Such sweet #s
for Fox's 'Idol'

Top summer show in 18-49s and network's best

By Kevin Downey

     When the final ratings come in later today for last night’s conclusion to “American Idol: The Search for a Superstar,” don’t expect an audience anywhere near the 52 million who tuned in for the “Survivor” finale two summers ago.
   What can be expected is something closer to 20 million viewers.
   That’s the estimate being bandied about by several media researchers and would give “Idol’s” finale an audience a bit lower than the average 24 million people who watch shows like “Friends” and “CSI” in the regular broadcast season.
   What is already clear from last week’s ratings, however, is that the “Idol” finale will be the summer’s highest-rated show in the adult 18-49 demographic and will rank as Fox’s best summer rating ever in that demographic.
   The show will also very likely bring in one of Fox’s biggest audiences ever.
   Recent episodes are pulling in more viewers than ABC’s “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” did in its original summer run a few years ago.
   And, with an estimated audience of 18.2 million, “Idol’s” Tuesday episode had more viewers this week than Fox’s top shows averaged in the past two seasons.
  “Idol’s” two episodes last week had an average audience of just under 16 million and ranked as the week’s most watched programs.
   The episodes also ranked as the top shows in the adult 18-49 demographic and pushed Fox to No. 2 for the week.
   NBC was the highest-rated network with a 2.8 adult 18-49 rating. Fox had a 2.7, CBS had a 2.4 and ABC had a 2.3. UPN had a 1.2 and the WB had a 1 rating.
   NBC, in fact, had eight of the top 20 shows in the 18-49 demographic.
   The network’s highest-rated programs were its reality shows “Meet My Folks,” “Dog Eat Dog,” “Fear Factor,” the newsmagazine “Dateline NBC,” and “Law & Order.”
    NBC’s only trouble spots were special episodes of otherwise decently rated programs, like “Crime & Punishment,” and the new series “Forensic Files,” which tied at No. 60 with a 1.7 adult 18-49 rating.
   While Fox was competitive last week, it suffered from relatively low ratings for everything other than “Idol.”
   Fox only had five shows among the week’s top 20. And outside of “Idol,” the network’s highest-rated shows were “30 Seconds to Fame,” “That 70’s Show,” and “Grounded for Life,” all of which tied at No. 15.
   Even CBS did better than Fox in terms of the number of shows it had among the highest-rated.
   Two episodes of “CSI,” for example, ranked in the top 10 as did “Everybody Loves Raymond” and “Big Brother 3.”
   Meanwhile, ABC continued its streak at last place in the demographic.
   The network’s top-rated shows were preseason football and “Monk,” the detective series that has its original run on the USA cable network.
   The show ranked No. 21 with a 3.1 rating.
   Although it’s not a breakout hit on broadcast, “Monk” is giving ABC its best rating for a regular series and is doing especially well considering it competes directly with Fox’s “American Idol” on Tuesdays.
   It also did well among households, at No. 19 with a 5.9 rating.
   CBS ranked No. 1 last week in that demographic with a 5.2 household rating and 9 share. NBC had a 5/9, ABC had a 4.6/8 and Fox had a 4/7. UPN had a 1.9/3 and the WB had a 1.7/3.

 

 

PRIMETIME AVERAGES BY NETWORK
Ranked on Households
Week Ending Sept. 1


Network

Households

People 2+

Adults 18-49

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

CBS

5.2

5550

9

2.8

7630

8

2.4

3080

8

NBC

5.0

5370

9

2.7

7360

8

2.8

3580

9

ABC

4.6

4870

8

2.5

6750

7

2.3

3010

7

FOX

4.0

4300

7

2.4

6460

7

2.7

3480

9

UPN

1.9

2050

3

1.1

3080

3

1.2

1570

4

WB

1.7

1830

3

0.9

2560

3

1.0

1290

3

PAX

0.8

890

2

0.4

1120

1

0.3

360

1

Source: Nielsen Media Research


 

SEASON-TO-DATE*
PRIMETIME AVERAGES BY NETWORK
Ranked on Households
Sept. 24, 2001 through Sept. 1, 2002


Network

Households

 

People 2+

 

Adults 18-49

 

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

NBC

7.9

8280

13

4.4

11900

12

4.6

5870

13

CBS

7.4

7800

13

4.1

11070

11

3.4

4370

10

ABC

5.7

5980

10

3.2

8630

9

3.2

4020

9

FOX

5.1

5420

9

3.1

8260

8

3.6

4600

10

UPN

2.4

2570

4

1.4

3870

4

1.6

2100

5

WB

2.2

2350

4

1.2

3370

3

1.4

1820

4

PAX

0.9

920

1

0.5

1230

1

0.3

400

1

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


 

NETWORK TV
Ranked on Households
Week Ending Sept. 1


#

PROGRAMS

Net

HOUSEHOLDS

PERSONS 2+

Rtg%

Shr

(000)

