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New worry for
'Arrested Development' 

Scratched for May sweeps, not a very good sign 

By Toni Fitzgerald

   For the second straight year, there’s a rather glaring absence on Fox’s May sweeps schedule. The critically beloved and Emmy-winning sitcom “Arrested Development” had its order cut last month and will sit out the sweeps.
  It’s never a good sign when a show is yanked for any sweeps period. But for “Development,” which was a somewhat surprise renewal last year after only lukewarm ratings, it raises an important question: How long can Fox keep supporting this show when viewers aren’t?
   Thus far this season, “Development” has averaged a 2.9 adults 18-49 rating in the 8:30 p.m. Sunday timeslot, up 7 percent over last season’s 2.7 when it aired mainly at 9:30 with weaker lead-in “Malcolm in the Middle.” The show has averaged 6.0 million viewers, down slightly from last season’s 6.2 million viewers.
   Sunday’s original episode averaged a 2.8 rating, losing 30 percent of its “Simpsons” rerun lead-in.
   These are not great numbers. It’s about what NBC’s disastrous “Father of the Pride” averaged during its brief run, and that show has been gone for months.
   What there is of a fan base is rabid. Fox spokesman Scott Grogin says that “Arrested Development” and “24,” another show that needed two seasons before it took off, receive more fan mail than the network’s other scripted shows. An online petition (www.petitiononline.com/Arrested/petition.html) to save the show has more than 31,000 signatures.
   Yet while Fox waits patiently, “Arrested” is hogging what used to be a prime spot on the network’s schedule, the post-“Simpsons” slot. “Arrested” is not holding much of “The Simpsons’” 4.9 average rating among 18-49s.
   Fox is already trying to revamp the night, bringing in “Family Guy” and “American Dad” for May sweeps, when “Simpsons” reruns will fill the “Arrested” time slot.
   Should Fox decide on even more of a change for next season, “Arrested” could well be gone.
   At the same time, while Sundays are no longer as strong as they once were, "Arrested" is not hurting Fox's bottom line. The "American Idol"-fueled network should finish first for the season among 18-49s, and that means it can perhaps afford to coddle underperforming critical hits.
   Most likely, Fox will give the show one more shot, perhaps on another night and with a small order. It doesn’t want to lose the sitcom’s award-bait cachet. “Arrested” was the only Fox show besides “24” to get major Emmy or Golden Globe attention in the past 18 months, when it became the least-viewed show ever to win the Best Sitcom Emmy.
   There's no decision yet on whether “Arrested” will be back next season. Fox entertainment president Gail Berman has been a big booster of the show, but no one can say the network hasn’t given it a fair shot.
   If a limited order for next season doesn’t result in a ratings boost, “Arrested” will be gone and fans of quality television will weep.
   In other ratings news last week, Fox finished first among adults 18-49 for the seventh straight week, averaging a 4.8 rating, boosting the network into sole possession of No. 1 for the season at 4.1. CBS was second for the week at 3.7, NBC third at 3.4, ABC fourth at 3.2, UPN fifth at 1.2 and the WB sixth at 1.1. Fox was also tops among 18-34s and 25-54s.
   The premiere of ABC’s “Blind Justice” Tuesday averaged a 4.5 rating, up 32 percent over the network’s season-to-date average in the 10 p.m. timeslot.
   In the same slot, NBC’s “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” posted its best 18-49 average in eight weeks, a 5.8.
   Wednesday’s and Tuesday’s “American Idol” were the top-rated shows among 18-49s for the week, both with an 11.7 average. “CSI” finished first among total viewers, outdrawing Tuesday’s “Idol” by nearly 2 million.

PRIMETIME AVERAGES BY NETWORK
Ranked on Households
Week Ending March 13

Network

Households

People 2+

Adults 18-49

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

CBS

8.1

8850

13

4.5

12530

11

3.7

4820

10

FOX

6.7

7380

11

4.0

11120

10

4.8

6220

13

NBC

6.4

7030

10

3.4

9570

9

3.4

4430

9

ABC

5.5

6070

9

3.1

8500

8

3.2

4170

9

UPN

2.0

2240

3

1.1

3010

3

1.2

1570

3

WB

1.8

1920

3

0.9

2580

2

1.1

1390

3

PAX

0.4

430

1

0.2

580

1

0.1

160

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 March 13

Network

Households

People 2+

Adults 18-49

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

CBS

8.3

9130

13

4.6

12850

12

4.0

5190

11

ABC

6.7

7380

11

3.8

10450

10

3.9

5040

10

NBC

6.7

7360

11

3.6

10120

9

3.7

4790

10

FOX

6.1

6710

10

3.6

10020

9

4.1

5280

11

WB

2.3

2510

4

1.2

3430

3

1.4

1830

4

UPN

2.3

2500

4

1.2

3370

3

1.4

1780

4

PAX

0.4

470

1

0.2

630

1

0.1

180

0

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

 

