Fox's amazing
primetime summer

'Idol' and other shows push it past NBC in 18-49s

By Kevin Downey

    Being the top-rated network during the summer may pale in comparison to holding the top spot during the regular broadcast season, but bragging rights and a loftier platform to promote upcoming shows at least keep the networks fighting it out.
   With ABC and CBS virtually out of contention among the adult 18-49 demographic, that fight is left to NBC and Fox.
   And these days the race looks more and more like a Fox race to win.
   The network sailed past NBC for the second time this summer to rank No. 1 last week. It was its third week at No.1, having tied NBC the prior week.
   Fox had a 3.1 rating in the demo, compared to NBC’s 2.9, CBS’s 2.3, ABC’s 2.2, UPN’s 1.2 and the WB’s 0.9.
   Fox’s biggest ratings, perhaps not surprisingly, came from “American Idol: The Search for a Superstar.” Two episodes of the talent competition ranked No. 1 and No. 2.
   But “Idol” wasn’t the only show that did well.
   Fox had four shows among the week’s top 10 and 11 among the week’s top 30, including multiple episodes of “The Simpsons,” the talent show “30 Seconds to Fame” and Adam Sandler in “Happy Gilmore,” the week’s highest-rated movie in the 18-49 demographic.
    While a good portion of Fox’s ratings came from reality shows, the network’s performance in the genre has been hit and miss, as it has been for all the networks.
   “Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction?” on Thursday had two-thirds the rating NBC had with “Friends” and “Scrubs” and CBS had with “Big Brother 3” in head-to-head competition. The show is coupled with “The Pulse,” Fox’s newsmagazine, which at No. 62 was one of the network’s lowest-rated shows for the week.
    Moreover, two episodes of “Invasion of the Hidden Cameras” on Friday did worse at No. 69 with a 1.9 adult 18-49 rating.
   Still, Fox’s rating was up two-tenths of a point from a week earlier, while NBC remained flat.
   NBC’s highest-rated program was “Dog Eat Dog,” which along with “Fear Factor,” “Friends” and one episode of “Dateline” made the top 10.
   The network was hurt somewhat by a slumping audience for “Spy TV” and weak new entries.
   Multiple episodes of the hidden-camera show failed to rank higher than No. 38 against competition from Fox’s “That 70s Show” and the first half-hour of “Idol” on Tuesday.
   NBC also premiered “Firehouse,” which lost two-tenths of “Dateline’s” lead-in rating on Friday and tied at No. 62.
   The new drama “She Spies” only managed to rank No. 76 with a 1.7 adult 18-49 rating against a repeat of “The Agency” on CBS. “She Spies,” however, was saddled with the unenviable time slot of Saturday at 10 p.m.
   Meanwhile, CBS’s rating was propped up by two of three episodes of “Big Brother 3,” which ranked in the week’s top 15, as did repeats of “CSI” and “Everybody Loves Raymond.”
    ABC continued its year-long struggle to get out of the ratings basement.
   The network had no shows in the week’s top 20. Its highest-rated programs were the reality show “State v.” and its “Primetime Thursday” newsmagazine. Both tied at No. 27 and were followed on the list by “The Mole 2,” which ranked No. 31.
   ABC did better among households, although only by managing to tie Fox for third place.
    CBS was No. 1 with a 5.5 household rating and 10 share to NBC’s 5.3/10. ABC and Fox had a 4.1/8, while UPN had a 1.8/3 and the WB had a 1.6/3.

 

PRIMETIME AVERAGES BY NETWORK
Ranked on Households
Week Ending July 21


 

Households

People 2+

Adults 18-49

Network

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

CBS

5.5

5760

10

2.9

7830

9

2.3

2930

7

NBC

5.3

5590

10

2.9

7800

9

2.9

3630

9

FOX

4.1

4320

8

2.5

6720

8

3.1

3890

10

ABC

4.1

4280

8

2.3

6100

7

2.2

2750

7

UPN

1.8

1920

3

1.1

2840

3

1.2

1490

4

WB

1.6

1650

3

0.9

2340

3

0.9

1190

3

PAX

0.8

830

1

0.4

1080

1

0.3

330

1

Source: Nielsen Media Research


 

SEASON-TO-DATE*
PRIMETIME AVERAGES BY NETWORK
Ranked on Households
Sept. 24, 2001 through July 21, 2002


 

Households

People 2+

Adults 18-49

Network

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

NBC

8.2

8660

14

4.6

12470

12

4.9

6170

13

CBS

7.7

8070

13

4.3

11490

11

3.6

4540

10

ABC

5.9

6180

10

3.3

8940

9

3.3

4180

9

FOX

5.3

5610

9

3.2

8560

8

3.7

4760

10

UPN

2.5

2640

4

1.5

4000

4

1.7

2180

5

WB

2.3

2430

4

1.3

3500

3

1.5

1890

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 July 21


#

PROGRAMS

Net

HOUSEHOLDS

 