RANK

Rtg%

(000)

1

AMERICAN IDOL-WEDNESDAY

FOX

9.7

16

10370

1

6.2

16936

1

EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND

CBS

9.7

15

10321

3

5.4

14739

3

CSI-MON

CBS

9.5

16

10107

4

5.2

14038

4

LAW AND ORDER

NBC

9.1

16

9718

6

4.7

12873

5

AMERICAN IDOL-TUESDAY

FOX

8.7

14

9238

2

5.5

14980

6

CSI

CBS

8.6

14

9135

5

4.9

13299

7

DATELINE NBC-TUE

NBC

8.5

15

9065

7

4.4

12002

8

NFL PRE-SEASON FTBL SP-2(S) (Greenbay vs. Cleveland)

ABC

7.8

13

8271

9

4.2

11339

9

60 MINUTES

CBS

7.3

16

7743

10

4.0

10771

10

DOG EAT DOG

NBC

7.1

11

7599

7

4.4

12105

11

MEET MY FOLKS

NBC

6.8

11

7227

11

3.9

10716

12

YES, DEAR

CBS

6.5

11

6901

12

3.6

9772

13

KING OF QUEENS

CBS

6.4

11

6793

13

3.5

9555

13

LAW AND ORDER:SVU

NBC

6.4

12

6875

15

3.4

9373

15

PRIMETIME THURSDAY

ABC

6.3

11

6759

19

3.2

8777

16

PRE-SEASON SHOWCASE-2(S)

ABC

6.1

12

6526

19

3.2

8628

17

BIG BROTHER 3-SPCL(S)

CBS

6.0

11

6405

15

3.4

9227

17

LAW AND ORDER:CRIM INTENT

NBC

6.0

11

6388

15

3.4

9310

19

EVERYBDY LOVES RAYMND-SPC(S)

CBS

5.9

12

6318

21

3.1

8468

19

MONK

ABC

5.9

10

6306

15

3.4

9172

21

FEAR FACTOR

NBC

5.8

10

6181

13

3.5

9441

21

WEST WING

NBC

5.8

9

6168

27

2.8

7659

23

FRASIER

NBC

5.7

9

6059

24

2.9

7808

24

FRIENDS

NBC

5.5

10

5840

24

2.9

7859

24

LAW AND ORDER:SVU 8/30(S)

NBC

5.5

10

5842

24

2.9

7867

Source: Nielsen Media Research


 

CABLE TV
Ranked on Households
Week Ending Aug. 25


BASIC CABLE

#

PROGRAM NAME

NET

Households

Persons 2+

(000)

Rtg%

(000)

1

SHARPIE 500 WINSTON CUP

TNT

4137

3.9

7085

2

WWE ENTERTAINMENT (WWE RAW ZONE)

TNN

3462

3.3

5746

3

WWE ENTERTAINMENT (WWE RAW)

TNN

3290

3.1

5454

4

PRIME MOVIE (THE SECRET LIFE OF ZOEY)

LIF

3284

3.1

4411

5

SUNDAY MOVIE I (SWEET DREAMS)

LIF

2875

2.7

3815

6

SPONGEBOB

NICK

2850

2.7

3802

7

SPONGEBOB

NICK

2699

2.6

3895

8

SPONGEBOB

NICK

2667

2.5

3507

9

SPONGEBOB

NICK

2665

2.5

3780

10

SUNDAY MOVIE II (CRUEL JUSTICE)

LIF

2581

2.4

3370

11

LTL LEAGUE WRLD SERIE L (WORCESTER MA/HARLEM NY)

ESPN

2556

2.4

3297

12

MONK

USA

2549

2.4

3696

13

SPONGEBOB

NICK

2528

2.4

3911

14

SPONGEBOB

NICK

2488

2.4

3900

15

STRONG MEDICINE

LIF

2461

2.3

3132

PAY CABLE

#

PROGRAM NAME

NET

Households

Persons 2+

(000)

Rtg%

(000)

1

SEX AND THE CITY(S)-08/25

HBO

5180

4.9

7375

2

HYSTERICAL BLINDNESS

HBO

3840

3.6

5511

3

EXIT WOUNDS

HBO

2210

2.1

2983

4

DONT SAY A WORD

HBO

2169

2.1

3075

5

ME, MYSELF & IRENE

HBO

1876

1.8

2454

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 Aug. 18


#

PROGRAMS

Syndicator

Households

US Rtg%

(000)

1

WHEEL OF FORTUNE

KIN

7.6

8057

2

JEOPARDY

KIN

6.2

6526

3

FRIENDS-SYN (AT)

WB

6.0

6364

4

SEINFELD (AT)

CTS

5.6

5911

5

EVRY LVS RAYMOND-SYN (AT)

KIN

5.3

5621

6

ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT(AT)

