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As sweeps nears,
a much stronger NBC

Fizzled Fox looking into May, thanks to the Donald

By Diego Vasquez

   If May sweeps were a football game, last week would represent warm-ups. Judging by the pre-game stretching, NBC looks as strong as a national championship team, and Fox looked like the wily challenger unlikely to pull off the upset.
   But even though NBC has surely strengthened its position since January, when it headed into the February sweeps as an underdog, it's important to remember that NBC now loses its star player in "The Apprentice," which ended last week.
   And Fox still has its All-American, as in "American Idol," which could boost it to No. 1 in May. Still, NBC looked pretty dominating last week.
   On the strength of six of the top 10 shows, and eight of the top 13 last week, NBC was No. 1 in adults 18-49. In contrast, Fox was an entire point behind NBC's 4.5 average because "Idol" was displaced by President Bush's Iraqi war speech.
   The finale of “The Apprentice” on NBC was easily the most-watched show in 18-49s last week, drawing a 13.6 rating in the demo. It was NBC's top-rated show among 18-49s in 18 months, and the top-rated regularly scheduled entertainment show on any network this season.
   For possibly the first time since the “Seinfeld” era, a Thursday night show on NBC may have actually helped boost the ratings of “Friends,” as opposed to the other way around.
   Two pre-Trump repeats of “Friends” posted 5.9 and 7.6 ratings as fans prepared for “The Apprentice” finale and the final three episodes of “Friends,” which begin airing this week.
   Even dramas “Law & Order” and “Crossing Jordan” contributed for NBC last week, both finishing in the top 10 in 18-49s with 5.2 and 5.1 ratings, respectively.
   Fox poses a legitimate threat to NBC for the upcoming sweeps period with "The Apprentice" gone. 
   “American Idol” continues to perform well—a 9.7 rating for the displaced-by-President Bush's-speech Wednesday competition and 6.2 rating for the Thursday results show last week—and ratings will almost certainly rise as the field of “talent” dwindles.
   If it wants to be the last network standing when the May dust clears, however, Fox will need stepped-up efforts from its second tier of shows, including “The O.C.,” “The Simpsons,” “That '70s Show” and newcomer “The Swan.”
  CBS has been solid, but a sweeps win in 18-49s would be a huge upset. Last week CBS had four shows in the top 20 in 18-49s, including “CSI” finishing third with a 7.9 rating and “Survivor: All-Stars” tied for fourth with a 7.6.

PRIMETIME AVERAGES BY NETWORK
Ranked on Households
Week Ending April 18

Network

Households

People 2+

Adults 18-49

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

NBC

7.6

8240

13

4.2

11630

12

4.5

5840

13

CBS

7.1

7670

12

3.9

10760

11

3.1

4050

9

FOX

5.2

5690

9

3.0

8280

8

3.5

4520

10

ABC

4.8

5240

8

2.7

7440

7

2.7

3410

8

WB

2.3

2510

4

1.2

3380

3

1.4

1820

4

UPN

1.9

2100

3

1.0

2870

3

1.1

1410

3

PAX

0.6

680

1

0.3

960

1

0.2

270

1

* Each rating point is equivalent to 1.084 million homes
Source: Nielsen Media Research

 

SEASON-TO-DATE PRIMETIME AVERAGES BY NETWORK
Ranked on Households
Week Ending April 18

Network

Households

People 2+

Adults 18-49

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

CBS

8.5

9230

14

4.8

13250

13

3.9

5080

11

NBC

7.2

7820

12

4.0

10920

10

4.2

5440

12

FOX

6.1

6580

10

3.5

9710

9

4.0

5180

11

ABC

6.0

6500

10

3.3

9190

9

3.3

4260

9

WB

2.4

2650

4

1.3

3640

3

1.5

1870

4

UPN

2.3

2530

4

1.3

3460

3

1.4

1820

4

PAX

0.7

720

1

0.4

990

1

0.2

300

1

* Each rating point is equivalent to 1.084 million homes
Source: Nielsen Media Research
 

