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Suddenly, CBS
looks to be gasping 

Strong season start bollixed by two bum shows

By Diego Vasquez

  They say bad things come in threes. That now appears to be the case for CBS.
  After the week ended Jan. 9, CBS led the 18-49 demo with a 4.0 average, ahead of ABC’s 3.9, NBC’s 3.7 and Fox’s 3.4. Even though it led by just 0.1, its consistent lineup made CBS easily the strongest network through midseason, and it looked like it had a chance to run away with the 18-49 race.
   That now looks a lot less likely. The new probability is that Fox will rise to No. 1 based on the unexpectedly strong return of "American Idol" while ABC will inch past CBS for No. 2 thanks to "Lost," "Desperate Housewives" and the unexpectedly strong "Alias." CBS could drop to as low as third, for three reasons.
   Bad thing No. 1: CBS's Wednesday nights are falling a part. 
   Take the 10 p.m. timeslot, for instance. During the fourth quarter of 2004, “CSI: NY” was averaging a 5.6 18-49 rating compared with NBC’s 4.3 average for “Law & Order,” which airs head to head.
   But three weeks ago, for the week ended Jan. 9, all that changed, with “Law & Order” posting a 4.5 18-49 rating while “CSI: NY” managed only a 4.2. The next week the two shows tied, each with a 4.2 average, and last week an original “L&O” on NBC earned a 4.7 rating against a 3.7 for a repeat of “CSI: NY.”
    Part of “CSI: NY’s” problem was its weak lead-in, the John Goodman comedy “Center of the Universe.” At midseason the show was averaging just a 3.5 among 18-49s. That show was canceled last week but by then the damage was done to CBS's Wednesday standing.
   Making matters worse for CBS on Wednesdays, Fox’s “American Idol” will be swiping viewers from just about everywhere, especially when actual results shows begin.
    The second bad thing for CBS is its Thursday night. Its lineup is not as strong as it could or should be, with the blame falling on "Survivor” fill-in “Wickedly Perfect.”
   “Survivor: Vanuatu” averaged a 7.4 18-49 rating over the first half of the TV season. “Wickedly Perfect” has averaged only a 2.8, a 62.2 percent decline.
   CBS is moving “Wickedly Perfect” to Saturday, replacing it with "Without a Trace" reruns until “Survivor: Palau” premieres Thursday, Feb. 17.  "Without a Trace" should do better, but CBS has already paid the price for “Wickedly Perfect's” poor showing.
   The third bad thing for CBS is the end of NFL regular-season football, meaning no more extra football-related ratings boosts.
   Last week, CBS finished first among 18-49s with a 5.6 average rating, boosted heavily by Sunday’s 15.3 average for the telecast of the AFC Championship game and the premiere of “Numb3rs.”
   But ABC still pulled a respectable 6.8 average on Sunday night, even against CBS football. And next week the network will resume its No. 1 position on the strength of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” “Desperate Housewives” and to a lesser degree “Boston Legal.”
   Fox, which finished second last week among 18-49s with a 5.1 average, boosted by "Idol's” premiere, should be able to maintain similar ratings for the rest of the season, as long as “Idol” doesn’t suddenly tank. Further, Fox has final football boost with the Feb. 6 airing of Super Bowl.

  

PRIMETIME AVERAGES BY NETWORK
Ranked on Households
Week Ending January 23

Network

Households

People 2+

Adults 18-49

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

CBS

10.3

11240

16

5.9

16310

14

5.6

7230

14

NBC

7.1

7740

11

3.9

10750

9

3.9

5010

10

FOX

7.0

7680

11

4.3

11950

10

5.1

6630

12

ABC

6.4

7010

10

3.6

10010

9

3.8

4920

9

WB

2.1

2300

3

1.1

3130

3

1.3

1640

3

UPN

2.0

2200

3

1.1

3050

3

1.2

1530

3

PAX

0.5

520

1

0.3

700

1

0.2

210

0

* Each rating point is equivalent to 1.096 million homes
Source: Nielsen Media Research

 

SEASON-TO-DATE PRIMETIME AVERAGES BY NETWORK
Ranked on Households
Week Ending January 23

