CBS bites deep
into NBC's Thursday

First time beating a lineup of original episodes

By Toni Fitzgerald

    Even as CBS cuts deeper and deeper into NBC's Thursday dominance, regularly finishing No. 1 in households and total viewers, NBC has succeeded in holding onto the demographic that matters most to advertisers, adults 18-49, with its original programming.
   NBC has finished No. 1 on Thursday nights with original programming since 1987, when Nielsen first introduced the people meter.
   That is, up until last week.
   CBS can thank Fox and the hotly contested World Series for pulling away just enough 18-49 viewers to give it its first win ever against an NBC Thursday night lineup of original shows.
    One has to think it won’t be the last, with “Friends” fading, “Scrubs” struggling, and “Coupling” essentially DOA.
    To be sure, CBS’s victory was a slim one. Its 7.5 nightly average was a mere .1 ahead of NBC. 
    NBC’s three-week average for Thursdays with original episodes up until last Thursday had been a 9.2, but it was a declining average from a 10.4 in debut week. 
   CBS, on the other hand, has stayed quite steady at a 7.46 Thursday average, fluctuating just .4 in four weeks.
    In addition to Game 6 of the World Series, which garnered a 6.5 rating, CBS also benefited from the stumbling "Coupling," which sank to a series-low 4.9, retaining just 73 percent of lead-in “Will & Grace’s” audience.
   Without “Coupling,” NBC would have maintained its No. 1 Thursday standing with about a 7.7 adults 18-49 average.
   But “Coupling” isn’t NBC's  only Thursday problem.
   “Scrubs” lost 25 percent of lead-in “Friends’” audience last week, and even “Friends” is showing signs of decay with its lowest 18-49 rating of the season.
   Again, blame baseball in part, but it’s still a dramatic trend. Last week’s 9.1 “Friends” rating was off 23 percent from its season premiere and down 17 percent from its season average of 10.9.
   If the show continues to dip, it could clear the way for CBS’s “Survivor,” which always gets a big boost at 8:30 p.m., to pull ahead for the entire hour. And that would mean more Thursday wins for CBS, which already owns the 9 p.m. hour with “CSI.”
   NBC’s Thursday loss was surprising, but the pulseless debut for Fox’s “The Next Joe Millionaire” Monday at 8 p.m. was last week's real shocker.
   Media buyers had predicted in Media Life last week that the numbers could be off 5 to 20 percent from last year. They were being generous.
   Instead the show averaged less than a third of its 10.1 adults 18-49 debut last January with a 3.2. Its total audience was less than half of last year’s.
   The second episode this week dipped even more, to a 2.5 adults 18-49 rating, meaning that Fox’s November sweeps strategy of airing a second “Joe” episode on Tuesdays leaves it with problems on two nights it expected to be strong.
    Expect schedule shifts soon. 
    Monday’s 9 p.m. “Skin” will have to either move somewhere else or receive a stronger lead-in. Fox already has begun moving things on Fridays, where it canceled “Luis” this week.

PRIMETIME AVERAGES BY NETWORK
Ranked on Households
Week Ending
Oct. 26


Network

Households

People 2+

Adults 18-49

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

FOX

9.2

9950

15

5.2

14300

14

5.0

6400

14

CBS

8.3

9000

13

4.6

12580

12

3.8

4860

10

NBC

7.4

7970

12

3.9

10810

10

4.1

5340

11

ABC

6.2

6700

10

3.4

9290

9

3.5

4520

10

WB

2.8

2990

4

1.5

4180

4

1.7

2140

4

UPN

2.5

2670

4

1.3

3520

3

1.5

1880

4

PAX

0.6

680

1

0.3

920

1

0.2

290

1

* Each rating point is equivalent to 1.067 million homes
Source: Nielsen Media Research



SEASON-TO-DATE PRIMETIME AVERAGES BY NETWORK
Ranked on Households
Week Ending Oct. 26


Network

Households

People 2+

Adults 18-49

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

CBS

8.5

9210

14

4.6

12780

12

3.7

4700

10

FOX

8.3

8980

14

4.7

12830

12

4.7

6110

13

NBC

7.4

7980

12

4.0

10940

10

4.3

5510

12

ABC

6.4

6890

10

3.5

9590

9

3.6

4690

10

WB

2.8

3080

4

1.6

4290

4

1.7

2200

5

UPN

2.4

2580

4

1.3

3470

3

1.5

1890

4

PAX

0.6

660

1

0.3

890

1

0.2

280

1

* Each rating point is equivalent to 1.067 million home
Source: Nielsen Media Research 