 

NETWORK TV
Ranked on Households
Week Ending March 13

#

PROGRAMS

Net

HOUSEHOLDS

PERSONS 2+

Rtg%

Shr

(000)

#

Rtg%

(000)

1

CSI

CBS

18.0

27

19775

1

10.6

29399

2

AMERICAN IDOL-TUESDAY

FOX

15.8

24

17313

2

10.0

27662

2

AMERICAN IDOL-WEDNESDAY

FOX

15.8

24

17293

3

9.7

26855

4

WITHOUT A TRACE

CBS

15.0

25

16486

5

8.4

23321

5

AMERICAN IDOL SP-3/7 8P(S)

FOX

14.0

21

15334

4

8.6

23909

5

CSI: MIAMI

CBS

14.0

22

15331

6

7.8

21676

7

SURVIVOR: PALAU

CBS

12.4

20

13609

6

7.8

21797

8

TWO AND A HALF MEN

CBS

11.4

17

12507

9

6.3

17449

9

EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND

CBS

10.7

16

11757

11

5.9

16285

10

COLD CASE

CBS

10.5

16

11521

10

6.0

16611

11

EXTREME MAKEOVER:HM ED-8P

ABC

10.3

16

11330

8

6.6

18415

12

HOUSE

FOX

10.1

15

11035

12

5.8

16136

12

LAW AND ORDER:CRIM INTENT

NBC

10.1

15

11032

13

5.7

15715

12

LAW AND ORDER:SVU

NBC

10.1

17

11110

14

5.3

14728

15

APPRENTICE 3

NBC

9.2

14

10088

15

5.1

14108

16

CROSSING JORDAN

NBC

8.8

15

9664

17

4.8

13341

17

JAKE IN PROGRESS SP1-3/13(S)

ABC

8.7

13

9494

16

5.0

13963

18

60 MINUTES

CBS

8.3

14

9049

20

4.5

12557

18

SIMPLE LIFE 3

FOX

8.3

13

9059

17

4.8

13329

20

LAW AND ORDER

NBC

8.2

14

9013

23

4.3

11824

21

BLIND JUSTICE

ABC

8.1

13

8879

21

4.4

12361

22

24

FOX

8.0

12

8802

19

4.7

13085

23

LOST

ABC

7.9

12

8656

21

4.4

12156

24

JAKE IN PROGRESS SP2-3/13(S)

ABC

7.7

12

8449

23

4.3

12005

25

CSI: NY

CBS

7.4

12

8117

26

4.1

11282

25

PRIMETIME LV SP EDTN-3/9(S)

ABC

7.4

12

8116

29

3.8

10530

Source: Nielsen Media Research

 

TOP 25 PROGRAMS – BROADCAST
Adults 18-49
Week Ending March 13

Rank

Program

Net

Rtg%

(000)

1

AMERICAN IDOL-TUESDAY

FOX

11.7

15131

1

AMERICAN IDOL-WEDNESDAY

FOX

11.7

15229

3

CSI

CBS

10.4

13556

4

AMERICAN IDOL SP-3/7 8P(S)

FOX

10.1

13056

5

SURVIVOR: PALAU

CBS

8.1

10566

6

EXTREME MAKEOVER:HM ED-8P

ABC

7.7

9939

7

WITHOUT A TRACE

CBS

7.6

9888

8

CSI: MIAMI

CBS

7.3

9522

9

APPRENTICE 3

NBC

6.7

8652

10

HOUSE

FOX

6.6

8579

11

SIMPLE LIFE 3

FOX

6.3

8235

12

JAKE IN PROGRESS SP1-3/13(S)

ABC

5.9

7604

13

LAW AND ORDER:SVU

NBC

5.8

7530

14

24

FOX

5.6

7260

15

TWO AND A HALF MEN

CBS

5.5

7190

16

LAW AND ORDER:CRIM INTENT

NBC

5.4

6994

17

JAKE IN PROGRESS SP2-3/13(S)