Network

Households

People 2+

Adults 18-49

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

CBS

8.5

9270

14

4.7

13060

12

4.1

5320

11

ABC

6.7

7400

11

3.8

10500

10

3.9

5080

11

NBC

6.7

7300

11

3.6

10060

9

3.7

4820

10

FOX

5.5

6060

9

3.2

8780

8

3.5

4540

9

WB

2.3

2530

4

1.2

3470

3

1.4

1850

4

UPN

2.3

2560

4

1.2

3440

3

1.4

1820

4

PAX

0.4

480

1

0.2

630

1

0.1

190

0

* Each rating point is equivalent to 1.096 million homes
Source: Nielsen Media Research 

 

NETWORK TV
Ranked on Households
Week Ending January 23

#

PROGRAMS

Net

HOUSEHOLDS

PERSONS 2+

Rtg%

Shr

(000)

#

Rtg%

(000)

1

AFC CHAMPIONSHIP

CBS

25.8

38

28291

1

16.0

44334

2

AMERICAN IDOL-TUESDAY

FOX

18.3

27

20017

2

12.1

33575

3

DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES

ABC

16.1

22

17596

4

9.3

25949

4

AFC CHMP POST GAME

CBS

16.0

23

17558

4

9.3

25750

5

NUMB3RS PREVIEW(S)

CBS

15.7

24

17187

6

9.0

24921

6

AMERICAN IDOL-WEDNESDAY

FOX

15.2

22

16622

3

9.6

26711

7

CSI: MIAMI

CBS

13.9

22

15207

7

7.9

22039

8

E.R.

NBC

12.5

20

13711

10

6.8

18821

9

CSI

CBS

12.2

18

13408

10

6.8

19033

10

EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND

CBS

11.9

17

12989

9

6.9

19245

10

LOST

ABC

11.9

18

13021

8

7.1

19694

12

TWO AND A HALF MEN

CBS

11.3

16

12408

13

6.5

18144

13

EXTREME MAKEOVER:HM ED

ABC

10.8

15

11789

12

6.6

18290

14

LAW AND ORDER

NBC

10.2

17

11181

17

5.4

15123

14

LAW AND ORDER:SVU

NBC

10.2

16

11132

15

5.5

15340

16

BOSTON LEGAL

ABC

9.8

16

10745

15

5.5

15339

17

APPRENTICE 3

NBC

9.7

15

10678

14

5.6

15551

18

MEDIUM

NBC

9.4

15

10264

18

5.2

14439

19

NCIS

CBS

9.3

14

10204

18

5.2

14529

20

WITHOUT A TRACE

CBS

9.2

15

10103

20

4.9

13620

21

ALIAS

ABC

8.2

12

9035

21

4.8

13212

21

JOEY

NBC

8.2

13

8932

22

4.5

12545

23

DATELINE FRI

NBC

8.0

14

8767

27

4.1

11356

23

JUDGING AMY

CBS

8.0

13

8807

27

4.1

11530

25

CSI FRIDAY-SPCL(S)

CBS

7.9

13

8633

25

4.3

11826

Source: Nielsen Media Research

 

TOP 25 PROGRAMS – BROADCAST
Adults 18-49
Week Ending January 23

Rank

Program

Net

Rtg%

(000)

1

AFC CHAMPIONSHIP ON CBS(S)

CBS

17.6

22916

2

AMERICAN IDOL-TUESDAY

FOX

14.0

18221

3

AMERICAN IDOL-WEDNESDAY

FOX

11.2

14599

3

DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES

ABC

11.2

14484

5

AFC CHMP POST GAME ON CBS(S)

CBS

9.9

12861

6

NUMB3RS PREVIEW(S)

CBS

9.2

11933

7

E.R.