NETWORK TV
Ranked on Households
Week Ending Oct. 26


#

PROGRAMS

Net

HOUSEHOLDS

PERSONS 2+

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

1

CSI

CBS

17.0

25

18434

1

10.0

27575

2

FOX WORLD SERIES GAME 6(S)

FOX

13.9

25

15066

2

8.4

23240

3

FOX WORLD SERIES GAME 4(S)

FOX

13.6

23

14712

3

7.6

20885

4

FOX WORLD SERIES GAME 5(S)

FOX

13.2

21

14319

5

7.2

19908

5

FOX WORLD SERIES GAME 3(S)

FOX

12.5

21

13567

6

6.9

18894

6

FRIENDS

NBC

12.4

20

13436

7

6.8

18765

7

E.R.

NBC

12.1

19

13107

8

6.5

18005

8

NFL MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL

ABC

11.9

20

12893

11

6.3

17410

9

CSI: MIAMI

CBS

11.8

19

12779

10

6.4

17547

10

SURVIVOR: PEARL ISLANDS

CBS

11.7

18

12642

4

7.3

20191

11

LAW AND ORDER

NBC

11.6

19

12555

13

6.0

16596

12

EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND

CBS

11.4

17

12334

8

6.5

18015

13

FOX WRLD SERIES GM6-POST(S)

FOX

10.7

20

11574

11

6.3

17321

13

60 MINUTES

CBS

10.7

17

11573

14

5.9

16219

15

LAW AND ORDER:CRIM INTENT

NBC

10.1

16

10901

15

5.5

15155

16

TWO AND A HALF MEN

CBS

9.9

15

10745

15

5.5

15237

17

WITHOUT A TRACE

CBS

9.7

15

10540

17

5.3

14724

18

COLD CASE

CBS

9.1

14

9913

19

4.9

13371

18

SCRUBS

NBC

9.1

14

9899

18

5.1

14078

20

BACHELOR, THE

ABC

9.0

13

9767

19

4.9

13583

20

NFL MONDAY SHOWCASE

ABC

9.0

14

9751

22

4.7

13029

22

WILL & GRACE

NBC

8.9

13

9690

19

4.9

13514

23

DATELINE:K COURIC SPECIAL(S)

NBC

8.5

15

9228

27

4.4

12247

24

CBS SUNDAY MOVIE

CBS

8.4

15

9071

23

4.5

12410

25

LAW AND ORDER:SVU

NBC

8.3

13

8970

30

4.3

11870

25

WEST WING

NBC

8.3

12

8954

27

4.4

12063

Source: Nielsen Media Research


 