 

NETWORK TV
Ranked on Households
Week Ending April 18

#

PROGRAMS

Net

HOUSEHOLDS

PERSONS 2+

Rtg%

Shr

(000)

#

Rtg%

(000)

1

APPRENTICE

NBC

17.2

27

18650

1

10.2

28047

2

CSI

CBS

14.8

22

16003

2

8.6

23791

3

AMER IDOL-WED PERF SHOW(S)

FOX

13.9

23

15041

3

8.4

23100

4

SURVIVOR: ALL-STARS

CBS

11.6

19

12600

4

7.4

20419

5

WITHOUT A TRACE

CBS

11.2

18

12193

5

6.2

17133

6

FRIENDS 4/15(S)

NBC

11.0

18

11973

6

6.1

16840

7

LAW AND ORDER

NBC

10.6

18

11529

7

5.9

16161

8

AMER IDOL-THU RSLT SHOW(S)

FOX

9.4

16

10168

8

5.6

15326

9

LAW AND ORDER:CRIM INTENT

NBC

9.1

14

9834

10

5.2

14251

10

CSI: MIAMI

CBS

8.9

14

9633

12

4.8

13239

11

CROSSING JORDAN

NBC

8.8

14

9548

12

4.8

13309

12

FEAR FACTOR

NBC

8.6

14

9366

9

5.3

14657

12

FRIENDS

NBC

8.6

15

9371

11

4.9

13494

14

COLD CASE

CBS

8.3

14

9013

15

4.7

12928

15

MISS USA 2004(S)

NBC

8.2

13

8934

12

4.8

13098

16

LAW AND ORDER:SVU

NBC

7.6

13

8286

16

4.1

11243

17

60 MINUTES

CBS

7.4

14

8046

18

4.0

11152

18

DATELINE NBC SPECIAL 4/14(S)

NBC

7.3

11

7894

20

3.8

10372

18

TWO AND A HALF MEN

CBS

7.3

11

7951

16

4.1

11250

18

TWO AND A HALF MEN-9PM(S)

CBS

7.3

11

7870

18

4.0

11010

21

BACHELOR, THE

ABC

7.0

11

7568

20

3.8

10467

21

TWO AND A HALF MEN 830PM(S)

CBS

7.0

11

7535

23

3.7

10146

23

EXTREME MAKEOVER-WED

ABC

6.7

11

7302

26

3.5

9589

23

TWO AND A HALF MEN-8PM(S)

CBS

6.7

11

7218

24

3.6

9805

25

COLD CASE SPECIAL(S)

CBS

6.6

12

7131

26

3.5

9634

25

DATELINE FRI

NBC

6.6

12

7162

30

3.4

9326

25

THE OC

FOX

6.6

10

7192

20

3.8

10495

Source: Nielsen Media Research

 

TOP 30 PROGRAMS - BROADCAST AND CABLE
Adults 18-49
Week Ending April 18

Rank

Program

Net

Rtg%

In Millions

1

APPRENTICE

NBC

13.6

17.51

2

AMERICAN IDOL-WEDNESDAY

FOX

9.7

12.51

3

CSI

CBS

7.9

10.14

4

FRIENDS 4/15

NBC

7.6

9.83

4

SURVIVOR: ALL-STARS

CBS

7.6

9.74

6

AMERICAN IDOL-THURSDAY

FOX

6.2

7.99

7

FEAR FACTOR

NBC

5.9

7.60

7

FRIENDS

NBC

5.9

7.54

9

LAW AND ORDER

NBC

5.2

6.75

10

CROSSING JORDAN

NBC

5.1

6.50

10

WITHOUT A TRACE

CBS

5.1

6.58

12

MISS USA 2004

NBC

4.9

6.34

13

LAW AND ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT

NBC

4.8

6.20

14

CSI: MIAMI

CBS

4.7

6.08

15

THE BACHELOR

ABC

4.6

5.87

16

THE O.C.

