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Don't toss the sod
on 'ER' quite yet

Talk is that 'Without a Trace' is close to toppling it 

By Abigail Azote

   After watching its new shows flop and its returning ones sink this season, NBC has many problems heading into next season. But “ER” is not one of them.
   When final remaining original cast member Noah Wyle left the show last week, people began speculating that CBS’s competing “Without a Trace” will finally pass “ER” among adults 18-49 next season at 10 p.m. Thursday. That’s not going to happen.
   Yes, “Trace” has grown considerably over the last three years, passing “ER” among total viewers. But it also seems to have hit a saturation point, where it’s not really retaining much more of its “CSI” lead-in week to week.
   And “ER” is quite far ahead among 18-49s, farther than most people think. Last week’s season finale averaged an 8.6 rating among 18-49s, easily bettering “Without a Trace,” which averaged a 6.8 rating, 21 percent less than “ER.” 
   And "Trace" got a boost from a 10.6 "CSI" lead-in compared with a 6.3 for "ER" from "Apprentice." If "Trace" can't beat "ER" when "CSI" is at its peak, it may never do it.
   "ER" averaged a 7.3 18-49 rating this year. That's down 20 percent from last year, but it's also about 20 percent ahead of "Trace." 
   For the two weeks leading up to the season finale, “ER” averaged an 8.0 and a 7.1 18-49 rating, versus “Trace’s” 5.9 and 5.2, respectively.
   It seems every season there’s talk of when “ER” will fail. It may fail some day, but there’s no reason to believe it will be next season. The show has weathered many cast departures over the years, and Wyle will actually return for several episodes next year.

In other broadcast ratings for the week ended May 22:

Ranking in adults 18-49:  CBS came in first with a 4.4 rating and 12 share, followed closely by Fox at 4.3/12. ABC was third with 3.8/11, NBC fourth with 3.0/9, UPN fifth with 1.6/4 and WB sixth with 1.5/4.

Top five shows (18-49s): 1. ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” 13.4; 2. Fox’s “American Idol” (Wednesday) 11.8; 3. CBS’s “Everybody Loves Raymond” 11.2; 4. CBS’s “CSI” 10.6; 5. Fox’s “American Idol” (Tuesday) 10.4

 Top five shows (total viewers): 1. CBS’s “Everybody Loves Raymond” 32.9 million; 2. CBS’s “CSI” 30.7 million; 3. ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” 30.6 million; 4. Fox’s “American Idol” (Wednesday) 27.9 million; 5. Fox’s “American Idol” (Tuesday) 24.98 million

Bottom five shows (18-49s): 94. WB’s “Reba” 0.9; 95. WB’s “What I Like About You” 0.9; 96. UPN’s “America’s Next Top Model” (Encore) 0.8; 97. WB’s “Charmed” 0.7; 98. UPN’s “America’s Next Top Model” (Encore) 0.6

Bottom five shows (total viewers): 94. WB’s “Reba” 2.5 million; 95. WB’s “What I Like About You” 1.9 million; 96. WB’s “Charmed” 1.7 million; 97. UPN’s “America’s Next Top Model” (Encore) 1.7 million; 98. UPN’s “America’s Next Top Model” (Encore) 1.3 million

Show on the rise: “America’s Next Top Model,” UPN, Wednesday 8 p.m. Last week’s season finale scored a 3.0 18-49 rating, the highest in that time period for the network since Oct. 2002. That rating earned the show the No. 3 spot for that time period, ahead of “Smallville,” “60 Minutes” and “Dateline.” The fourth season finished up 2 percent in total viewers and 4 percent in 18-49s compared with last season.

Show on the decline: “Will & Grace,” NBC, Thursday 8 p.m. The show’s seventh season finale averaged a 3.5 among adults 18-49, 65 percent less than last season’s 10.0 average. It drew 7.9 million total viewers, down 52 percent from last year’s 16.4 million finale average. The finale was also down 23 percent from the 10.3 million viewers it’s averaged so far this season. 