ABC

5.1

6670

18

THAT '70S SHW SP-3/9 830P(S)

FOX

5.0

6479

19

AMAZING RACE: 7

CBS

4.8

6282

19

EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND

CBS

4.8

6297

21

CONTENDER 3/10(S)

NBC

4.7

6145

22

BLIND JUSTICE

ABC

4.5

5846

22

CROSSING JORDAN

NBC

4.5

5869

24

BOSTON LEGAL

ABC

4.2

5440

24

THAT '70S SHOW

FOX

4.2

5503

Source: Nielsen Media Research

 

CABLE TV
Ranked on Households
Week Ending March 13

BASIC CABLE

#

PROGRAM NAME

NET

Households 

Persons 2+

(000)

Rtg %

(000)

1

LAW & ORDER

TNT

3610

3.3

5039

2

WWE ENTERTAINMENT(WWE RAW)

SPIKE

3380

3.1

4621

3

WWE ENTERTAINMENT (WWE RAW ZONE)

SPIKE

3311

3.0

4527

4

FAIRLY ODD PARENTS

NICK

3093

2.8

4027

5

SPONGEBOB

NICK

3069

2.8

3872

6

LAW & ORDER: SVU

USA

3025

2.8

4093

7

SPONGEBOB

NICK

2954

2.7

4078

8

GLADIATOR(S)-03/12

TNT

2940

2.7

4278

9

LAW & ORDER

TNT

2914

2.7

3877

9

PRIME MOVIE (LIES MY MOTHER TOLD ME)

LIF

2914

2.7

3690

11

GLADIATOR(S)-03/11

TNT

2886

2.6

3996

12

SPONGEBOB

NICK

2865

2.6

3537

13

FAIRLY ODD PARENTS

NICK

2853

2.6

3635

14

FAIRLY ODD PARENTS

NICK

2796

2.6

3467

15

ZOEY 101

NICK

2776

2.5

3739

PAY CABLE

#

PROGRAM NAME

NET

Households 

Persons 2+

(000)

Rtg %

(000)

1

DEADWOOD

HBO

2063

1.9

3408

2

CARNIVALE

HBO

1598

1.5

2500

3

SEX AND THE CITY(S)-03/13

HBO

1224

1.1

1653

4

ATLANTIC CITY HOOKERS(AU)

Starz

1169

1.1

1344

5

EUROTRIP

HBO

1538

1.4

2496

* 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 March 6

#

 PROGRAMS

Syndicator

Households

US Rtg%

(000)

1

WHEEL OF FORTUNE

KIN

9.9

10846

2

OPRAH WINFREY SHOW (AT)

KIN

8.7

9583

3

JEOPARDY

KIN

8.4

9161

4

EVRY LVS RAYMOND-SYN (AT)

KIN

7.2

7894

5

SEINFELD (AT)

SPT

6.5

7164

6

ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT(AT)

PRM

5.9

6463

6

DR. PHIL SHOW

KIN

5.9

6437

8

FRIENDS (AT)

WB

5.8

6336

9

SEINFELD-WKND (AT)

SPT

5.7

6259

10

CSI-SYN (AT)

KIN

5.4

5969

11

JUDGE JUDY (AT)

PRM

5.2

5704

12

WHEEL OF FORTUNE WKND

KIN

4.5

4889

13

LIVE WITH REGIS AND KELLY

BV

3.9

4240

13

CENTURY 19

2/T

3.9

4232

15

ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT WKD

PRM

3.8

4111

16

JUDGE JOE BROWN (AT)

PRM

3.7

4102

16

INSIDE EDITION

KIN

3.7

4097

16

EVBDY LVS RAYMOND-WKD-SYN

KIN

3.7

4049

16

WARNER BROS. VOL 35

WB

3.7

4023

20

MILLIONAIRE (AT)

BV

3.5

3882

20

MALCOLM IN-MIDDLE SYN(AT)

2/T

3.5

3863

22

KING OF THE HILL-SYN(AT)

2/T

3.2

3552

22

MAURY (AT)

NBU

3.2

3528

22

THAT 70S SHOW-MF-SYN (AT)

2/T

3.2

3464

25

WILL & GRACE-SYN (AT)

WB

3

3297

Source: Nielsen Media Research

 

