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The real importance
of 'Family Guy'

Perfect timing for Fox, heading into the upfront

By Abigail Azote

   The timing of “Family Guy's” successful return to Fox’s Sunday night lineup could not have been better for the network. The series obviously gives Fox an extra boost in a tight May sweeps.
   But it also helps address one of advertisers’ biggest doubts heading into this month’s upfront: whether Fox is capable of programming a successful show that doesn’t piggyback on “American Idol.”
   The Sunday return of “Guy,” which was canceled three years ago before becoming a cult hit in reruns on Cartoon Network, averaged 11.9 million total viewers and was No. 25 on broadcast for the week ended May 1.
   Among 18-49s, the 9 p.m. “Guy” averaged a 5.8 rating, building on its “Simpsons” lead-in by 4 percent. It placed No. 10 in that demo, despite facing ABC’s “Desperate Housewives.”
   “Guy’s” success on a night Fox dominated just two years ago is important. While “American Idol” remains strong, Fox has struggled on almost every other night. With “Guy’s” addition, Fox has a better chance of reviving one of those flagging nights.
   One big concern about the network had been that the aging “Simpsons” has not yet found an heir, with “Malcolm in the Middle” also aging and “Arrested Development” not catching on. 
   Based on its first week back, “Guy” could be the show.
   “Guy’s” return helped Fox to its highest-rated Sunday night among 18-49s in almost a year and a half, excluding sporting events. The show was up 132 percent among 18-49s compared with last season’s 2.5 average rating for the 9 p.m. time period and up 113 percent among total viewers compared with last year’s 5.6 million average.
   With CBS threatening to take No. 1 among 18-49s during May sweeps, “Family Guy” may also give Fox an extra edge during sweeps. This would have been beyond imagination three years ago.
   When Fox dumped “Family Guy” the first time, it was with good reason. The show’s first season in 1998 averaged 12.8 million total viewers and a 6.4 18-49 rating. By 2002, though, the show had fallen to a 2.2 18-49 rating and 4.8 million total viewers. Fox canceled it in the middle of the third season.

   In other broadcast ratings news for the week ended May 1:

   Fox averaged a 4.4/12 rating among 18-49s, followed by CBS and ABC at 3.6/10, NBC at 3.2/9, the WB at 1.5/4 and UPN at 1.5/4.
   CBS ranked No. 1 among 25-54s with a 4.7 rating and 11 share, followed by Fox with 4.5/11. Third was ABC with 4.2/10, NBC fourth with 3.8/9, the WB fifth with 1.5/5 and UPN last with 1.4/3.
   Among 18-34s, Fox was first with 4.0/13, ABC second with 3.0/9, NBC third with 2.6/8, CBS fourth with 2.5/8, the WB fifth with 1.6/5 and UPN sixth with 1.4/5.

Top five (18-49s): 1. ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” 11.5; 2. Fox’s “American Idol” (Tuesday) 10.8; 3. Fox’s “American Idol” (Wednesday) 10.5; 4. CBS’s “CSI”8.3; 5. ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” 8.2

Top five (total viewers): 1. ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” 25.7 million; 2. Fox’s “American Idol” (Tuesday) 25.5 million; 3. Fox’s “American Idol” (Wednesday) 24.4 million; 4. CBS’s “CSI” 23.7 million; 5. CBS’s “Survivor: Palau” 21.2 million

Bottom five (18-49s): 109. WB’s “What I Like About You” 1.0; 110. WB’s “Charmed” 0.8; 111. UPN’s “America’s Next Top Model” encore 0.8; 112. UPN’s “All of Us” 0.8; 113. WB’s “Jack and Bobby” 0.7

Bottom five (total viewers): 109. WB’s “Reba” 2.3 million; 110. WB’s “What I Like About You” 2.12 million; 111. WB’s “Jack & Bobby” 2.04 million; 112. UPN’s “America’s Next Top Model” encore 1.9 million; 113. WB’s “Charmed” 1.82 million

Show on the rise: “The Simpsons,” Fox, Sunday 8 p.m. The 350th episode averaged 6.7 million viewers 18-49, earning the episode a 5.2 rating. In April, the show averaged 4.4 million viewers 18-49 and a 3.4 rating.

Show on the decline: “Crossing Jordan,” NBC, Sunday 10 p.m. Coming to the end of its fourth season, this drama averaged a 3.4 rating among 18-49s last week, down 13 percent from the 3.9 it averaged for the same week last year.