PRIMETIME AVERAGES BY NETWORK
Ranked on Households
Week Ending May 22

Network

Households

People 2+

Adults 18-49

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

CBS

9.1

9950

15

5.1

14080

14

4.4

5680

12

ABC

6.4

7020

11

3.6

9920

10

3.8

4990

11

FOX

6.3

6930

11

3.7

10220

10

4.3

5640

12

NBC

6.0

6600

10

3.2

8770

8

3.0

3960

9

WB

2.4

2660

4

1.3

3700

3

1.5

1980

4

UPN

2.4

2590

4

1.3

3500

3

1.6

2030

4

PAX

0.4

410

1

0.2

540

1

0.1

150

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 22

Network

Households

People 2+

Adults 18-49

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

CBS

8.4

9170

14

4.7

12940

12

4.0

5210

11

NBC

6.5

7160

11

3.5

9780

9

3.5

4590

9

ABC

6.5

7110

11

3.6

10050

9

3.7

4860

10

FOX

6.1

6650

10

3.6

9900

9

4.1

5270

11

UPN

2.3

2490

4

1.2

3360

3

1.4

1780

4

WB

2.2

2450

4

1.2

3350

3

1.4

1790

4

PAX

0.4

460

1

0.2

610

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 22

#

PROGRAMS

Net

HOUSEHOLDS

PERSONS 2+

Rtg%

Shr

(000)

#

Rtg%

(000)

1

EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND

CBS

20.2

29

22097

1

11.9

32940

2

DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES

ABC

18.7

28

20453

3

11.0

30621

3

CSI

CBS

18.5

30

20278

2

11.1

30726

4

AMERICAN IDOL-WEDNESDAY

FOX

16.4

25

17992

4

10.1

27933

5

RAYMOND: LAST LAUGH(S)

CBS

15.3

24

16815

6

8.8

24523

6

TWO AND A HALF MEN

CBS

15.0

22

16431

7

8.7

24237

7

AMERICAN IDOL-TUESDAY

FOX

14.9

24

16300

5

9.0

24976

8

CSI: MIAMI

CBS

14.6

23

15971

8

8.3

22983

9

GREY'S ANATOMY

ABC

13.8

23

15129

9

8.0

22218

9

WITHOUT A TRACE

CBS

13.8

22

15087

10

7.7

21425

11

E.R.

NBC

12.2

20

13422

11

6.7

18759

12

LAW AND ORDER:SVU

NBC

11.1

18

12199

15

5.8

16209

13

LOST

ABC

11.0

18

12025

11

6.7

18624

14

HOUSE

FOX

10.9

17

11919

13

6.4

17678

15

EXTREME MAKEOVER:HM ED-8P

ABC

10.5

18

11505

13

6.4

17801

16

COLD CASE

CBS

9.5

16

10391

16

5.3

14597

17

APPRENTICE 3

NBC

9.1

14

10011

17

5.0

14016

18

LAW AND ORDER

NBC

8.4

14

9237

18

4.5

12413

19

CSI: NY

CBS

8.2

14

9029

19

4.4

12301

20

ACM AWARDS(S)

CBS

7.7

12

8477

20

4.3

11950

21

CSI SUNDAY SPECIAL(S)

CBS

7.5

11

8251

23

4.1

11450

22

STACKED

FOX

7.3

11

7987

21

4.2

11570

23

CSI: MIAMI SUN SP(S)

CBS

7.2

12

7853

24

3.8

10632

24

24

FOX

6.9

10

7612

21

4.2

11669

24

DATELINE FRI

NBC

6.9

13

7592

28

3.4

9490

Source: Nielsen Media Research

 

TOP 25 PROGRAMS – BROADCAST
Adults 18-49
Week Ending May 22

Rank

Program

Net

Rtg%

(000)

1

DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES

ABC

13.4

17398

2

AMERICAN IDOL-WEDNESDAY

FOX

11.8

15361

3

EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND

CBS

11.2

14561

4

CSI

CBS

10.6

13814

5

AMERICAN IDOL-TUESDAY

FOX

10.4

13490

6

GREY'S ANATOMY

ABC

9.8

12669

7

E.R.

