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Broadcast TV Ratings for Tuesday, March 10, 2009

031009piechart-viewersAmerican Idol dominated the competition last night, not only doubling up on second place A18-49 finisher NBC, but out-rating all English-speaking broadcast nets combined by nearly 1 full ratings point.

CBS finished in second among households and viewers with strong performances by NCIS, The Mentalist and Without a Trace (all repeats).

NBC was third in households and viewers but did quite well among adults 18-49, with both a two-hour edition of The Biggest Loser and an original episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit drawing an average 3.7 A18-49 rating, with the network peaking in the 9:00pm hour with a 4.2 rating.

Following in fourth place was ABC, which failed to garner much of an audience with original episodes of Homeland Security USA and Primetime: What Would You Do? (and back-to-back repeats of Scrubs sandwiched in between).

That leaves us with The CW which finished in a, expected, fifth place.  Reaper was basically flat from the week prior.

Full ratings and breakdown’s, including week-to-week comparisons, etc., follow after the jump.

Fox finished in first place for the evening with a 14.5/22 household rating/share, 25.24 million viewers and a 9.2/24 rating/share among adults 18-49.

Last Week:

13.8/21 HH rating/share [#1]
24.21M viewers [#1]
8.9/23 A18-49 rating/share [#1]

  • 8:00 p.m.: American Idol: “13 Finalists Perform” (14.5/22 HH rating/share, 25.24M viewers, 9.2/24 A18-49 rating/share) easily bested the competition, with very slight week-to-week gains across all key measures.  While CBS was surprisingly competitive (in terms of viewers, with just repeats none the less), Fox had absolutely no trouble garnering the majority of the A18-49 audience, out-rating CBS, NBC, ABC and CW combined by nearly one full ratings point (0.9) in the demo.

Week-to-week numbers:

Households – 13.8/21 to 14.5/22 (+5%)
Viewers – 24.31M to 25.24M (+4%/+0.93M)
Adults 18-49 – 9.0/23 to 9.2/24 (+2%)

CBS followed in second place for the evening with a 8.0/13 household rating/share and 12.59 million, but was third among adults 18-49 with a 2.5/7 rating/share.

Last Week:

7.9/12 HH rating/share [#2]
12.31M viewers [#2]
2.5/6 A18-49 rating/share [#3]

  • It continually amazes me how strong repeats of CBS’s procedural dramas perform, even against such strong competition.  The ratio of A18-49 to total viewers remains low (less than 1/3rd of the audience is made up of A18-49 viewers), but I think with an overall audience this high, the A18-49 factor isn’t as big a deal.
  • 8:00 p.m.: NCIS-REPEAT (8.4/13 HH rating/share, 13.33M viewers, 2.7/8 A18-49 rating/share).
  • 9:00 p.m.: The Mentalist-REPEAT (9.0/14 HH rating/share, 14.25M viewers, 2.8/7 A18-49 rating/share).
  • 10:00 (10:01) p.m.: Without a Trace-REPEAT (6.7/11 HH rating/share, 10.19M viewers, 2.1/6 A18-49 rating/share).

NBC finished in third place for the evening with a 6.2/10 household rating/share and 9.89 million viewers, but managed a second place finish among adults 18-49 with a 3.7/10 rating/share.

Last Week:

5.3/8 HH rating/share [#3]
8.31M viewers [#3]
3.2/8 A18-49 rating/share [#2]

  • 8:00 p.m.: The Biggest Loser: Couples (5.7/9 HH rating/share, 9.31M viewers, 3.8/9 A18-49 rating/share) remains a solid alternative to ‘Idol’, no matter how strong the competition.  The Biggest Loser posted minmial gains in household rating and viewers, but grew noteworthy 9% in A18-49 rating.