TOP 30 PROGRAMS - BROADCAST TV
Adults 18-49
Week Ending Oct. 26


Rank

Program

Net

Rtg%

In Millions

1

CSI-10/23/2003

CBS

10.1

24

2

FRIENDS-10/23/2003

NBC

9.1

25

3

E.R.-10/23/2003

NBC

8.3

21

4

FOX WORLD SERIES GAME 6-10/25/2003

FOX

7.6

25

5

FOX WORLD SERIES GAME 4-10/22/2003

FOX

7.5

22

5

SURVIVOR: PEARL ISLANDS-10/23/2003

CBS

7.5

20

7

NFL MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL-10/20/2003

ABC

7.3

20

8

FOX WRLD SERIES GM6-POST-10/25/2003

FOX

6.9

22

9

SCRUBS-10/23/2003

NBC

6.8

17

10

WILL & GRACE-10/23/2003

NBC

6.7

16

11

FOX WORLD SERIES GAME 3-10/21/2003

FOX

6.6

19

11

BACHELOR, THE-10/22/2003

ABC

6.6

16

13

FOX WORLD SERIES GAME 5-10/23/2003

FOX

6.5

18

14

CSI: MIAMI-10/20/2003

CBS

6.4

16

15

LAW AND ORDER-10/22/2003

NBC

6.1

16

16

EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND-10/20/2003

CBS

5.6

14

17

TWO AND A HALF MEN-10/20/2003

CBS

5.3

12

17

LAW AND ORDER:CRIM INTENT-10/26/2003

NBC

5.3

12

19

FEAR FACTOR-10/20/2003

NBC

5.1

14

20

MY WIFE AND KIDS-10/22/2003

ABC

4.9

14

20

COUPLING-10/23/2003

NBC

4.9

12

22

LAW AND ORDER:SVU-10/21/2003

NBC

4.8

12

23

WITHOUT A TRACE-10/23/2003

CBS

4.7

12

23

ACCORDING TO JIM 9PM-10/21/2003

ABC

4.7

12

25

DATELINE:K COURIC SPECIAL-10/24/2003

NBC

4.6

14

25

LAS VEGAS-10/20/2003

NBC

4.6

11

27

CBS SUNDAY MOVIE-10/26/2003

CBS

4.4

12

28

ALIAS-10/26/2003

ABC

4.2

10

29

WEST WING-10/22/2003

NBC

4.1

10

29

IT'S ALL RELATIVE-10/22/2003

ABC

4.1

11

Source: ABC Networks, based on data from Nielsen Media Research



CABLE TV
Ranked on Households
Week Ending
Oct. 19


BASIC CABLE

#

PROGRAM NAME

NET

Households 

Persons 2+

(000)

Rtg %

Rtg %

1

WWE ENTERTAINMENT (WWE RAW ZONE)

SPIKE

3329

3.1

4891

2

FAIRLY ODD PARENTS

NICK

2983

2.8

4101

3

SPONGEBOB

NICK

2958

2.7

4087

4

S LILO & STITCH: SERIES(S)-10/13/2003 (SPOOKY)

DSNY

2931

2.7

4401

5

FAIRLY ODD PARENTS

NICK

2848

2.6

3904

6

WWE ENTERTAINMENT (WWE RAW)

SPIKE

2841

2.6

4144

7

S LILO & STITCH: SERIES(S)-10/13/2003 (MR. STENCHY)

DSNY

2835

2.6

4288

8

S LILO & STITCH: SERIES(S)-10/13/2003 (YAPPER)

DSNY

2789

2.6

4171

9

S JIMMY NEUTRON JETFUSION

NICK

2778

2.6

4191

10

SPONGEBOB

NICK

2774

2.6

3568

11

FAIRLY ODD PARENTS

NICK

2721

2.5

3551

12

S LILO & STITCH: SERIES(S)-10/13/2003 (CLIP)

DSNY

2673

2.5

3922

13

FAIRLY ODD PARENTS

NICK

2667

2.5

3565

14

MOVIE, UPO (DC SNIPER: 23 DAYS FEAR)

USA

2660

2.5

3646

15

S LILO & STITCH: SERIES(S)-10/13/2003 (YAPPER)

DSNY

2642

2.4

4111

PAY CABLE

#

PROGRAM NAME

NET

Households 

Persons 2+

(000)

Rtg %

Rtg %

1

CARNIVALE

HBO

2342

2.2

3408

2

SOPRANOS, THE

HBO

2134

2.0

2889

3

UNFAITHFUL

HBO

1892

1.7

2570

4

PULP FICTION

HBO

1653

1.5

2045

5

ROAD TO PERDITION

HBO

1562

1.4

1838

* Each rating point is equivalent to 1.067 million homes
Source: Nielsen Media Research



SYNDICATION
Ranked on Households
Week Ending Oct. 12


#

 PROGRAMS

Syndicator

Households

US Rtg%

(000)

1

WHEEL OF FORTUNE

KIN

8.7

9388

2

ESPN NFL REGULAR SEASON

ESP

6.7

7265

2

JEOPARDY

KIN

6.7

7223

4

OPRAH WINFREY SHOW (AT)

KIN

6.6

7188

5

FRIENDS-SYN (AT)

WB

5.7

6222

5

ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT(AT)

PRM

5.7

6205

7

SEINFELD (AT)

SPT

5.6

6097

8

SEINFELD-WKND (AT)

SPT

5.4

5906

9

EVRY LVS RAYMOND-SYN (AT)

KIN

5.3

5746

10

DR. PHIL SHOW

KIN

5.1

5580

Source: Nielsen Media Research



SPANISH-LANGUAGE TELEVISION
Ranked on Households
Week Ending Oct. 26


#

PROGRAMS

Net

NHTI*
Rtg%

Projection
(000)