NBC

8.6

11120

8

CSI: MIAMI

CBS

8.1

10462

8

TWO AND A HALF MEN

CBS

8.1

10574

10

RAYMOND: LAST LAUGH(S)

CBS

7.5

9792

11

EXTREME MAKEOVER:HM ED-8P

ABC

7.1

9171

12

HOUSE

FOX

7.0

9116

13

WITHOUT A TRACE

CBS

6.8

8822

14

LOST

ABC

6.7

8672

15

APPRENTICE 3

NBC

6.3

8161

16

LAW AND ORDER:SVU

NBC

5.7

7467

17

24

FOX

5.3

6831

17

STACKED

FOX

5.3

6856

19

CSI: NY

CBS

4.5

5873

20

THAT '70S SHOW

FOX

4.3

5570

21

AMER IDOL: WORLD'S WORST(S)

FOX

4.0

5170

21

EXTRM MAKEOVER:HM ED-5/22(S)

ABC

4.0

5178

21

LAW AND ORDER

NBC

4.0

5153

24

BACHELOR, THE

ABC

3.9

5104

25

ACM AWARDS(S)

CBS

3.8

4905

Source: Nielsen Media Research

 

CABLE TV
Ranked on Households
Week Ending May 22

BASIC CABLE

#

PROGRAM NAME

NET

Households 

Persons 2+

(000)

Rtg %

(000)

1

WWE ENTERTAINMENT (WWE RAW ZONE)

SPIKE

4049

3.7

5682

2

NEXTEL CUP RACE (NEXTEL ALL STAR- CHARLTTE)

FX

3691

3.4

5484

3

WWE ENTERTAINMENT (WWE RAW)

SPIKE

3618

3.3

5030

4

NBA PLAYOFFS (MAVERICKS/SUNS)

TNT

3305

3.0

4146

5

SPONGEBOB

NICK

3195

2.9

4310

6

NBA PLAYOFFS-CONF SEMIS L (SUNS/MAVERICKS)

ESPN

3052

2.8

3975

7

FAIRLY ODD PARENTS

NICK

3036

2.8

3983

8

NBA PLAYOFFS (SUPERSONICS/SPURS)

TNT

2994

2.7

3956

9

FAIRLY ODD PARENTS

NICK

2905

2.7

3830

10

SPONGEBOB

NICK

2830

2.6

3724

11

FAIRLY ODD PARENTS

NICK

2827

2.6

3518

12

FAIRLY ODD PARENTS

NICK

2779

2.5

3505

13

LAW & ORDER: SVU

USA

2745

2.5

3440

14

SPONGEBOB

NICK

2504

2.3

3186

15

RWRR CHALLENGE INFERNO II

MTV

2457

2.2

3136

PAY CABLE

#

PROGRAM NAME

NET

Households 

Persons 2+

(000)

Rtg %

(000)

1

DEADWOOD

HBO

1657

1.5

2416

2

WCB: 5/21/05 (Pre-show 2)

HBO

1410

1.3

1837

3

WCB: 5/21/05 (Trinidad vs. Wright)

HBO

1171

1.1

1422

4

SHREK 2

HBO

1157

1.1

1790

5

WCB: 5/21/05 (Post)

HBO

1103

1.0

1481

* 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 May 15

#

 PROGRAMS

Syndicator

Households

US Rtg%

(000)

1

WHEEL OF FORTUNE

KIN

8.1

8830

2

OPRAH WINFREY SHOW (AT)

KIN

8

8752

3

JEOPARDY

KIN

7.1

7769

4

EVRY LVS RAYMOND-SYN (AT)

KIN

6.6

7186

5

SEINFELD-WKND (AT)

SPT

6.2

6786

6

DR. PHIL SHOW

KIN

5.7

6225

7

SEINFELD (AT)

SPT

5.6

6124

8

CSI-SYN (AT)

KIN

5.4

5942

9

FRIENDS (AT)

WB

5.3

5783

10

ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT(AT)

PRM

5.1

5555

11

JUDGE JUDY (AT)

PRM

4.7

5155

12

WHEEL OF FORTUNE WKND

KIN

3.7

4084

13

LIVE WITH REGIS AND KELLY

BV

3.4

3754

14

INSIDE EDITION

KIN

3.3

3657

14

MILLIONAIRE (AT)

BV

3.3

3653

14

EVBDY LVS RAYMOND-WKD-SYN

KIN

3.3

3650

14

JUDGE JOE BROWN (AT)