SPANISH-LANGUAGE TELEVISION
Ranked on Households
Week Ending March 13

#

PROGRAMS

Net

NHTI

(000)

1

RUBI M-F

UNI

33.7

3676

2

AMOR REAL M-F

UNI

26.8

2919

3

CRISTINA-MON

UNI

26.4

2878

4

APUESTA POR UN AMOR M-F

UNI

21.7

2369

5

MAS ALLA DE RUBI 3/13(S)-03/13

UNI

19.6

2141

6

MUJER DE MADERA M-F

UNI

18.6

2027

7

AQUI Y AHORA-THU

UNI

18.3

1997

8

DON FRANCISCO PRESENTA-WE

UNI

18.1

1976

9

HOSPITAL EL PAISA FRI

UNI

17.4

1894

10

GH: RUBI 3/11(S)-03/11

UNI

17.0

1853

11

SUPER CLASICO 3/13(S)-03/13

UNI

16.6

1814

12

SABADO GIGANTE-SAT

UNI

15.8

1718

13

ESCUELITA FRI

UNI

15.2

1663

14

JUGANDO AL AMOR TUE

UNI

12.7

1385

15

ASI ES GILBERTO GLESS SAT

UNI

11.1

1216

16

TE VOY-ENSENAR A QUERER M-F

TEL

6.7

733

17

ANITA NO TE RAJES M-F

TEL

6.6

723

18

MUJER EN EL ESPEJO M-F

TEL

6.4

703

19

GITANAS M-F

TEL

6.1

665

20

SIN FRONTERAS

TEL

5.4

584

21

RUMBO AL MUNDIAL PRE-GAME(S)-03/09

TEL

5.1

554

22

NUEVAS VOCES DE AMERICA

TEL

5.0

543

23

CINEMUNDO PREMIER

TEL

4.9

534

24

CINEMUNDO DEL SABADO

TEL

4.3

473

25

CINE LAS ESTREL2 SUN

TF

4.1

443

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

 

NETWORK SPORTS PROGRAMS
Ranked on Households
Week Ending March 6

#

PROGRAMS

Net

Episode

Households

Persons 2+

US Rtg%

Shr

(000)

(000)

1

FORD DORAL
GOLF-SUN
(S)-03/06

NBC

5.5

13

6000

7774

2

NCAA BASKET
SUN-2 3/6

CBS

DUKE AT NORTH CAROLINA

3.6

8

3977

5239

3

FOX NASCAR
BUSCH SRS -
SP(S)-03/06

FOX

PRES BY AMERICA ONLINE

3.5

8

3846

5672

4

WWE
SMACKDOWN!

UPN

3.5

5

3802

5713

5

FORD DORAL
GOLF-SAT
(S)-03/05

NBC

3.2

8

3493

4499

6

NCAA BBALL
SUN-1

CBS

KAN AT MISSOURI/KY AT FLA

2.9

7

3186

4224

7

NCAA BBALL
SUN

CBS

ILLINOIS AT OHIO STATE

2.4

7

2643

3446

8

NCAA BASKET
SUN-2 3/6(B)

CBS

DUKE AT NORTH CAROLINA

2.3

6

2570

3417

9

NCAA BASKET
SUN-2 3/6(B)

CBS

DUKE AT NORTH CAROLINA

2.1

5

2339

3123

10

NCAA BBALL
SAT-2

CBS

SYR AT UCONN/WASH AT STANFORD

1.9

5

2111

2708

11

NBA ON ABC
SUN 2

ABC

DETROIT AT SACRAMENTO

1.6

4

1759

1992

12

NBA ON
ABC-SUN 1

ABC

DALLAS AT HOUSTON

1.5

4

1680

1830

13

NCAA
BBALL-SAT-1

CBS

PIT AT N DAME/BAMA AT MISS ST

1.4

4

1528

1828

14

FOUNTAIN
OF YOUTH STAKES(S
-03/05

ABC

1.1

3

1213

1318

15

NBC ARENA
FOOTBALL

NBC

NY AT PHIL/SAN JOSE AT ORLANDO

1.0

3

1122

1324

16

NBC SPORTS
SPEC. 3/5(S)

NBC

SI FOR KIDS-SNOW SEARCH

0.8

2

887

1087

Source: Nielsen Media Research

 


March 16, 2005 © 2005 Media Life


- Toni Fitzgerald is a staff writer for Media Life.


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