FOX

4.4

5.66

17

THE SIMPSONS

FOX

4.3

5.56

17

LAW & ORDER: SVU

NBC

4.3

5.50

19

EXTREME MAKEOVER

ABC

4.2

5.44

19

THAT 70’S SHOW SPECIAL

FOX

4.2

5.35

19

THE SIMPSONS 8:30

FOX

4.2

5.37

22

DATELINE NBC SPECIAL 4/14

NBC

4.1

5.30

23

THE SWAN

FOX

3.9

5.02

23

TWO AND A HALF MEN

CBS

3.9

5.01

23

TWO AND A HALF MEN 9:00 PM

CBS

3.9

4.96

26

EXTREME MAKEOVER: HOME EDITION

ABC

3.7

4.82

27

ALIAS

ABC

3.5

4.49

28

FRASIER

NBC

3.3

4.24

29

NYPD BLUE

ABC

3.2

4.16

29

KING OF QUEENS-SPECIAL

CBS

3.2

4.13

29

TWO AND A HALF MEN 8:30 PM

CBS

3.2

4.07

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

 

CABLE TV
Ranked on Households
Week Ending April 4

BASIC CABLE

#

PROGRAM NAME

NET

Households 

Persons 2+

(000)

Rtg %

(000)

1

NCAA WOMENS BASKET TOUR L (CONNECTICUT/TENNESSEE)

ESPN

3801

3.5

5583

2

WWE ENTERTAINMENT(WWE RAW ZONE)

SPIKE

3539

3.3

4700

3

BAND OF BROTHERS

HIST

3163

2.9

4618

4

SPONGEBOB

NICK

3089

2.8

4147

5

FAIRLY ODD PARENTS

NICK

3080

2.8

3914

6

WWE ENTERTAINMENT (WWE RAW)

SPIKE

3059

2.8

4128

7

FAIRLY ODD PARENTS

NICK

3011

2.8

3902

8

REAL WORLD XIV

MTV

2985

2.8

3881

9

CHAPPELLES SHOW

CMDY

2980

2.7

4431

10

LAW & ORDER

TNT

2960

2.7

3776

11

LAW & ORDER

TNT

2921

2.7

3485

12

SOUTH PARK

CMDY

2661

2.5

3958

13

NCAA WMNS BSKT NAT POST L

ESPN

2629

2.4

3826

14

RW/RR CHALLENGE: INFERNO

MTV

2577

2.4

3237

15

GOLF, PROFESSIONAL LIVE (MASTERS, THE)

USA

2570

2.4

3070

PAY CABLE

#

PROGRAM NAME

NET

Households 

Persons 2+

(000)

Rtg %

(000)

1

SOPRANOS, THE

HBO

6188

5.7

9927

2

DEADWOOD

HBO

3462

3.2

5403

3

WCB: 4/10/04 (KLITSCHKO VS. BREWSTER)

HBO

2475

2.3

3573

4

WCB: 4/10/04 (POST)

HBO

2197

2.0

3093

5

WCB: 4/10/04 (PRE 2)

HBO

2192

2.0

3236

* Each rating point is equivalent to  108.4 million homes
Source: Nielsen Media Research

 

SYNDICATION
Ranked on Households
Week Ending April 11

#

 PROGRAMS

Syndicator

Households

US Rtg%

(000)

1

WHEEL OF FORTUNE

KIN

8.1

8818

2

JEOPARDY

KIN

6.7

7299

3

OPRAH WINFREY SHOW (AT)

KIN

5.8

6277

4

SEINFELD-WKND (AT)

SPT

5.6

6113

4

SEINFELD (AT)

SPT

5.6

6112

6

FRIENDS-SYN (AT)

WB

5.4

5902

7

EVRY LVS RAYMOND-SYN (AT)

KIN

5.0

5456

8

ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT(AT)

PRM

4.7

5101

9

WHEEL OF FORTUNE WKND

KIN

4.6

5018

9

JUDGE JUDY (AT)