PRIMETIME AVERAGES BY NETWORK
Ranked on Households
Week Ending May 1

Network

Households

People 2+

Adults 18-49

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

CBS

8.5

9300

14

4.7

13020

12

3.6

4720

10

FOX

6.1

6740

10

3.6

10060

9

4.3

5600

12

NBC

6.1

6720

10

3.3

9090

9

3.2

4120

9

ABC

6.0

6620

10

3.4

9340

9

3.6

4700

10

WB

2.4

2670

4

1.3

3670

3

1.5

2010

4

UPN

2.2

2460

4

1.2

3380

3

1.4

1790

4

PAX

0.4

480

1

0.2

610

1

0.1

170

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 May 1

Network

Households

People 2+

Adults 18-49

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

CBS

8.3

9110

13

4.6

12830

12

4.0

5170

11

NBC

6.6

7180

11

3.5

9830

9

3.6

4630

10

ABC

6.5

7140

11

3.6

10090

9

3.7

4870

10

FOX

6.1

6650

10

3.6

9910

9

4.0

5260

11

UPN

2.3

2480

4

1.2

3350

3

1.4

1760

4

WB

2.2

2440

3

1.2

3330

3

1.4

1780

4

PAX

0.4

460

1

0.2

620

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 May 1

#

PROGRAMS

Net

HOUSEHOLDS

PERSONS 2+

Rtg%

Shr

(000)

#

Rtg%

(000)

1

DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES

ABC

15.8

23

17278

1

9.2

25685

2

AMERICAN IDOL-TUESDAY

FOX

15.2

24

16662

1

9.2

25520

3

CSI

CBS

15.1

23

16547

4

8.5

23684

4

AMERICAN IDOL-WEDNESDAY

FOX

14.8

23

16249

3

8.8

24425

5

SURVIVOR: PALAU

CBS

12.6

19

13797

5

7.6

21214

6

GREY'S ANATOMY

ABC

11.3

18

12423

6

6.4

17882

7

EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND

CBS

10.4

15

11356

10

5.7

15792

7

HOUSE

FOX

10.4

16

11389

7

5.9

16455

9

COLD CASE

CBS

10.3

16

11287

7

5.9

16278

9

CSI: MIAMI

CBS

10.3

16

11305

11

5.6

15689

11

E.R.

NBC

10.0

16

10999

15

5.2

14523

12

CBS SUNDAY MOVIE

CBS

9.8

15

10779

12

5.4

14982

12

CSI: NY

CBS

9.8

16

10744

14

5.3

14836

14

EXTREME MAKEOVER:HM ED-8P

ABC

9.7

15

10585

7

5.9

16361

14

TWO AND A HALF MEN

CBS

9.7

14

10680

12

5.4

14931

16

MEDIUM

NBC

9.1

15

9955

15

5.2

14425

17

JAG

CBS

9.0

15

9881

17

5.0

13984

18

NCIS

CBS

8.9

14

9726

18

4.9

13667

19

LOST

ABC

8.5

14

9320

18

4.9

13746

20

AMAZING RACE: 7

CBS

8.3

12

9099

20

4.8

13266

21

APPRENTICE 3

NBC

8.2

12

9020

21

4.5

12423

22

60 MINUTES

CBS

8.0

14

8796

22

4.4

12225

23

JUDGING AMY

CBS

7.9

13

8684

26

4.2

11535

24

CSI WEDNESDAY SPECIAL(S)

CBS

7.8

12

8531

26

4.2

11776

25

LAW AND ORDER:CRIM INTENT

NBC

7.5

11

8247

26

4.2

11597

25

LAW AND ORDER:SVU

NBC

7.5

12

8230

34

3.7

10416

Source: Nielsen Media Research

 

TOP 25 PROGRAMS – BROADCAST
Adults 18-49
Week Ending May 1

Rank

Program

Net

Rtg%

(000)

1

DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES

ABC

11.5

14905

2

AMERICAN IDOL-TUESDAY

FOX

10.8

13970

3

AMERICAN IDOL-WEDNESDAY

FOX

10.5

13595

4

CSI

CBS

8.3

10789

5

GREY'S ANATOMY

ABC

8.2

10603

6

SURVIVOR: PALAU

CBS

7.8

10080

7

E.R.

