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Broadcast TV Ratings for Wednesday, March 18, 2009 March 19, 2009 5:44 pm

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in Nielsen TV Ratings, Television.
Tags: ,


The American Idol results show and another solid performance by Lie to Me at 8:00pm kept Fox way in front of its competition last night, nearly doubling up its nearest competitor among adults 18-49 (5.7 rating vs. a 2.9 rating).

CBS then, was steady in second, paced by the night’s #2 and #3 programs, Criminal Minds and CSI: NY.

Finishing in third place was ABC, which while not so competitive among viewers, did stay in the competitive loop among adults 18-49 finishing just a tenth of a point behind CBS in the demo.  Overall though, it was mostly bad news.  The series premiere of comedy Better off Ted drew just 5.64M viewers, while once power house Lost returned from its one-week hiatus with a season low 9.08M viewers (Note: These numbers may change some due to Lost running approximately 2 minutes into the 10:00 pm time period).  Life on Mars perked up a bit from last week, but only managed a few more than 5 million viewers and even though there was some good news to report in the time slot premiere of Scrubs–up nearly 40% among viewers from its last original episode — it still drew a disappointing 5.8 million viewers.

In fourth place was NBC, who is just having problems all over the place.  Failed reality series opened the night for the network with a dismal 3.46M viewers and 1.3 A18-49 rating, while likely-to-be-canceled drama Life hit a series low.  Law & Order improved a bit in the 10:00pm hour, but remains below average.

And lastly, The CW’s America’s Next Top Model failed to hold last week’s improved audience, falling by double-digits across the board.

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

FOX finished in first place for the evening with a 9.8/15 household rating/share, 16.55 million viewers and a 5.7/16 rating/share among adults 18-49.

Last Week:

10.5/17 HH rating/share [#1]
18.01M viewers [#1]
6.1/17 A18-49 rating/share [#1]

  • 8:00 p.m.: After a solid transition to its new time slot last week, Lie to Me (6.0/10 HH rating/share, 10.03M viewers, 3.1/10 A18-49 rating/share) slipped a bit, falling to just above 10 million viewers (-11%/-1.22M) and by 9% among adults 18-49.  But even with that decline in viewers, the show still easily out-paced its time slot competitors by 2.56M viewers (The New Adventures of Old Christine/Gary Unmarried on CBS) and by nearly 1 ratings point, or 41%, among adults 18-49 (Scrubs/Better off Ted on ABC).  Lie to Me has turned out to be another solid opening night show for Fox.

Week-to-week numbers (time slot premiere):

Households – 6.8/11 to 6.0/10 (-12%)
Viewers – 11.25M to 10.03M (-11%/-1.22M)
Adults 18-49 – 3.4/10 to 3.1/10 (-9%)

  • 9:00 p.m.: American Idol: Results Show (13.5/21 HH rating/share, 23.07M viewers, 8.5/20 A18-49 rating/share) rebounded a bit over last night’s low viewership total, but was still off by nearly 2.5 million viewers or 10% from last week’s episode.  Kinda odd to hear the judges and Ryan Seacrest sometimes mention how 30 million plus are watching.  Don’t they look at the ratings?  The show hasn’t been at that level for some time.

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

Households – 14.6/22 to 13.5/21 (-8%)
Viewers – 25.55M to 23.07M (-10%/-2.48M)
Adults 18-49 -9.1/23 to 8.5/20 (-7%)

Day-to-day numbers (TUES; 3/17/2009):

Households – 12.3/19 to 13.5/21 (+10%)
Viewers – 21.89M to 23.07M (+5%/+1.18M)
Adults 18-49 – 8.1/22 to 8.5/20 (+5%)

CBS followed in second place for the evening with a 7.1/12 household rating/share,  11.22 million viewers and a 2.9/8 rating/share among adults 18-49.

Last Week:

7.4/12 HH rating/share [#2]
11.75M viewers [#2]
3.1/8 A18-49 rating/share [#2]

  • 8:00 p.m.:  You would think that maybe the added comedy competition in the 8:00 pm hour (courtesy ABC’s time slot premiere of Scrubs and series premiere of Better off Ted), but that was certainly not the guess for either The New Adventures of Old Christine (4.8/8 HH rating/share, 7.37M viewers, 2.1/7 A18-49 rating/share)…

Week-to-week numbers:

Households – 4.8/8 to 4.8/8 (n/c)
Viewers – 7.46M to 7.37M (-1%/-0.09M)
Adults 18-49 – 2.1/6 to 2.1/7  (n/c)

  • 8:30 p.m.: or Gary Unmarried (4.7/8 HH rating/share, 7.57M viewers, 2.3/7 A18-49 rating/share), as both shows stayed even from the week prior.  Both shows have so-so total viewer levels (below average for CBS, but better than most comedies on the other networks), but don’t really do all that well among adults 18-49.  The same was true tonight.  As I noted, virtually the same audience tuned in this week as last, but the two shows had to settle for a second place tie among adults 18-49 with the aforementioned ABC comedies.  That was despite the fact that the CBS comedies out-rated their ABC counterparts by nearly 2 million viewers (7.47M vs. 5.72M avg.).