PRM

3.3

3606

18

ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT WKD

PRM

3.1

3395

19

MAURY (AT)

NBU

3

3234

20

THAT 70S SHOW-MF-SYN (AT)

2/T

2.9

3140

20

COPS-SYN (AT)

2/T

2.9

3139

20

MALCOLM IN-MIDDLE SYN(AT)

2/T

2.9

3124

23

KING OF THE HILL-SYN(AT)

2/T

2.8

3080

24

DIVORCE COURT (AT)

2/T

2.7

2949

24

WILL & GRACE-SYN (AT)

WB

2.7

2928

Source: Nielsen Media Research

 

SPANISH-LANGUAGE TELEVISION
Ranked on Households
Week Ending May 22

#

PROGRAMS

Net

NHTI

(000)

1

MADRASTRA M-F

UNI

25.2

2744

2

APUESTA POR UN AMOR M-F

UNI

22.4

2442

3

DON FRANCISCO PRESENTA-WE

UNI

20.8

2271

4

INOCENTE DE TI M-F

UNI

19.7

2154

5

AQUI Y AHORA-THU

UNI

17.7

1936

6

CASOS VIDA R: ED. ESP TUE

UNI

17.4

1901

7

CRISTINA-MON

UNI

16.3

1782

8

HOSPITAL EL PAISA FRI

UNI

15.0

1635

9

SABADO GIGANTE-SAT

UNI

14.4

1571

10

PAR DE ASES FRI

UNI

12.4

1351

11

PREMIOS OYE '05 5/22(S)-05/22/2005

UNI

12.3

1341

12

PREMIOS OYE 05 A AZUL5/22(S)-05/22/2005

UNI

10.1

1106

13

FUTBOL LIGA MEX THUR

TF

8.4

913

14

ASI ES GILBERTO GLESS SAT

UNI

7.1

774

15

CINE LAS ESTREL2 SUN

TF

6.8

740

16

CINE LAS ESTREL1 SUN

TF

6.0

653

16

MUJER EN EL ESPEJO M-F

TEL

6.0

651

18

PLATEADOS M-F

TEL

5.0

549

18

AMARTE ASI M-F

TEL

5.0

538

20

CINEMUNDO PREMIER

TEL

4.8

524

21

DECISIONES M-F

TEL

4.4

482

22

FUTBOL - SAT

AZA

4.2

462

22

ESCANDALO T.V. NOCHE THR

TF

4.2

456

24

FUTBOL - WED1

AZA

4.0

435

24

CINEMUNDO DEL SABADO

TEL

4.0

432

* 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 May 15

#

PROGRAMS

Net

Episode

Households

Persons 2+

US Rtg%

Shr

(000)

(000)

1

NBA PLAYOFFS 
ON ABC-SUN 1

ABC

DETROIT
 AT INDIANA

3.4

8

3732

4694

2

WWE SMACKDOWN!

UPN

3.1

5

3396

5000

3

NBA PLAYOFFS ON
ABC-SAT 3(S)-5/14

ABC

MIAMI 
AT WASH

3.0

6

3268

4451

4

BYRON NELSON
GOLF-SU(S)-5/15

CBS

2.5

6

2731

3487

5

BYRON NELSON
GOLF-SA(S)-05/14

CBS

2.0

6

2186

2635

6

NBC POKER SERIES

NBC

HEADS-UP POKER CHAMP

1.5

4

1633

1930

7

NBC SPORTS
SPEC. 5/15(S)

NBC

MCDOUGLAS
FRIENDS GOLF

1.1

3

1212

1521

8

NBC ARENA
 FOOTBALL

NBC

NY AT
 TAMPA BAY

1.0

3

1130

1304

9

INDY 500 TIME
TRIALS
RAIN(S)-5/14

ABC

0.7

2

747

824

10

NBC SPORTS
SPEC. 5/14(S)

NBC

NAT'L LACROSSE LEAGUE CHAMP

0.5

2

597

689

11

REAL PRO
WRESTLING

PAX

0.1

0

144

421

Source: Nielsen Media Research


May 25, 2005 © 2005 Media Life


 -- Abigail Azote is a staff writer for Media Life.


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