NBC

6.6

8590

8

EXTREME MAKEOVER:HM ED-8P

ABC

6.5

8500

9

HOUSE

FOX

6.1

7939

10

FAMILY GUY

FOX

5.8

7514

11

SIMPSONS SP-5/1 8:30P(S)

FOX

5.6

7296

12

APPRENTICE 3

NBC

5.5

7185

13

MEDIUM

NBC

5.4

7016

14

CSI: NY

CBS

5.3

6819

15

AMAZING RACE: 7

CBS

5.2

6702

15

SIMPSONS

FOX

5.2

6691

17

STACKED SP-4/27 9:30P(S)

FOX

5.1

6601

18

CSI: MIAMI

CBS

5.0

6460

18

LOST

ABC

5.0

6504

20

EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND

CBS

4.9

6383

21

24

FOX

4.7

6152

21

AMERICAN DAD

FOX

4.7

6046

23

TWO AND A HALF MEN

CBS

4.6

5980

24

LAS VEGAS

NBC

4.4

5775

25

FEAR FACTOR

NBC

3.9

5124

Source: Nielsen Media Research

 

CABLE TV
Ranked on Households
Week Ending May 1

BASIC CABLE

#

PROGRAM NAME

NET

Households 

Persons 2+

(000)

Rtg %

(000)

1

WWE ENTERTAINMENT (WWE RAW ZONE)

SPIKE

3569

3.3

5056

2

WWE ENTERTAINMENT (WWE RAW)

SPIKE

3515

3.2

4727

3

SPONGEBOB

NICK

3103

2.8

4009

4

FAIRLY ODD PARENTS

NICK

3079

2.8

3892

5

SPONGEBOB

NICK

2975

2.7

3916

6

FAIRLY ODD PARENTS

NICK

2962

2.7

4044

7

SPONGEBOB

NICK

2952

2.7

3733

8

FAIRLY ODD PARENTS

NICK

2938

2.7

3808

9

SPONGEBOB

NICK

2848

2.6

3688

10

SPONGEBOB

NICK

2693

2.5

3449

11

FAIRLY ODD PARENTS

NICK

2677

2.4

3675

12

NBA PLAYOFFS (MAVERICKS/ROCKETS)

TNT

2577

2.4

3249

13

ZOEY 101

NICK

2541

2.3

3299

14

SPONGEBOB

NICK

2539

2.3

3445

15

SEX AND THE CITY

TBSC

2508

2.3

3189

PAY CABLE

#

PROGRAM NAME

NET

Households 

Persons 2+

(000)

Rtg %

(000)

1

WCB: 4/30/05 (RUIZ VS. TONEY)

HBO

1656

1.5

2188

2

DEADWOOD

HBO

1498

1.4

2164

3

WCB: 4/30/05 (POST-SHOW)

HBO

1316

1.2

1752

4

WCB: 4/30/05 (PRE1-SHOW)

HBO

1279

1.2

1754

5

WARM SPRINGS

HBO

1180

1.1

1734

* 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 April 24

#

 PROGRAMS

Syndicator

Households

US Rtg%

(000)

1

WHEEL OF FORTUNE

KIN

8.1

8912

2

OPRAH WINFREY SHOW (AT)

KIN

7.0

7638

3

JEOPARDY

KIN

6.9

7600

4

EVRY LVS RAYMOND-SYN (AT)

KIN

6.3

6947

5

SEINFELD-WKND (AT)

SPT

5.8

6339

6

SEINFELD (AT)

SPT

5.4

5954

7

DR. PHIL SHOW

KIN

5.2

5679

8

CSI-SYN (AT)

KIN

5.1

5637

9

JUDGE JUDY (AT)

PRM

4.7

5197

10

ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT(AT)

PRM

4.5

4959

11

WHEEL OF FORTUNE WKND

KIN

4.2

4553

12

EVBDY LVS RAYMOND-WKD-SYN

KIN

3.7

4069

13

LIVE WITH REGIS AND KELLY

BV

3.2

3515

13

JUDGE JOE BROWN (AT)

PRM

3.2

3488

15

INSIDE EDITION

KIN

3.1

3368

16

MILLIONAIRE (AT)

BV

3.0

3257

17

MALCOLM IN-MIDDLE SYN(AT)

2/T

2.9

3229

17

THAT 70S SHOW-MF-SYN (AT)

2/T

2.9

3191

17

KING OF THE HILL-SYN(AT)

2/T

2.9

3143

20

DIVORCE COURT (AT)

2/T

2.8

3050

21

ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT WKD

PRM

2.7

2989

21

KING OF QUEENS-SYN (AT)

SPT

2.7

2941

21

MAURY (AT)