Week-to-week numbers:

Households – 4.8/8 to 4.7/8 (-2%)
Viewers – 7.63M to 7.57M (-1%/-0.06M)
Adults 18-49 – 2.3/7 to 2.3/7 (n/c)

  • 9:00 p.m.: Criminal Minds (8.5/13 HH rating/share, 13.49M viewers, 3.2/8 A18-49 rating/share) took a bit of a hit, with its largest decline among adults 18-49 (-11%), but there’s really nothing to be concerned about.  The show still drew a very healthy 13.5 million viewers (#2 for the evening).

Week-to-week numbers:

Households – 8.9/14 to 8.5/13 (-4.5%)
Viewers – 14.34M to 13.49M (-6%/-0.85M)
Adults 18-49 – 3.6/9 to 3.2/8 (-11%)

  • 10:00 p.m.: CSI: NY (8.1/14 HH rating/share, 12.70M viewers, 3.3/9 A18-49 rating/share) also dropped off a bit from the week prior, although not as much as its lead-in.  In addition to strong retention levels — 95% among households, 94% among viewers and +3% growth among adults 18-49 — the show had little trouble taking care of its time slot competitors, out-rating NBC’s Law & Order by 5.63 million or 80% among viewers and by 1.2 ratings points among adults 18-49 (+57%).

Week-to-week numbers:

Households – 8.6/14 to 8.1/14 (-6%)
Viewers – 13.63M to 12.70M (-7%/-0.93M)
Adults 18-49 – 3.5/10 to 3.3/9 (-6%)

ABC finished in third place for the evening with a 4.2/7 household rating/share, 6.69 million viewers and a 2.8/8 rating/share among adults 18-49.

Last Week:

2.7/4 HH rating/share [#4]
4.14M viewers [#4]
1.4/4 A18-49 rating/share [#4]

  • 8:00 p.m.: The time slot premiere of Scrubs (3.7/6 HH rating/share, 5.80M viewers, 2.2/7 A18-49 rating/share), while still low-rated overall, should be commended for successfully making the transition to Wednesday night.  The show improved by double-digits across the board, including an impressive 1.58 million or 37% among adults 18-49.  The show also out-rated fellow comedy, The new Adventures of Old Christine by one-tenth of a point among adults 18-49 (not statistically relevant, of course, but still noteworthy).

Episode-to-episode numbers (TUES; 2/10/2009 – 8:30pm):

Households – 2.7/4 to 3.7/6 (+37%)
Viewers – 4.22M to 5.80M (+37%/+1.58M)
Adults 18-49 – 2.0/5 to 2.2/7 (+10%)

  • 8:30 p.m.: The series premiere of Better off Ted (3.6/6 HH rating/share, 5.64M viewers, 2.2/6 A18-49 rating/share) held steady from its lead-in, but while I commended Scrubs a bit for solid growth from its most recent original episode, I’m not going to heap much praise on Better off Ted.  This is a poor start for a new series, there’s no sugar-coating needed.
  • 9:00 p.m.: Lost (5.4/8 HH rating/share, 9.08M viewers, 4.2/10 A18-49 rating/share) still out-drawing its non-‘Idol’ competition by a solid 1 full rating point among adults 18-49, did slightly worse than it did when it last went up against ‘Idol’, sliding to season lows among households, viewers and adults 18-49.  Oh well, at least the episode rocked!  Yes, I love this show, even when it makes little to no sense. :)  By the way, if you’re interested in how the show is faring this season, check out the season-to-season comparison that I’ve included below.  Just a few notes on this.  Nine episodes have aired this season thus far (on eight separate nights–there was a two-hour season premiere).  So I’ve compared the current season to the first eight episodes of season four. Update: As expected, the show ticked up a bit in the finals, but was still down to season low’s and down from the week prior.  Here are the numbers and the updated percentage declines: 5.6/9, 9.40M, 4.3/11 (-11%, -12%/-1.25M, -12%).

