Even Judy's warbles
can't halt ABC's slide

Hands household lead to CBS as 18-49s flee

By  Kevin Downey

   The news was pretty much all bad for ABC last week as the aging network fell to a fourth-place finish among adults 18-49.
   And worse, CBS overtook it as the No. 1 network for the season so far in household ratings.
    Symptomatic of ABC’s problems was its willingness to give "Millionaire" a rest for one week in favor of part 1 of the Judy Garland bio-pic, "Me and My Shadows," last Sunday.
    While the game show was virtually the network’s only ratings strategy as recently as last winter, it has been plagued more recently by declines in viewership and an aging audience.
    Although "Millionaire" remains a top-20 show, "Me and My Shadows" improved on its household rating by 9.5 percent and ranked No. 4 for the week. More impressively, the movie bettered "Millionaire’s" adult 18-49 rating by 26 percent.
    Judy Garland surely barely registers with the younger end of the 18-49 audience, but the move turned out to be the only thing that salvaged ABC’s ratings at all last week. Perhaps it was the references to drugs, alcohol, betrayal, and a riches-to-rags tumble, which are the trademarks of shows like VH-1’s "Behind the Music," that drummed up interest.
   Whether that’s the case or not, even a solid performance from "Me and My Shadows" was unable to help ABC much.
    The network was a distant No. 2 with a household rating of 8.3 with a 13 share to CBS’s 10.3/16. NBC, which has its own problems with falling ratings for the XFL, for example, had a 7.8/12 and Fox had a 6.6/10.
    The WB, meanwhile, had a 2.6/4 and UPN had a 2.3/4.
   ABC was in last place among the big-four networks in adults 18-49 with a 4.4 rating. In a rare win in the demo, CBS had a 5.4, Fox had a 5.2 and NBC had a 4.9.
   On Thursday, NBC’s "Friends" lost to "Survivor II" by 15 percent in the demo.
    The WB had a 1.6 and UPN had a 1.4.
    ABC’s ratings problems were worsened by CBS, which had "The Grammy Awards," which was the No. 2 show for the week behind "ER," on top of its "Survivor: The Australian Outback."
    CBS is now in the lead for the season with an 8.7/14, although it’s still in last place among adults 18-49 with a 4.0.
    ABC has an 8.6/14 for the season, which wraps up in May, and a 4.7. NBC has an 8.3/13 and a 5.0 while Fox has a 6.4/10 and a 4.6.
    The WB and UPN are tied for the season at 2.6/4 and a 1.7.
   The "Grammys" on CBS also helped boost the network’s ratings during the February sweeps, which conclude tonight and which are used to determine advertising rates for local affiliates.
     The awards show gave CBS a last minute bump last year to tie with NBC for second place but this year helped solidify its No. 1 standing.
    CBS has a 9.4/15 in households for the first twenty-five days of the month-long sweeps. The network’s rating is three percent better than at this time last year, which makes it the only major network to post a gain.
    The network was also helped by "Everybody Loves Raymond," which ranked No. 11 for the week and has been a reliable enough performer for CBS to renew it through 2003.
   NBC is in second with an 8.5/14, ABC is in third with an 8.3/13, and Fox has a 6.5/10.
   CBS’s strong sweeps schedule pushed ABC into last place among adults 18-49, the demo favored by many advertisers.
     CBS’s rating so far is a 4.5. NBC is still in the lead with a 5.4, Fox has a 5.0, and ABC has a 4.4.