NBU

2.7

2926

21

WILL & GRACE-SYN (AT)

WB

2.7

2925

25

PEOPLE'S COURT (AT)

WB

2.6

2894

Source: Nielsen Media Research

 

SPANISH-LANGUAGE TELEVISION
Ranked on Households
Week Ending May 1

#

PROGRAMS

Net

NHTI

(000)

1

MADRASTRA M-F

UNI

24.7

2698

2

APUESTA POR UN AMOR M-F

UNI

21.7

2368

3

INOCENTE DE TI M-F

UNI

20.1

2188

4

CRISTINA-MON

UNI

18.6

2033

5

DON FRANCISCO PRESENTA-WE

UNI

18.4

2009

6

CASOS VIDA R: ED. ESP TUE

UNI

16.5

1801

7

SABADO GIGANTE-SAT

UNI

15.9

1735

7

AQUI Y AHORA-THU

UNI

15.9

1730

9

HOSPITAL EL PAISA FRI

UNI

15.8

1729

10

PAR DE ASES FRI

UNI

14.2

1549

11

VER PARA CREER-SUN

UNI

12.4

1350

12

CINE ESPECIAL SUN 8PM

UNI

11.8

1287

13

PREMIOS BILLBOARD 4/28(S)-04/28/2005

TEL

11.6

1265

14

ASI ES GILBERTO GLESS SAT

UNI

10.0

1092

15

PARODIA-SUN

UNI

8.9

970

16

ALFOMBRA ROJA BILLBRD4/28(S)-04/28/2005

TEL

7.5

814

17

RUMBO AL MUNDIAL 4/27(S)-04/27/2005

TEL

7.2

782

18

OBJETIVO FAMA SUN

TF

5.9

646

19

MUJER EN EL ESPEJO M-F

TEL

5.8

632

20

AMARTE ASI M-F

TEL

5.1

556

21

RUMBO AL MUNDIAL PRE-GAME(S)-04/27/2005

TEL

4.8

523

22

PLATEADOS M-F

TEL

4.7

509

23

SIN FRONTERAS

TEL

4.5

495

24

CINEMUNDO PREMIER

TEL

4.4

484

25

GRANDES DE LA COMEDIA 5/1(S)-05/01/2005

TF

4.3

471

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

 

NETWORK SPORTS
Ranked on Households
Week Ending April 24

#

PROGRAMS

Net

Episode

Households

Persons 2+

US Rtg%

Shr

(000)

(000)

1

FOX NASCAR
NEXTEL CUP
(S)(S)-4/23

FOX

SUBWAY
FRSH 500

5.1

10

5563

8758

2

SHELL HOUSTON
OPEN 
SU(S)-4/24

CBS

3.3

7

3594

4534

3

WWE
SMACKDOWN!

UPN

3.3

5

3667

5334

4

NBA PLAYOFFS 
ON ABC
SUN 1

ABC

NJ AT
 MIAMI

3.1

7

3354

4260

5

NBA PLAYOFFS 
ON ABC-SAT
1(S)-4/23

ABC

PHILA AT
DETROIT

2.1

5

2298

2997

6

SHELL HOUSTON
OPEN -
SA(S)-4/23

CBS

2.1

5

2248

2792

7

NBC POKER
SERIES 4/23(S)

NBC

POKER
SUPERSTAR
ENCORE

1.6

4

1739

2131

8

CBS AUTO
RACING:FORM 1

CBS

GRAN PRIX OF
SAN MARINO

1.2

3

1280

1508

9

LIBERTY LEGEND
GOLF-SUN
(S)-4/24

ABC

1.1

3

1250

1509

10

LIBERTY LEGEND
GOLF
SAT(S)-4/23

ABC

1.0

3

1120

1477

11

CBS SPORTS
SPECT-SA

CBS

NAT'L CHEER &
DANCE CHAMP

1.0

3

1042

1424

12

NBC SPORTS
SPEC 4/24-B(S)

NBC

WORLD ADV
SPORTS

1.0

2

1118

1385

13

NBC SPORTS
SPECIAL
4/24-A(S)

NBC

SURFING

0.8

2

862

1094

14

NBC ARENA
FTBALL

NBC

PHIL AT NY/
TPA BAY AT
NASH

0.7

2

758

908

15

REAL PRO
WRESTLING

PAX

0.2

0

178

199

Source: Nielsen Media Research

 

 


May 4, 2005 © 2005 Media Life


 - Abigail Azote is a staff writer for Media Life.


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