Bum primetime
summer for ABC

With 'Mole' gone, it has fewest shows in top 30

By Kevin Downey

    The outlook for ABC is at long last getting brighter with programming alliances with HBO and USA and the hiring of new executives presumably determined to reverse the Disney-owned network’s dismal ratings.
   But, if last week is any indication, things are likely to get worse before they get better.
   ABC remained entrenched in a distant last place among the Big Four networks in the adult 18-49 demographic and only had three shows in the week’s top 30 programs. CBS and Fox had eight each, while NBC had 11 shows among the highest-rated.
   To make matters worse, ABC lost its highest-rated show last night, when “The Mole 2” wrapped its summer run.
   The show ranked No. 16 with a 3.5 rating in the demographic last week, and despite having been yanked off the air midway through its regular-season run, it has proved to be one of very few hits for ABC this summer.
   While the network has new shows lined up for the remainder of the summer, like reruns of USA Network’s “Monk” and the four-part “Widows” with Mercedes Ruehl and Brooke Shields, which debuted last night, there’s virtually no hope for the network to recover from its ratings loss.
   ABC’s adult 18-49 rating last week was down 15.4 percent from the same week last year, and the Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau reports the network’s household rating was down 29 percent in July. That’s nearly three times the average decline for all the broadcast networks.
   ABC ended last week with a 2.2 rating in the 18-49 demographic. NBC was No. 1 with a 2.9, Fox had a 2.5 and CBS had a 2.4. UPN had a 1.2 and the WB had a 1 rating.
   ABC is not the only network that is hurting.
   Fox is flat, CBS and the WB are up slightly, and UPN is down.
   NBC’s adult 18-49 rating is down 12 percent in the same time period, despite its growing list of highly rated reality shows and strong Thursday repeats.
   NBC is probably taking the loss considerably better than ABC, though, since it dominated the 18-49 demographic during the regular season, which ended in May, and has ranked No. 1 for all but two weeks this summer. Moreover, media buyers almost unanimously peg NBC the winner of this coming season.
   That’s the result of a well-received lineup, but it also has something to do with having a larger audience it can use to promote that lineup.
   While Fox may be getting the bulk of media attention this summer with “American Idol: The Search for a Superstar,” NBC lays claim to the majority of each week’s top shows.
   Last week it had five of the top 10, including “Dog Eat Dog,” which ranked No. 2 in the 18-49 demographic behind “Idol,” and the surprisingly strong premiere for the critically-panned “Rerun Show.”
    “Rerun” ranked No. 5 for the week with a 4.7 rating. It improved on “Will & Grace’s” lead-in by two-tenths of a rating point and held up well in head-to-head competition with the second half of CBS’s “CSI,” which averaged a 5.4 in the demo.
   Exactly what’s causing NBC’s ratings dip is anyone’s guess, but it probably has something to do with viewers drifting to cable TV.
  It might also have something to do with the loss of “Weakest Link,” which was in its prime this time last year. Or it may be that “Spy TV” is now competing directly with Fox’s strong Tuesday lineup.
   It’s not helping NBC any that some of its shows are dying, key among them being “She Spies.”
   The new drama continues to sputter after a lackluster premiere last month. It tied with Fox’s “X-Files” as the second lowest rated program last week on the major networks, at No. 102 with a 1.1 rating.
   Meanwhile, CBS ranked No. 1 among households with a 5.5 rating and a 10 share to NBC’s 5.4/10. ABC had a 4.2/8, Fox had a 3.6/7, UPN had a 1.8/3 and the WB had a 1.6/3.

 

 

PRIMETIME AVERAGES BY NETWORK
Ranked on Households
Week Ending Aug. 4


Network

Households

People 2+

Adults 18-49

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

CBS

5.5

5780

10

2.9

7910

9

2.4

3030

8

NBC

5.4

5650

10

2.9

7920

9

2.9

3730

9

ABC

4.2

4420

8

2.3

6260

7

2.2

2750

7

FOX

3.6

3820

7

2.1

5770

7

2.5

3230

8

UPN

1.8

1900

3

1.1

2910

3

1.2

1540

4

WB

1.6

1730

3

0.9

2360

3

1.0

1230

3

PAX

0.8

850

1

0.4

1100

1

0.3

340

1

Source: Nielsen Media Research


 

SEASON-TO-DATE*
PRIMETIME AVERAGES BY NETWORK
Ranked on Households
Sept. 24, 2001 through Aug. 4, 2002


Network

Households

People 2+

Adults 18-49

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

NBC

8.1

8520

14

4.5

12260

12

4.8

6060

13

CBS

7.6

7970

13

4.2

11330

11

3.5

4470

10

ABC

5.8

6100

10

3.3

8820

9

3.2

4120

9

FOX

5.2

5530

9

3.1

8430

8

3.7

4690

10

UPN

2.5

2610

4

1.5

3950

4

1.7

2150

5

WB

2.3

2400

4

1.3

3460

3

1.5

1870

4

PAX

0.9

920

1

0.5

1240

1

0.3

400

1

* Regular broadcast season ended May 22, 2002
Source: Nielsen Media Research


 