 

PRIMETIME AVERAGES BY NETWORK
RANKED ON HOUSEHOLDS
Week Ending Feb.
25


 

HOUSEHOLDS

PERSONS 2+

ADULTS 18-49

 

Rtg
%

(000)

SHR

Rtg
%

(000)

SHR

Rtg
%

(000)

SHR

CBS

10.3

10480

16

5.9

15370

15

5.4

6710

14

ABC

8.3

8500

13

4.8

12480

12

4.4

5490

11

NBC

7.8

7950

12

4.3

11310

11

4.9

6090

13

FOX

6.6

6710

10

4.1

10780

10

5.2

6510

13

WB

2.6

2610

4

1.4

3760

3

1.6

1980

4

UPN

2.3

2350

4

1.3

3470

3

1.4

1740

3

PAX

1.0

970

2

0.5

1430

1

0.4

520

1

Source: Nielsen Media Research


 

SEASON-TO-DATE 
 PRIMETIME AVERAGES BY NETWORK
RANKED ON HOUSEHOLDS
Oct. 2, 2000 through Feb.
25, 2001


 

HOUSEHOLDS

PERSONS 2+

ADULTS 18-49

 

Rtg
%

(000)

SHR

Rtg
%

(000)

SHR

Rtg
%

(000)

SHR

CBS

8.7

8840

14

4.8

12680

12

4.0

5020

11

ABC

8.6

8840

14

5.0

13030

13

4.7

5800

12

NBC

8.3

8450

13

4.6

12150

12

5.0

6230

13

FOX

6.4

6530

10

3.8

10020

9

4.6

5730

12

WB

2.6

2700

4

1.5

3940

4

1.7

2110

4

UPN

2.6

2620

4

1.5

3920

4

1.7

2060

4

PAX

0.9

950

1

0.5

1340

1

0.4

460

1

Source: Nielsen Media Research


 

2001 FEBRUARY SWEEPS
Ratings-to-date through February 25, 2001
First 25 Days -
2001 versus 2000


 

ABC

CBS

NBC

FOX

ADULTS
 18-49

Rtg
%

Shr

Rtg
%

Shr

Rtg
%

Shr

Rtg
%

Shr

2/3-2/27
2000

5.8

15.6

4.0

10.6

5.7

15.2

4.8

12.7

2/1-2/25
2001

4.4

11.3

4.5

11.6

5.4

14.0

5.0

12.8

% Change

-24

-28

+13

+9

-5

-8

+4

+1

 

ABC

CBS

NBC

FOX

VIEWERS

Rtg %

(000)

Rtg %

(000)

Rtg %

(000)

Rtg %

(000)

2/3-2/27
2000

6.0

15,510

5.1

13,360

5.2

13,560

3.9

10,150

2/1-2/25
2001

4.8

12,580

5.3

13,930

4.8

12,550

4.0

10,430

% Change

-20

-19

+4

+4

-8

-7

+3

+3

 

ABC

CBS

NBC

FOX

HOUSE-
HOLDS

Rtg %

Share

Rtg %

Share

Rtg %

Share

Rtg %

Share

2/3-2/27
2000

10.1

16.4

9.1

14.8

9.3

15.1

6.6

10.5

2/1-2/25
2001

8.3

13.4

9.4

15.1

8.5

13.8

6.5

10.3

% Change

-18

-18

+3

+2

-9

-9

-2

-2

Source: Nielsen Media Research


 

NETWORK TV
RANKED ON HOUSEHOLDS
Week Ending Feb. 25


 

 

 

HOUSEHOLDS

PERSONS 2+

#

PROGRAMS

Net

Rtg%

Shr

(000)

#

Rtg%

(000)

1

E.R.

NBC

17.9

28

18277

2

10.4

27135

2

GRAMMY AWARDS(S)

CBS

16.7

26

17098

3

10.2

26651

2

SURVIVOR II

CBS

16.7

25

17031

1

11.0

28780

4

ABC PREMIERE EVENT-2/25(S) "Me and My Shadows"