Episode-to-episode numbers (3/4/2009):

Households – 6.3/10 to 5.4/8 (-14%)
Viewers – 10.65M to 9.08M (-15%/-1.57M)
Adults 18-49 – 4.9/12 to 4.2/10 (-14%)

Season comparison (Note: all numbers from season four are based on final national numbers.  All numbers for the current season are also based on the final nationals with the exception of the most recent episode, which is based on the fast affiliate numbers):

Households – 8.0/13 to 6.3/10 (-21%)
Viewers – 13.61M to 10.65M (-22%/-2.96M)
Adults 18-49 – 5.7/14 to 4.9/12 (-14%)

  • 10:00 (10:02) p.m.: Because of the two-minute Lost overrun, the gains expressed below for Life on Mars (3.4/6 HH rating/share, 5.27M viewers, 2.0/6 A18-49 rating/share) will more than likely not last (at least not to the degree you see below).  As I’ve done in the past, I’ll post an update here when the finals are released. Update: There was a slight decline in the finals, but the show was still up week-to-week.  Here are the finals: 3.2/5, 4.97M, 1.8/5.  The updated percentage gains were +7%, +11%/+0.48M, +29%.

Week-to-week numbers:

Households – 3.0/5 to 3.4/6 (+13%)
Viewers – 4.49M to 5.27M (+17%/+0.78M)
Adults 18-49 – 1.4/4 to 2.0/6 (+43%)

NBC followed in fourth place for the evening with a 3.4/6 household rating/share, 4.91 million viewers and a  1.6/4 rating/share among adults 18-49.

Last Week:

3.8/6 HH rating/share [#3]
5.62M viewers [#3]
1.8/5 A18-49 rating/share [#3]

  • 8:00 p.m: Chopping Block (2.6/5 HH rating/share, 3.46M viewers, 1.3/4 A18-49 rating/share) held mostly steady from the week prior, but that’s not really that important.  The show is a failure, and I’d be surprised if NBC keeps it on the air, at least in this current slot, for much longer.

Week-to-week numbers (series premiere):

Households – 2.7/4 to 2.6/5 (-4%)
Viewers – 3.77M to 3.46M (-8%/-0.31M)
Adults 18-49 – 1.4/4 to 1.3/4 (-7%)

  • 9:00 p.m: With a horrible lead-in, Life (2.8/4 HH rating/share, 4.22M viewers, 1.5/3 A18-49 rating/share) dipped to series lows.

Week-to-week numbers:

Households – 3.4/5 to 2.8/4 (-18%)
Viewers – 5.21M to 4.22M (-19%/-0.99M)
Adults 18-49 – 1.7/4 to 1.5/3 (-12%)

  • 10:00 p.m: Law & Order (4.8/8 HH rating/share, 7.07M viewers, 2.1/6 A18-49 rating/share) was also a bit weaker than usual, but did manage solid growth of 68% among viewers and 40% among adults 18-49 from its lead-in.  NBC needs to figure out how to fix that 8:00-10:00pm time period.

Week-to-week numbers:

Households – 5.0/8 to 4.8/8 (-4%)
Viewers – 7.64M to 7.07M (-7.5%/-0.57M)
Adults 18-49 – 2.2/6 to 2.1/6 (-4.5%)

The CW finished in fifth place for the evening with a 1.6/3 household rating/share, 2.26 million viewers and a 1.0/3 rating/share among adults 18-49.

Last Week:

1.9/3 HH rating/share [#5]
2.75M viewers [#5]
1.2/3 A18-49 rating/share [#5]

  • 8:00 p.m.: After posting a nice increase in viewers last week, over its season premiere, America’s Next Top Model (2.6/4 HH rating/share, 3.60M viewers, 1.6/5 A18-49 rating/share) slid by significant double-digit margins.

Week-to-week numbers (12th cycle/season premiere – 8:00-10:00pm):

Households – 3.0/5 to 2.6/4 (-13%)
Viewers – 4.45M to 3.60M (-19%/-0.85M)
Adults 18-49 – 1.9/6 to 1.6/5 (-16%)

  • 9:00 p.m.: 90210-REPEAT (0.7/1 HH rating/share, 0.91M 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 Wednesday, March 25, 2009. Also keep in mind that because these are fast affiliate numbers, when the finals are released there may be noticeable changes.

And lastly, there may be some errors in the data due to rounding/human error.  I’ll do my best to limit those mistakes and correct them in time for the next week’s report.

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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