NETWORK TV
Ranked on Households
Week Ending Aug. 4


#

PROGRAMS

Net

HOUSEHOLDS

PERSONS 2+

Rtg%

Shr

(000)

RANK

Rtg%

(000)

1

CSI

CBS

10.5

18

11083

1

5.8

15626

2

48 HOURS-MONDAY

CBS

8.6

15

9117

2

4.6

12294

3

EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND

CBS

8.5

14

9003

2

4.6

12322

3

LAW AND ORDER

NBC

8.5

15

8982

4

4.5

12149

5

BECKER

CBS

7.8

13

8258

7

4.2

11235

6

DATELINE NBC-TUE

NBC

7.6

13

8054

8

4.0

10845

7

60 MINUTES

CBS

7.5

15

7910

8

4.0

10913

8

AMERICAN IDOL-TUESDAY

FOX

7.1

12

7524

4

4.5

12202

9

FRIENDS

NBC

6.8

13

7181

11

3.7

10067

9

PRIMETIME THURSDAY

ABC

6.8

12

7211

14

3.5

9547

11

DOG EAT DOG

NBC

6.7

11

7071

6

4.3

11734

11

LAW AND ORDER:CRIM INTENT

NBC

6.7

11

7026

13

3.6

9687

13

KING OF QUEENS

CBS

6.4

12

6705

14

3.5

9480

13

LAW AND ORDER:SVU

NBC

6.4

12

6735

20

3.3

8962

15

BIG BROTHER 3-WED

CBS

6.3

11

6679

11

3.7

9988

16

AMERICAN IDOL-WEDNESDAY

FOX

6.2

10

6515

10

3.8

10204

16

WILL & GRACE

NBC

6.2

11

6488

18

3.4

9298

16

YES, DEAR

CBS

6.2

11

6514

18

3.4

9250

19

60 MINUTES II

CBS

6.1

11

6432

24

3.1

8330

19

FEAR FACTOR

NBC

6.1

11

6387

14

3.5

9472

21

20/20-FRI

ABC

6.0

12

6375

21

3.2

8683

21

RERUN SHOW 8/1(S)

NBC

6.0

10

6343

14

3.5

9407

23

SCRUBS TH 8:30

NBC

5.8

11

6084

21

3.2

8613

23

WEST WING

NBC

5.8

10

6133

25

3.0

8126

25

AGENCY, THE

CBS

5.6

10

5910

25

3.0

8035

Source: Nielsen Media Research


 

CABLE TV
Ranked on Households
Week Ending July 28


BASIC CABLE

#

PROGRAM NAME

NET

Households

Persons 2+

(000)

Rtg%

(000)

1

PENNSYLVANIA 500

TNT

4275

4.1

6376

2

AUTOTRADER.COM POST RACE

TNT

3899

3.7

5995

3

WWE ENTERTAINMENT (WWE RAW ZONE)

TNN

3800

3.6

6114

4

PENN 500 TRACK REPAIR

TNT

3762

3.6

5384

5

WWE ENTERTAINMENT (WWE RAW)

TNN

3501

3.3

5566

6

PENN 500 RAIN DLY

TNT

3430

3.3

4837

7

MONK

USA

3152

3.0

4869

8

SPONGEBOB

NICK

3051

2.9

4692

9

SPONGEBOB

NICK

2998

2.8

4579

10

SPONGEBOB

NICK

2930

2.8

4347

11

SPONGEBOB

NICK

2913

2.8

4309

12

SUNDAY MOVIE (EVERY WOMANS DREAM)

LIF

2860

2.7

3839

13

SPONGEBOB

NICK

2853

2.7

4481

14

SPONGEBOB

NICK

2793

2.6

4109

15

SPONGEBOB

NICK

2707

2.6

3837

PAY CABLE

#

PROGRAM NAME

NET

Households

Households

Persons 2+

(000)

Rtg%

(000)

1

SEX AND THE CITY(S)-7/28

HBO

4677

4.4

6630

2

ARLISS(S)-7/28

HBO

2799

2.7

3842

3

WIRE, THE

HBO

2381

2.3

3305

4

HBO BAD 7/27/02

HBO

2002

1.9

2616

5

SIX FEET UNDER

HBO

1900

1.8

2902

Total U.S. ratings and household projections are based on 105.5 million TV homes.
Source: Nielsen Media Research


 

SYNDICATION
Ranked on Households
Week Ending July 21


#

PROGRAMS

Syndicator

Household

US Rtg%

(000)