ABC

13.8

21

14105

6

7.8

20310

5

FRIENDS

NBC

13.7

21

13971

4

8.1

21223

6

CSI

CBS

13.1

19

13383

5

8.0

20876

7

60 MINUTES

CBS

12.8

21

13087

10

6.9

18009

8

LAW AND ORDER

NBC

12.6

20

12924

8

7.0

18245

9

WILL & GRACE

NBC

12.1

18

12360

7

7.1

18509

10

MILLIONAIRE- WED

ABC

12.0

18

12255

12

6.7

17571

11

EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND

CBS

11.8

17

12024

8

7.0

18380

12

MILLIONAIRE- THU

ABC

11.3

17

11516

16

6.3

16415

13

FRASIER

NBC

11.2

17

11436

16

6.3

16612

14

JAG

CBS

11.0

17

11205

19

6.0

15634

14

JUST SHOOT ME

NBC

11.0

16

11255

14

6.4

16671

14

WEST WING

NBC

11.0

16

11275

16

6.3

16430

17

LAW AND ORDER:SVU

NBC

10.9

19

11117

19

6.0

15588

18

JUDGING AMY

CBS

10.4

17

10630

25

5.3

13948

18

TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL

CBS

10.4

16

10631

23

5.6

14617

20

BECKER

CBS

10.3

15

10531

19

6.0

15655

20

MILLIONAIRE- FRI

ABC

10.3

18

10539

22

5.7

15016

22

SIMPSONS

FOX

9.7

15

9953

10

6.9

18121

22

X-FILES

FOX

9.7

14

9886

14

6.4

16865

24

DISTRICT, THE

CBS

9.6

17

9810

25

5.3

13769

25

MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE

FOX

9.3

14

9537

12

6.7

17553

25

PROVIDENCE

NBC

9.3

16

9487

33

4.8

12663

Source: Nielsen Media Research


 

CABLE TV
RANKED ON HOUSEHOLDS
Week Ending Feb. 18, 2001


BASIC CABLE

 #

PROGRAM NAME

Household
(000)

Household
US Rating%

Persons 2+ (000)

1

WWF ENTERTAINMENT

4071

4.0

6756

2

HARD TO KILL(BS)- 02/18/2001-02/18/2001

3961

3.9

6285

3

WWF ENTERTAINMENT

3504

3.4

5878

4

DOG SHOW(S)- 02/13/2001

3120

3.1

4565

5

FEW GOOD MEN, A(S)-02/17/2001

3037

3.0

4443

6

DOG SHOW(S)- 02/12/2001

2648

2.6

4073

7

RUGRATS

2530

2.5

3821

8

RUGRATS

2471

2.4

3306

9

RUGRATS

2447

2.4

3586

10

RUGRATS

2422

2.4

2988

11

RUGRATS

2413

2.4

3466

12

SATURDAY MOVIE I (DEADLY RELATIONS)

2400

2.3

3095

13

JAG

2376

2.3

3083

14

SATURDAY MOVIE II (LIAR,LIAR:BTWEN FATHR&DAU)

2340

2.3

2992

15

HEY ARNOLD

2295

2.2

3223

PAY CABLE

#

PROGRAM NAME

Household (000)

Household US Rating%

Persons 2+ (000)

1

SOPRANOS, THE

2652

2.6

3879

2

WHOLE NINE YARDS, THE

2603

2.5

4204

3

OZ(S)-02/18/2001

2435

2.4

3722

4

ORGASM SPECIAL: A REAL SE(S)-02/12/2001

2005

2.0

2730

5

SOPRANOS, THE

1953

1.9

2821

*Coverage area ratings are within each cable network's universe.
*Total U.S. ratings and household projections are based on 100.8 million TV homes.
*For inclusion in the rankings, telecasts must be promoted as distinct programs and must be of 5 minutes minimum duration.
Source: Nielsen Media Research

 

SYNDICATION
RANKED ON HOUSEHOLDS
Week Ending Feb. 11


 

 

Household

Household

#

PROGRAM NAME

US Rating %

           (000)

1

WHEEL OF FORTUNE

10.9

11160

2

JEOPARDY

9.6

9841

3

ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT

7.2

7349

4

JUDGE JUDY (AT)

6.6

6744

5

OPRAH WINFREY SHOW (AT)

6.5

6632

6

FRIENDS-SYN (AT)

6.2

6386

6

WHEEL OF FORTUNE WKND

6.2

6348

8

SEINFELD

5.5

5655

9

ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT WKD

5.1

5183

10

FRASIER-SYN (AT)

4.9

5001

Source: Nielsen Media Research


 


-Kevin Downey is a staff writer for Media Life


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