Week-to-week numbers (8:00-9:00pm):

Households – 5.5/8 to 5.7/9 (+4%)
Viewers – 8.95M to 9.31M (+4%/+0.36M)
Adults 18-49 – 3.5/9 to 3.8/9 (+9%)

  • 10:00 p.m.: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (7.2/12 HH rating/share, 11.04M viewers, 3.6/10 A18-49 rating/share) returned strong from its near one-month hiatus, growing by double-digits in HH rating and viewers, and by 6% in A18-49 rating.

Episode-to-episode numbers (2/17/2009):

Households – 6.5/11 to 7.2/12 (+11%)
Viewers – 9.48M to 11.04M (+16.5%/+1.56M)
Adults 18-49 – 3.4/9 to 3.6/10 (+6%)

ABC followed in fourth place for the evening with a 3.0/5 household rating/share, 4.37 million viewers and a 1.5/4 rating/share among adults 18-49.

Last Week:

4.5/7 HH rating/share [#4]
6.63M viewers [#4]
2.3/6 A18-49 rating/share [#4]

  • 8:00 p.m.: Homeland Security USA (3.5/5 HH rating/share, 5.15M viewers, 1.4/4 A18-49 rating/share) barely kept ABC competitive with a nearly 13 percent in A18-49 rating.  This strikes me as a series that should be airing in the summer, not spring or fall.

Week-to-week numbers:

Households – 3.9/6 to 3.5/5 (-10%)
Viewers – 5.68M to 5.15M (-9%/-0.53M)
Adults 18-49 – 1.6/4 to 1.4/4 (-12.5%)

  • 9:00 & 9:30 p.m.: Back-to-back repeats of Scrubs (1.9/3 HH rating/share, 2.85M viewers, 1.1/3 A18-49 rating/share).
  • 10:00 p.m.: Primetime: What Would You Do? (3.5/5 HH rating/share, 5.10M viewers, 1.9/5 A18-49 rating/share) managed to improve by two-tenth of a ratings point among A18-49 (+36% from its lead-in among the demo) but the show still fell to dead last in the hour across all three main categories.

Episode-to-episode numbers (2/24/2009):

Households – 3.7/7 to 3.5/5 (-5%)
Viewers – 5.54M to 5.10M (-8%/-0.44M)
Adults 18-49 – 1.7/5 to 1.9/5 (+12%)

Last week’s numbers (The Bachelor: After the Rose, Part II):

Households – 7.4/12
Viewers – 10.90M
Adults 18-49 – 4.1/11

The CW finished in fifth place for the evening with a 1.0/2 household rating/share, 1.61 million viewers and a 0.6/2 rating/share among adults 18-49.

Last Week:

1.2/2 HH rating/share [#5]
1.75M viewers [#5]
0.7/2 A18-49 rating/share [#5]

  • 8:00 p.m.: Reaper (1.4/2 HH rating/share, 2.17M viewers, 0.8/2 A18-49 rating/share).  Well, the good news is that the show remained mostly steady from last week’s premiere.  The bad news?  These ratings are still poor.  I really like the show, so I’m of course pulling for a slight increase in ratings over the next coming weeks, rather than continued slow erosion.  Anything is possible, and The CW is certainly aware of the show’s stiff competition.

Week-to-week numbers (season two premiere):

Households – 1.5/2 to 1.4/2 (-7%)
Viewers – 2.31M to 2.17M (-6%/-0.14M)
Adults 18-49 – 0.9/2 to 0.8/2 (-11%)

  • 9:00 p.m.: 90210-REPEAT (0.7/1 HH rating/share, 1.05M viewers, 0.4/1 A18-49 rating/share).


Note: Network average numbers from the week prior are based on fast affiliate 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 affiliate numbers. (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 “American Idol” will be reported in next weeks report for Tuesday, March 17, 2009. Also keep in mind that because these are fast affiliate ratings, numbers may increase or decrease when the final nationals are released.

Source: Fast Affiliate/Final National Ratings Data from Nielsen Media Research. Daily ratings figures can be found at PI Feedback, Zap2It and TV by the Numbers.

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