NBC

8.7

11257

8

CSI: MIAMI

CBS

7.8

10146

9

APPRENTICE 3

NBC

7.4

9576

9

EXTREME MAKEOVER:HM ED-8P

ABC

7.4

9659

9

LOST

ABC

7.4

9601

12

EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND

CBS

6.3

8162

13

TWO AND A HALF MEN

CBS

6.1

7866

14

CSI

CBS

6.0

7803

15

LAW AND ORDER:SVU

NBC

5.9

7644

16

BOSTON LEGAL

ABC

5.8

7530

16

MEDIUM

NBC

5.8

7501

18

ALIAS

ABC

5.6

7268

19

JOEY

NBC

5.3

6851

19

POINT PLST PRVW SP-1/19(S)

FOX

5.3

6820

21

LAS VEGAS

NBC

4.8

6261

22

FEAR FACTOR

NBC

4.7

6105

22

LAW AND ORDER

NBC

4.7

6112

24

24

FOX

4.5

5819

24

KING OF QUEENS

CBS

4.5

5900

Source: Nielsen Media Research

 

CABLE TV
Ranked on Households
Week Ending January 23

BASIC CABLE

#

PROGRAM NAME

NET

Households 

Persons 2+

(000)

Rtg %

(000)

1

MONK (3010 MONK & RED HERRING)

USA

3917

3.6

5508

2

FAIRLY ODD PARENTS

NICK

3762

3.4

4710

3

SPONGEBOB

NICK

3540

3.2

4627

4

FAIRLY ODD PARENTS

NICK

3528

3.2

4488

5

LAW & ORDER

TNT

3494

3.2

4458

6

SPONGEBOB

NICK

3395

3.1

4349

7

FAIRLY ODD PARENTS

NICK

3364

3.1

4212

8

WWE ENTERTAINMENT (WWE RAW ZONE)

SPIKE

3356

3.1

4761

9

WWE ENTERTAINMENT (WWE RAW)

SPIKE

3319

3.0

4831

10

FAIRLY ODD PARENTS

NICK

3188

2.9

3979

11

DANNY PHANTOM

NICK

3107

2.8

3934

12

LAW & ORDER: SVU

USA

3054

2.8

3696

13

FAIRLY ODD PARENTS

NICK

3046

2.8

3915

14

FAIRLY ODD PARENTS

NICK

2981

2.7

3853

15

SPONGEBOB

NICK

2955

2.7

3852

PAY CABLE

#

PROGRAM NAME

NET

Households 

Persons 2+

(000)

Rtg %

(000)

1

RUNDOWN, THE

HBO

1628

1.5

2428

2

WCB: 1/22/05 (MAYWEATHER VS BRUSELES)

HBO

1458

1.3

2098

3

WCB: 1/22/05 (PRE 2)

HBO

1358

1.2

1961

4

WCB: 1/22/05 (DIAZ VS PETER)

HBO

1333

1.2

1923

5

WCB: 1/22/05 (POST)

HBO

1238

1.1

1733

* Ratings based on 109.6 million U.S. TV homes. One ratings point represents 1.096 million homes.
Source: Nielsen Media Research

 

SYNDICATION
Ranked on Households
Week Ending January 16

#

 PROGRAMS

Syndicator

Households

US Rtg%

(000)

1

WHEEL OF FORTUNE

KIN

9.5

10439

2

OPRAH WINFREY SHOW (AT)

KIN

8.6

9421

3

JEOPARDY

KIN

8.1

8829

4

EVRY LVS RAYMOND-SYN (AT)

KIN

7.8

8602

5

SEINFELD (AT)

SPT

6.9

7519

6

SEINFELD-WKND (AT)

SPT

6.4

6980

7

FRIENDS (AT)

WB

6.3

6894

8

CSI-SYN (AT)

KIN

5.9

6492

9

ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT(AT)

PRM

5.8

6336

10

DR. PHIL SHOW

KIN

5.6

6105

11

JUDGE JUDY (AT)

PRM

5.5

6056

12

EVBDY LVS RAYMOND-WKD-SYN

KIN

4.4

4853

13

ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT WKD

PRM

4.0

4383

14

INSIDE EDITION

KIN

3.9

4291

14

MILLIONAIRE (AT)

BV

3.9

4256

16

JUDGE JOE BROWN (AT)

PRM

3.8

4151

17

MALCOLM IN-MIDDLE SYN(AT)

2/T

3.6

3934

18

THAT 70S SHOW-MF-SYN (AT)

2/T

3.5

3810

19

LIVE WITH REGIS AND KELLY

BV

3.4

3704

20

KING OF THE HILL-SYN(AT)

2/T

3.2

3550

20

WILL & GRACE-SYN (AT)

WB

3.2

3538

20

MAURY (AT)