PERSONS 2+

 

Rtg%

Shr

(000)

RANK

Rtg%

(000)

1

CSI

CBS

9.4

16

9899

1

5.2

14141

2

LAW + ORDER

NBC

8.0

14

8389

3

4.1

10967

3

EVRYBDY LVES RYMOND

CBS

7.8

13

8229

2

4.2

11463

4

DATELINE NBC-TUE

NBC

7.6

14

8054

3

4.1

10969

5

60 MINUTES

CBS

7.1

14

7472

8

3.7

10058

6

48 HOURS
MON

CBS

7.0

12

7434

10

3.6

9808

6

LAW AND ORDER:CRIM INTENT

NBC

7.0

12

7413

6

3.8

10148

8

BECKER

CBS

6.9

11

7255

8

3.7

10048

9

PRIMETIME THURSDAY

ABC

6.8

12

7164

10

3.6

9739

10

20/20-FRI

ABC

6.4

12

6716

13

3.3

8890

10

DOG EAT DOG

NBC

6.4

11

6787

5

4.0

10716

12

CBS SUNDAY MOVIE (Emma's Wish)

CBS

6.2

11

6517

13

3.3

8874

12

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

NBC

6.2

11

6554

13

3.3

8929

14

60 MINUTES II

CBS

6.0

11

6314

22

3.0

8206

14

AMERICAN IDOL-TUESDAY

FOX

6.0

11

6284

6

3.8

10276

14

FRIENDS

NBC

6.0

12

6314

13

3.3

8852

17

BIG BROTHER 3-WED

CBS

5.9

10

6197

13

3.3

8932

18

LAW AND ORDER:SVU

NBC

5.8

11

6138

19

3.1

8416

19

MOST 
OUTRAG GAM SHO MOMNT(S)

NBC

5.7

11

5981

22

3.0

8121

19

YES, DEAR

CBS

5.7

10

6049

22

3.0

8177

21

DATELINE SUN-7PM

NBC

5.6

11

5924

26

2.9

7932

22

AMERICAN IDOL
WED

FOX

5.5

9

5779

12

3.5

9392

22

CROSSING JORDAN

NBC

5.5

9

5759

19

3.1

8355

22

DATELINE
 FRI 8PM

NBC

5.5

11

5753

26

2.9

7789

25

AGENCY

CBS

5.4

10

5680

26

2.9

7781

25

FR FCTOR

NBC

5.4

10

5711

19

3.1

8493

25

KING OF QUEENS

CBS

5.4

10

5699

34

2.8

7523

25

WEST WING

NBC

5.4

9

5711

36

2.7

7376

Source: Nielsen Media Research


 

CABLE TV
Ranked on Households
Week Ending July 14


BASIC CABLE

#

PROGRAM NAME

NET

Households

Persons 2+

(000)

Rtg%

(000)

1

HOME RUN DERBY

ESPN

5268

5.0

7679

2

TNT ORIGINAL(S)-07/14 (DOOR TO DOOR)

TNT

4130

3.9

6067

3

REAL WORLD XI

MTV

3732

3.5

5454

4

WWE ENTERTAINMENT (WWE RAW ZONE)

TNN

3359

3.2

5424

5

MOVIE, USA (MONK(PILOT)

USA

3009

2.9

4766

6

WWE ENTERTAINMENT (WWE RAW)

TNN

2945

2.8

4928

7

SPONGEBOB

NICK

2921

2.8

4356

8

MLB SPECIAL (LEGENDS/CELEBRITY SOFTBAL)

ESPN

2844

2.7

4033

9

SUPERSTATION SUN SHOWCASE (ERASER)

TBS

2838

2.7

4165

10

BRANDY SPCL DELIVERY

MTV

2809

2.7

3741

11

SPONGEBOB

NICK

2795

2.6

4234

12

SPONGEBOB

NICK

2787

2.6

4148

13

SPONGEBOB

NICK

2704

2.6

4124

14

SPONGEBOB

NICK

2608

2.5

3882

15

SPONGEBOB

NICK

2554

2.4

3735

PAY CABLE

#

PROGRAM NAME

NET

Households

Households

Persons 2+

(000)

Rtg%

(000)

1

ROBIN WILLIAMS LIVE

HBO

3949

3.7

5739

2

SUMMER CATCH

HBO

2406

2.3

3415

3

SWORDFISH

HBO

2007

1.9

2768

4

SIX FEET UNDER

HBO

1921

1.8

2544

5

REAL SEX 20(S)-7/11

HBO

1861

1.8

2466

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 7


#

PROGRAMS

Syndicator

Households

US Rtg%

(000)