1

NINA AMADA MIA MON

UNI

25.1

2654

2

NINA AMADA MIA FRI

UNI

24.7

2614

3

NINA AMADA MIA TUE

UNI

24.3

2567

4

NINA AMADA MIA THU

UNI

23.5

2479

5

NINA AMADA MIA WED

UNI

23.1

2443

6

VELO DE NOVIA TUE

UNI

20.8

2199

7

MANANTIAL WED

UNI

20.3

2142

8

MANANTIAL THU

UNI

20.1

2129

9

VELO DE NOVIA THU

UNI

19.9

2102

10

VELO DE NOVIA MON

UNI

19.5

2065

11

VELO DE NOVIA WED

UNI

19.3

2037

12

MANANTIAL TUE

UNI

19.0

2004

13

VELO DE NOVIA FRI

UNI

18.8

1990

14

CASOS VIDA R: ED. ESP FRI

UNI

17.8

1879

15

MANANTIAL MON

UNI

17.6

1861

16

CRISTINA-MON

UNI

17.4

1836

17

AQUI Y AHORA-THU

UNI

17.1

1803

18

MANANTIAL FRI

UNI

16.8

1778

19

CASOS VIDA R: ED. ESP TUE

UNI

16.5

1740

20

DON FRANCISCO PRESENTA-WE

UNI

16.1

1704

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


 

NETWORK SPORTS
Ranked on Household
Week Ending
Oct. 19


#

PROGRAMS

Net

Episode

Households

Persons 2+

US
Rtg%

Shr (000)

(000)

1

FOX MLB ALCS
GAME
7(S)-10/16

FOX

BOSTON @
YANKS

17.1

28

18589

27485

2

FOX MLB NLCS
GAME
7(S)-10/15

FOX

FLA @ 
CUBS

16.9

27

18368

26505

3

FOX NFL
SUNDAY
NATIONAL

FOX

VAR.
 TEAMS 
AND
TIMES

13.3

28

14430

20049

4

FOX MLB NLCS
GAME
6(S)-10/14

FOX

FLA @ 
CUBS

12.6

20

13682

19357

5

FOX WORLD
 SERIES GAME
2(S)-10/19

FOX

FLA @
YANKS

12.6

20

13662

20552

6

FOX MLB ALCS
GAME
4(S)-10/13

FOX

YANKS @
BOSTON

11.6

18

12552

17495

7

FOX WORLD
SERIES GAME
1(S)-10/18

FOX

FLA @
YANKS

10.9

20

11828

17687

8

FOX MLB ALCS
GAME
6(S)-10/15

FOX

BOSTON @
YANKS

9.4

21

10218

13931

9

CBS NFL
SINGLE

CBS

VAR.
 TEAMS 
AND
TIMES

9.3

22

10058

13907

10

NFL MONDAY
NIGHT
FOOTBALL

ABC

ATL @ ST.
LOUIS

8.4

13

9064

12264

11

FOX MLB ALCS
GAME
5(S)-10/14

FOX

YANKS @
BOSTON

7.1

16

7688

10110

12

FOX NFL
SUNDAY
REGIONAL

FOX

VAR.
 TEAMS 
AND
TIMES

7.0

17

7548

9871

13

O.D.
MARTINSVILLE
(S)-10/19

NBC

NASCAR: WINSTON CUP

4.0

10

4371

6394

14

ABC COLLEGE 
FTBL GM-LATE

ABC

VAR.
 TEAMS 
AND
TIMES

3.7

9

4041

5382

15

WWE
SMACKDOWN!

UPN

3.3

5

3555

5041

16

HOME DEPOT
CLLG FOOTBALL2

CBS

FLA @ 
ARK.

2.7

7

2894

3855

17

NOTRE DAME
FOOTBALL

NBC

USC @
NOTRE
DAME

2.4

6

2602

3202

18

GRAVITY GAMES

NBC

2.3

5

2540

3787

19

CAMPBELL'S 
INT'L FIG SKTG(S)-10/19

ABC

1.5

4

1622

2042

20

CHRYSLER
CLASS
GREENSBORO
(S)-10/19

ABC

1.2

3

1300

1594

Source: Nielsen Media Research



October 29, 2003 © 2003 Media Life


- Toni Fitzgerald is a staff writer for Media Life.



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