PRM

5.1

5408

7

JUDGE JUDY (AT)

PRM

5.0

5270

8

OPRAH WINFREY SHOW (AT)

KIN

4.9

5133

9

SEINFELD-WKND (AT)

CTS

4.8

5091

10

KING OF THE HILL-SYN(AT)

2/T

3.4

3632

Source: Nielsen Media Research


 

SPANISH-LANGUAGE TELEVISION
Ranked on Households
Week Ending Sept. 1


#

PROGRAMS

Net

NHTI*

Projection

Rtg%

(000)

1

PRIVILEGIO DE AMAR-THU

UNI

28.0

2724

2

SALOME THU

UNI

27.7

2696

3

PRIVILEGIO DE AMAR-MON

UNI

27.3

2661

3

PRIVILEGIO DE AMAR-TUE

UNI

27.3

2656

5

SALOME TUE

UNI

26.9

2617

6

SALOME MON

UNI

26.7

2596

7

PRIVILEGIO DE AMAR-WED

UNI

26.6

2585

8

SALOME WED

UNI

26.3

2562

9

PRIVILEGIO DE AMAR-FRI

UNI

24.6

2398

10

SALOME FRI

UNI

24.4

2376

11

GATA SALVAJE-TUE

UNI

20.4

1983

12

GATA SALVAJE-WED

UNI

19.1

1856

13

DON FRANCISCO PRESENTA-WE

UNI

19.0

1848

13

GATA SALVAJE-MON

UNI

19.0

1844

15

GATA SALVAJE-THU

UNI

18.8

1828

16

AQUI Y AHORA-THU

UNI

18.3

1777

17

CASOS VIDA R: ED. ESP FRI

UNI

17.7

1718

18

GATA SALVAJE-FRI

UNI

17.3

1686

18

CRISTINA-MON

UNI

17.3

1679

20

PICA Y SE EXTIENDE TUE

UNI

17.2

1673

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


 

NETWORK SPORTS
Ranked on Households
Week Ending Aug. 25


#

PROGRAMS

Net

 Episode

Households

Persons 2+

US Rtg%

Shr

(000)

(000)

1

NFL PRE-SEASON FTBL SP-1
(S) 8/19

ABC

SF
AT DENVER

7.6

13

7966

11305

2

LITTLE LEAGUE WLD SERIES
(S) 8/25

ABC

WORLD 
CHAMP

5.6

11

5951

8968

3

NFL PRE-SEASON FOOTBALL
(S) 8/22

CBS

S. DIEGO
 AT 
ST. LOUIS

5.1

9

5394

7349

4

NEC WORLD SERIES GOLF-SU
(S) 8/25

CBS

4.8

12

5058

6481

5

WWE 
SMCKDWN!

UPN

3.6

6

3838

5867

6

LITTLE LEAGUE WRLD SERIES
(S) 8/24

ABC

U.S. CHAMP.

3.5

7

3710

5617

7

NEC WORLD SERIES GOLF-SA
(S) 8/24

CBS

3.1

9

3296

4250

8

NFL ON FOX PRESEASON 2(S)
8/23

FOX

BALT.
 AT PHILA.

3.1

6

3322

4566

9

ABC CFTBL PIGSKIN CLASSIC(S)
8/24

ABC

TEX. TECH
 AT OHIO STATE

2.8

8

2997

4014

10

FOX SATURDAY BASEBALL

FOX

VAR. TEAMS AND TIMES

2.8

8

2958

4056

11

PILOT PEN INTRNTNL
(S) 8/24

CBS

USTA:
WOMENS'S TENNIS FNL

1.6

5

1663

2168

12

NEC WORLD SERIES GOLF-BNS
(S) 8/24

CBS

1.5

4

1573

1977

13

NBC SPORTS SPECIL
(S) 8/25

NBC

VANS TRIPLE:CHAMP OF SKATEBRDG

1.2

3

1219

1551

14

NBC SPORTS SPECIL.
(S) 8/25

NBC

US CHAMPS VOLLEYBALL

1.2

3

1251

1539

15

US AMATEUR GOLF-SAT
(S) 8/24

NBC

1.1

3

1111

1456

16

USTA TNNS:
A.ASHE KIDS DAY
(S) 8/25

CBS

PRESENTED BY AETNA

1.0

3

1066

1169

17

WNBA-SAT

NBC

UTAH AT LA

1.0

3

1009

1346

18

US AMTEUR GOLF-SUN
(S) 8/25

NBC

0.8

2

851

985

19

UNITING FORE CARE CLSC(S)
8/23

PAX

0.1

0

140

161

20

WUSA WMN SCR-FDRS CUP(S)
8/24

PAX

WASH.
 VS CAROLINA

0.1

0

141

187

Source: Nielsen Media Research


 

September 5, 2002© 2002 Media Life


-Kevin Downey is a staff writer for Media Life.


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