly from last week’s premiere (-2.63M/17% among viewers and -12.5% among adults 18-49), but was still strong enough to be the night’s most-watched show of the night among adults 18-49.
    • Week-to-week numbers (fifth season premiere):
      • Households – 8.9/14 to 7.4/12
      • Viewers – 14.77M to 12.14M
      • Adults 18-49 – 5.6/16 to 4.9/14
  • 9:00 (9:01) p.m.: Fringe (6.0/9 HH rating/share, 9.65M viewers, 4.2/10 A18-49 rating/share). As I noted last week, I’ve always felt the third week of a new show is the first key in discovering its longevity.  It appears as if last week’s large increase for the show can be directly attributed to a significant amount of House viewers sampling the show.  Despite a large tune out–nearly as much as last week’s improvement (-3.81M/28% among viewers)–the show didn’t bleed as many adults 18-49 and remains a strong performer in that category.  Also, retention from House, while not as impressive as last week, remains solid at 79% among viewers and 86% among adults 18-49.  I’ve included the three-week track below.
    • Week-to-week-to-week numbers:
      • Households – 5.9/9 to 8.2/13 to 6.0/9
      • Viewers – 9.13M to 13.36M to 9.65M
      • Adults 18-49 – 3.2/9 to 5.2/13 to 4.2/10

NBC followed in fourth place for the evening with a 5.2/8 household rating/share, 7.96 million viewers and a 3.2/8 rating/share among adults 18-49.

  • Last Week:
    • 4.7/8 HH rating/share [#3]
    • 7.11M viewers [#3]
    • 2.7/8 A18-49 rating/share [#2]
  • 8:00 p.m.: The Biggest Loser: Families (4.7/7 HH rating/share, 7.18M viewers, 2.9/8 A18-49 rating/share) fell just slightly from the week prior and remains a solid performer for NBC.
    • Week-to-week numbers (The Biggest Loser: Families – season six premiere):
      • Households – 5.1/8 to 4.7/7
      • Viewers – 7.94M to 7.18M
      • Adults 18-49 – 3.2/9 to 2.9/8
  • 10:00 p.m.: The 10th season premiere of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (6.3/10 HH rating/share, 9.52M viewers, 3.7/10 A18-49 rating/share) closed out the evening for NBC and though it posted strong increases from its lead-in (+2.34M/34% among viewrs and +28% among adults 18-49), the show was off by its year-ago premiere by 2.60M/21% among viewers and 23% among adults 18-49.
    • Season premiere comparison (9/25/2007):
      • Households – 8.0/13 to 6.3/10
      • Viewers – 12.12M to 9.52M
      • Adults 18-49 – 4.8/13 to 3.7/10

The CW finished in fifth place for the evening with a 1.7/3 household rating/share, 2.41 million viewers and a 1.2/3 rating/share among adults 18-49.

  • Last Week:
    • 2.0/3 HH rating/share [#5]
    • 2.88M viewers [#5]
    • 1.4/4 A18-49 rating/share [#5]
  • 8:00 p.m.: 90210 (2.1/3 HH rating/share, 2.96M viewers, 1.8/5 A18-49 rating/share) remains in a so-so situation.  The show lost some viewership from the week prior (330,000/10% among viewers), but the show remains in a solid footing among adults 18-49, where it grew 6% from the week prior.
    • Week-to-week numbers:
      • Households – 2.3/4 to 2.1/3
      • Viewers – 3.29M to 2.96M
      • Adults 18-49 – 1.7/5 to 1.8/5
  • 9:00 p.m.: If it wasn’t apparent before, Privileged (1.3/2 HH rating/share, 1.86M viewers, 0.9/2 A18-49 rating/share) is now officially a failure.  The show posted series-lows across all three cateogories, falling 570,000/23% among viewers and 18% among adults 18-49. If that wasn’t bad enough, retention from its lead-in was an abysmal 50% among adults 18-49.
    • Week-to-week numbers:
      • Households – 1.7/3 to 1.3/2
      • Viewers – 2.43M to 1.86M
      • Adults 18-49 – 1.1/3 to 0.9/2
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 “NCIS” will be reported in next weeks report for Tuesday, September 30, 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.