1

WHEEL OF FORTUNE

KIN

7.1

7516

2

JEOPARDY

KIN

6.3

6693

3

FRIENDS-SYN (AT)

WB

5.4

5656

4

SEINFELD (AT)

CTS

4.9

5138

5

EVRY LVS RAYMOND-SYN (AT)

KIN

4.6

4886

5

ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT(AT)

PRM

4.6

4869

5

JUDGE JUDY (AT)

PRM

4.6

4860

8

OPRAH WINFREY SHOW (AT)

KIN

4.4

4692

8

SEINFELD-WKND (AT)

CTS

4.4

4606

10

WHEEL OF FORTUNE WKND

KIN

3.9

4077

Source: Nielsen Media Research 


 

SPANISH-LANGUAGE TELEVISION
Ranked on Households
Week Ending July 21


#

PROGRAMS

Net

NHTI*

Projection

Rtg%

(000)

1

SALOME TUE

UNI

24.7

2516

2

PRIVILEGIO DE AMAR-THU

UNI

24.6

2510

3

PRIVILEGIO DE AMAR-TUE

UNI

24.2

2469

3

SALOME WED

UNI

24.2

2464

5

PRIVILEGIO DE AMAR-WED

UNI

24.1

2455

6

PRIVILEGIO DE AMAR-MON

UNI

24.0

2449

7

SALOME MON

UNI

23.6

2405

8

SALOME THU

UNI

23.4

2382

9

PRIVILEGIO DE AMAR-FRI

UNI

23.3

2382

10

SALOME FRI

UNI

21.8

2221

11

CRISTINA-MON

UNI

20.7

2106

12

DON FRANCISCO PRESENTA-WE

UNI

18.2

1856

13

JUEGO DE LA VIDA-MON

UNI

18.0

1837

14

JUEGO DE LA VIDA-THU

UNI

17.6

1794

15

JUEGO DE LA VIDA-TUE

UNI

17.5

1782

16

JUEGO DE LA VIDA-WED

UNI

16.8

1712

17

PICA Y SE EXTIENDE THU

UNI

16.6

1695

18

CASOS VIDA R: ED. ESP FRI

UNI

16.1

1641

19

AQUI Y AHORA-TUE

UNI

15.7

1605

20

JUEGO DE LA VIDA-FRI

UNI

14.8

1514

* 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 14


#

PROGRAMS

Net

Episode

Households

Persons 2+

US Rtg%

Shr

(000)

(000)

1

FOX MLB ALL-STAR GAME(S)
07/09

FOX

AMER. V.
NAT.

9.5

17

10046

14653

2

FOX MLB ASG EXTRA INNINGS(S)
7/09

FOX

AMER. V.
NAT.

7.2

17

7574

10414

3

CHICAGO 400
(S)-7/14

NBC

NASCAR: WINSTON CUP

5.3

14

5624

8068

4

WWE SMACKDOWN!

UPN

3.3

6

3478

5501

5

FOX SATURDAY BASEBALL

FOX

VARIOUS TEAMS AND TIMES

2.3

7

2431

3065

6

FORD SENIOR PLAYERS
-SUN(S)
7/14

ABC

2.0

5

2090

2608

7

CHICAGO 300(S)
7/13

NBC

NASCAR BUSCH SERIES

1.9

6

2034

2652

8

GREATER MILWAUKEE OPEN-SU(S)
7/14

ABC

1.8

5

1893

2195

9

GREATER MILWAUKEE OPEN-SA(S)
7/13

ABC

1.4

4

1429

1598

10

FORD SENIOR PLAYERS
SAT(S)
7/13

ABC

1.4

4

1429

1668

11

CBS SPORTS SPECTACULAR
SU

CBS

NFL QB CHALLENGE, PT. 2

1.4

4

1425

1561

12

CBS SPORTS SPECTACULAR
SA

CBS

NFL QB CHALLENGE, PT. 1

1.2

4

1231

1704

13

CBS SPORTS SPECTACULR
SU1

CBS

TOUR DE FRANCE

1.2

3

1246

1523

14

CBS AUTO RACING:CART FEDX

CBS

CLEVELAND GRAND
 PRIX

1.1

3

1186

1541

15

CBS AUTO RACING: TRANS-AM(S)
7/13

CBS

TRANS-AM: ON TARMAC 100

0.8

2

819

1143

16

WNBA-SAT

NBC

NY AT WASH.

0.8

3

828

1130

17

WUSA WOMENS SOCCER

PAX

ATL AT NY

0.1

0

90

<<

Source: Nielsen Media Research


 

July 24, 2002© 2002 Media Life


-Kevin Downey is a staff writer for Media Life


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