NBU

3.2

3487

23

KING OF QUEENS-SYN (AT)

SPT

3.0

3275

23

INSIDER (AT)

PRM

3.0

3270

23

COPS-SYN (AT)

2/T

3.0

3256

Source: Nielsen Media Research

 

SPANISH-LANGUAGE TELEVISION
Ranked on Households
Week Ending January 23

#

PROGRAMS

Net

NHTI

(000)

1

AMOR REAL M-F

UNI

26.5

2893

2

RUBI M-F

UNI

25.3

2757

3

CRISTINA-MON

UNI

20.8

2274

4

DON FRANCISCO PRESENTA-WE

UNI

19.6

2143

5

SABADO GIGANTE-SAT

UNI

18.2

1990

6

MUJER DE MADERA M-F

UNI

18.0

1962

6

CASOS VIDA R: ED. ESP TUE

UNI

18.0

1960

8

AQUI Y AHORA-THU

UNI

17.7

1935

9

HOSPITAL EL PAISA FRI

UNI

16.7

1821

10

HORA PICO-SUN

UNI

14.8

1611

11

G GLESS MJR IMITADOR 1/22(S)-01/22/2005

UNI

14.7

1603

12

ESCUELITA FRI

UNI

14.6

1591

13

JAULA-SUN

UNI

14.1

1539

14

PARODIA-SUN

UNI

14.0

1524

15

VER PARA CREER-SUN

UNI

13.8

1505

16

ANITA NO TE RAJES M-F

TEL

6.7

730

17

GITANAS M-F

TEL

6.2

684

18

MUJER EN EL ESPEJO M-F

TEL

6.1

661

19

RIPLEY'S

TEL

5.6

611

19

TE VOY-ENSENAR A QUERER M-F

TEL

5.6

611

21

SIN FRONTERAS

TEL

5.5

600

22

CINEMUNDO PREMIER

TEL

5.0

543

23

FUTBOL LIGA MEX SAT

TF

4.5

491

24

FACTOR MIEDO

TEL

4.1

445

25

100 MEXICANOS DIJERON M-F

TF

3.8

416

* Nielsen Hispanic Television Index; ratings based on 9.7 million Hispanic TV homes.
Source: Nielsen Media Research

 

NETWORK SPORTS
Ranked on Households
Week Ending Jan. 16

#

PROGRAMS

Net

Episode

Households

Persons 2+

US Rtg%

Shr

(000)

(000)

1

AFC DIV.
PLAYOFF-SU(S)-1/16

CBS

IND AT
NEW ENG

23.2

40

25372

37980

2

FOX NFC
PLAYOFF
SUN(S)-1/16

FOX

MINN AT
PHILA

19.4

41

21317

29968

3

AFC DIV.
PLAYOFF-SA(S)-1/15

CBS

NY JETS
AT PITTS

18.2

36

20001

29401

4

FOX NFC
PLAYOFF-SAT(S)
1/15

FOX

ST LO
 AT ATL

14

24

15343

23700

5

U.S. FIG. SKTNG
CH-8PM(S)-01/15

ABC

4.6

8

5067

6821

6

WWE
SMACKDOWN!

UPN

3.8

6

4143

5953

7

U.S. FIG. SKTNG
CH-4PM(S)1/15

ABC

2.1

5

2352

2792

8

ABC NCAA BBALL-SAT.

ABC

VAR. TEAMS 
AND TIMES

1.9

5

2039

2647

9

ALL AM. H.S.
FTBALL(S)-1/15

NBC

1.6

4

1778

2274

10

NCAA BBALL
SAT-1

CBS

SYR AT
PROV/
LVLLE AT
CIN

1.4

4

1541

1891

11

NCAA BBALL
SUN-1

CBS

MICH ST
AT WISC

1.1

2

1184

1517

12

NBC SPORTS
 SPEC 1/16-B(S)

NBC

USAA SKIING

0.9

2

953

1185

13

NBC SPORTS
SPEC. 1/16-A(S)

NBC

CHAMP'S
TOUR
SPEC

0.7

1

754

975

Source: Nielsen Media Research


Jan 26, 2005 © 2005 Media Life


- Diego Vasquez is a staff writer for Media Life.


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