1

WHEEL OF FORTUNE

KIN

8.1

8533

2

JEOPARDY

KIN

6.9

7283

3

FRIENDS-SYN (AT)

WB

6.1

6384

4

SEINFELD (AT)

CTS

5.7

5976

5

OPRAH WINFREY SHOW (AT)

KIN

5.5

5775

6

EVRY LVS RAYMOND-SYN (AT)

KIN

5.3

5555

7

SEINFELD-WKND (AT)

CTS

5.1

5403

8

ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT(AT)

PRM

5.0

5302

8

JUDGE JUDY (AT)

PRM

5.0

5249

10

WHEEL OF FORTUNE WKND

KIN

4.6

4829

Source: Nielsen Media Research


 

SPANISH-LANGUAGE TELEVISION
Ranked on Households
Week Ending Aug. 4


#

PROGRAMS

Net

NHTI*

Projection

Rtg%

(000)

1

PRIVILEGIO DE AMAR-THU

UNI

25.7

2623

1

PRIVILEGIO DE AMAR-MON

UNI

25.7

2618

3

SALOME TUE

UNI

25.5

2604

4

PRIVILEGIO DE AMAR-TUE

UNI

25.1

2564

5

SALOME THU

UNI

24.9

2537

6

SALOME FRI

UNI

24.6

2507

7

SALOME WED

UNI

24.4

2490

7

SALOME MON

UNI

24.4

2484

9

PRIVILEGIO DE AMAR-WED

UNI

24.3

2477

10

PRIVILEGIO DE AMAR-FRI

UNI

23.7

2414

11

CRISTINA-MON

UNI

20.3

2070

12

JUEGO DE LA VIDA-TUE

UNI

18.9

1925

13

PICA Y SE EXTIENDE THU

UNI

18.7

1910

14

DON FRANCISCO PRESENTA-WE

UNI

18.2

1859

15

JUEGO DE LA VIDA-THU

UNI

17.8

1820

15

JUEGO DE LA VIDA-WED

UNI

17.8

1817

15

JUEGO DE LA VIDA-FRI

UNI

17.8

1817

18

JUEGO DE LA VIDA-MON

UNI

17.4

1771

19

CASOS VIDA R: ED. ESP FRI

UNI

16.9

1721

20

AQUI Y AHORA-TUE

UNI

15.1

1542

* Nielsen Hispanic Television Index; ratings based on 10.2 million Hispanic TV homes.
Source: Nielsen Media Research


 

NETWORK SPORTS
Ranked on Households
Week Ending July 28


#

PROGRAMS

Net

Episode

Households

Persons 2+

US Rtg%

Shr

(000)

(000)

1

FOX SATURDAY BASEBALL

FOX

VARIOUS TEAMS AND TIMES

3.3

10

3523

4602

2

WWE SMCKDWN!

UPN

3.3

6

3469

5204

3

JOHN DEERE CLASSIC
-SUN(S)-7/28

CBS

1.9

5

2015

2459

4

PIKES PEAK 250
(S)-7/27

NBC

NASCAR: BUSCH SERIES

1.8

5

1903

2513

5

JOHN DEERE CLASSIC
SAT(S)-7/27

CBS

1.5

4

1598

1891

6

CBS SPORTS SPECTACULAR
SU

CBS

TOUR DE FRANCE

1.5

4

1612

2160

7

MICHIGAN INDY
400(S)-7/28

ABC

1.2

3

1220

1709

8

BIG APPLE CLASSIC
SUN(S)-7/28

NBC

1.2

3

1222

1416

9

BIG APPLE CLASSIC
SAT(S)-7/27

NBC

1.1

3

1150

1427

10

SENIOR BRITISH OPEN-
SUN.(S)-7/28

ABC

1.0

3

1094

1290

11

NBA
 INSIDE STUFF

NBC

1.0

3

1086

1256

12

SENIOR BRITISH OPEN
SAT.(S)-7/27

ABC

0.9

3

964

1330

13

CBS SPORTS SPECIAL(S)
7/27

CBS

CLLG FTBL PRVW: QUEST FOR #1

0.9

3

905

1072

14

WNBA SPECIAL(S)
7/28

NBC

0.9

3

986

1170

15

WNBA BASKETBALL
SUN-(S)
7/28

NBC

HOUSTON AT NEW YORK

0.9

3

993

1145

16

THIS WEEK IN BASEBALL

FOX

0.8

3

896

1002

17

TOPSPIN: USTA KIDS SHOW-2(S)
7/28

CBS

0.5

1

544

536

18

WUSA WOMENS SOCCER

PAX

SAN DIEGO AT WASHINGTON

0.2

0

177

232

19

FLEETBOSTON CLSC(S)
7/26

PAX

0.1

0

115

154

Source: Nielsen Media Research


 

August 7, 2002© 2002 Media Life


-Kevin Downey is a staff writer for Media Life


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