PRM

4.6

4980

Source: Nielsen Media Research

 

SPANISH-LANGUAGE TELEVISION
Ranked on Households
Week Ending April 18

#

PROGRAMS

Net

NHTI*
Rtg%

Projection
(000)

1

MARIANA DE LA NOCHE TUE

UNI

20.5

2171

2

MARIANA DE LA NOCHE WED

UNI

20.3

2147

3

MARIANA DE LA NOCHE MON

UNI

20.1

2123

4

MARIANA DE LA NOCHE THU

UNI

19.2

2030

5

DON FRANCISCO PRESENTA-WE

UNI

18.3

1934

5

MARIANA DE LA NOCHE FRI

UNI

18.3

1931

5

AMAR OTRA VEZ WED

UNI

18.3

1930

8

BAJO LA MISMA PIEL TUE

UNI

18.0

1908

9

BAJO LA MISMA PIEL WED

UNI

17.8

1886

10

BAJO LA MISMA PIEL THU

UNI

17.7

1874

11

BAJO LA MISMA PIEL MON

UNI

17.4

1840

11

AMAR OTRA VEZ TUE

UNI

17.4

1838

13

AMAR OTRA VEZ MON

UNI

17.2

1819

14

AMAR OTRA VEZ THU

UNI

16.4

1734

15

BAJO LA MISMA PIEL FRI

UNI

16.2

1712

16

AMAR OTRA VEZ FRI

UNI

16.0

1691

17

SABADO GIGANTE-SAT

UNI

15.5

1634

18

CRISTINA-MON

UNI

15.1

1597

19

ESCUELITA VIP FRI

UNI

14.1

1495

20

CASOS VIDA R: ED. ESP TUE

UNI

13.8

1459

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

 

NETWORK SPORTS
Ranked on Households
Week Ending April 11

#

PROGRAMS

Net

Episode

Households

Persons 2+

US Rtg%

Shr

(000)

(000)

1

CBS NCAA BSKBL CHAMP(S)-4/5

CBS

UCONN
 VS GA TECH

11.0

18

11892

17088

2

MASTERS GOLF
TRN.-SUN(S)-4/11/

CBS

7.3

19

7913

11821

3

MASTERS GOLF
TOURN. SAT.
(S)4/10

CBS

5.8

15

6324

8119

4

CBS SPORTS
SPEC.-SU

CBS

CELEBRATE
LEG:B JONES

3.8

9

4098

6333

5

NBA ON ABC
SUN 2

ABC

LA AT SACRA

3.1

8

3398

4726

6

WWE SMCKDWN!

UPN

3.0

5

3204

4782

7

NBA ON
ABC-SUN 1

ABC

PHIL AT NJ

1.8

5

1924

2374

8

CBS SPORTS
SPEC-SU1

CBS

QUEST FOR
GRAND SLAM

1.5

5

1680

2086

9

NHL PLYFFS ON
ABC
SAT 1(S)-04/10

ABC

VAR TEAMS
AND TIMES

1.4

4

1477

1848

10

NBC SPORTS
SPEC 4/10-B(S)

NBC

ROAD TO KTY DERBY

1.1

3

1184

1537

11

NBC SPORTS
SPECIAL 4/11-A(S)

NBC

SI FOR KIDS:
NEXT SNOW SEARCH

1.1

4

1242

1420

12

NBC SPORTS 
SPEC 4/10-A(S)

NBC

WORLD ADV
SPORTS

0.8

2

823

938

13

NBC SPORTS
SPEC. 4/11-B(S)

NBC

US OPEN
SNWBRDING

0.8

2

868

1000

14

NBC ARENA
FOOTBALL

NBC

TMPA BAY AT CHI
GA AT AUST

0.7

2

755

980

15

PURINA DG CHW
 DG CHLG

PAX

0.3

1

315

408

Source: Nielsen Media Research

 


April 21, 2004© 2004 Media Life


 
---Diego Vasquez is a Washington writer.


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