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Out the door, and
quietly, for 'Practice'

Lackluster finish for doesn't bode well for spinoff

By Diego Vasquez

    “The Practice” on ABC has gone away quietly, and with far less acclaim than it arrived. The show this season was an example of ABC’s bad luck with dramas, not only its inability to come up with good new ones, but to maintain interest in good old ones.
  Numbers for “The Practice” have been off, yet ABC will still take a stab at a spinoff next fall.
   In 18-49s, “The Practice” finale on Sunday night drew extremely lackluster numbers, a 3.5 average rating. To put that into perspective, the show was tied for No. 31 in the demo with five other programs, including a Carol Burnett special on CBS. The rating for “The Practice” was only 0.2 higher than that earned by “The Restaurant” on NBC, which has now been bumped for what remains of May sweeps.
   The series-ender (or spinoff beginner) finished No. 21 in households at 7.5/13. Not so bad until you consider that a preview for the upcoming film “The Day After Tomorrow” earned a 9.3 rating and 15 share in households on Fox.
   The once-hip law drama leftwith a small fraction of the ratings the “Friends” sendoff received, although with admittedly an equally unimpressive amount of publicity. But that could be because the show was on a steady decline.
   As of March, “The Practice” had dropped in households by 13 percent over the previous year, from a 7.0 average to a 6.1. Even Dylan McDermott could only help the show muster a 7 percent improvement in its last episode ever.
   The final episode of “The Practice” aired with the likes of William Shatner as Denny Crane, Rebecca De Mornay as Hannah Rose, and of course McDermott as Bobby Donnell. The doors of the firm closed forever and it’s time for the employees to move on.
   That means spinoff land for James Spader. “The Practice: Fleet Street” will take over the Sunday at 10 p.m. time slot next fall. ABC says the show will be fast-paced and darkly comedic, and will confront social issues of moral conscience, safe sex, pursuit of happiness and money, with varying degrees of priority.
   Hopefully for the alphabet network the slightly edgier formula will translate to more than slightly higher ratings.

PRIMETIME AVERAGES BY NETWORK
Ranked on Households
Week Ending May 16

Network

Households

People 2+

Adults 18-49

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

CBS

7.8

8500

13

4.3

11800

12

3.7

4770

11

NBC

7.6

8240

13

4.1

11210

11

4.0

5180

12

FOX

5.8

6260

10

3.3

9220

9

4.1

5290

12

ABC

5.4

5900

9

3.0

8310

8

3.0

3910

9

WB

2.8

2990

5

1.5

4050

4

1.8

2290

5

UPN

2.3

2470

4

1.2

3270

3

1.3

1670

4

PAX

0.6

650

1

0.3

860

1

0.2

250

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 May 16

Network

Households

People 2+

Adults 18-49

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

CBS

8.5

9160

14

4.8

13120

12

3.9

5030

11

NBC

7.3

7930

12

4.0

11080

11

4.3

5520

12

FOX

6.0

6510

10

3.5

9610

9

4.0

5150

11

ABC

5.9

6380

10

3.3

9020

9

3.3

4190

9

WB

2.5

2660

4

1.3

3650

3

1.5

1890

4

UPN

2.3

2500

4

1.2

3400

3

1.4

1780

4

PAX

0.7

710

1

0.4

980

1

0.2

290

1

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

 

NETWORK TV
Ranked on Households
Week Ending May 16

#

PROGRAMS

Net

HOUSEHOLDS

PERSONS 2+

Rtg%

Shr

(000)

#

Rtg%

(000)

1

FRASIER FINALE(S)

NBC

16.3

25

17670

1

9.2

25249

2

E.R.

NBC

15.7

25

17026

2

8.7

23882

3

CSI

CBS

14.2

22

15386

4

8.2

22525

4

AMERICAN IDOL-TUESDAY

FOX

13.7

23

14804

3

8.4

23267

4

AMERICAN IDOL-WEDNESDAY

FOX

13.7

21

14825

5

8.1

22276

6

CSI: MIAMI

CBS

13.5

22

14636

6

7.6

20942

7

FRASIER CLIPSHOW SPCL(S)

NBC

11.8

20

12805

8

6.5

17929

8

WITHOUT A TRACE

CBS

11.7

19

12718

9

6.4

17725

9

SURVIVOR: ALL-STARS

CBS

11.6

19

12572

7

6.9

19109

10

EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND

CBS

11.0

17

11937

10

6.1

16925

11

LAW AND ORDER

NBC

10.8

17

11662

11

5.8

15859

12

TWO AND A HALF MEN

CBS

10.4

16

11256

11

5.8

16005

13

D VAN DYKE SHOW REVISTED(S)

CBS

9.9

15

10748

14

5.3

14565

14

DAY AFTER TOMORROW PRVW(S)

FOX

9.3

15

10075

13

5.4

14941

15

LAW AND ORDER:CRIM INTENT

NBC

9.2

14

9922

15

5.0

13737

16

C BURNETT:BUMP UP LIGHTS(S)

CBS

9.1

14

9828

16

4.9

13610

17

JUDGING AMY

CBS

8.9

14

9668

18

4.5

12284

18

CROSSING JORDAN

NBC

8.8

15

9512

17

4.6

12643

19

LAW AND ORDER:SVU

NBC

8.7

14

9440

18

4.5

12277

20

BACHELOR, THE

ABC

8.4

13

9115

18

4.5

12453

21

PRACTICE, THE

ABC

7.5

13

8115

25

4.0

10905

22

STILL STANDING

CBS

7.4

12

8071

25

4.0

11084

23

24

FOX

7.3

11

7879

21

4.4

12188

23

NAVY NCIS

CBS

7.3

12

7900

25

4.0

11074

23

SUPER MILLIONAIRE-5/16(S)

ABC

7.3

11

7931

22

4.2

11510

Source: Nielsen Media Research

 

TOP 30 PROGRAMS - BROADCAST AND CABLE
Adults 18-49
Week Ending May 16

Rank

Program

Net

Rtg%

In Millions

1

E.R

NBC

11.3

14.56

2

AMERICAN IDOL – WEDNESDAY

FOX

10.0

12.90

3

FRASIER FINALE

NBC

9.8

12.57

4

AMERICAN IDOL – TUESDAY

FOX

9.6

12.40

5

CSI

CBS

8.2

10.58

6

CSI: MIAMI

CBS

7.6

9.74

7

DAY AFTER TOMORROW PREV.

FOX

7.5

9.70

8

SURVIVOR: ALL-STARS

CBS

7.4

9.47

9

THE BACHELOR

ABC

6.0

7.77

10

FRASIER CLIPS SHOW

NBC

5.9

7.66

10

EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND

CBS

5.9

7.61

12

THAT 70’S SHOW

FOX

5.8

7.52

12

TWO AND A HALF MEN

CBS

5.8

7.52

14

WITHOUT A TRACE

CBS

5.7

7.40

15

LAW & ORDER

NBC

5.6

7.17

16

24

FOX

5.3

6.78

17

LAW & ORDER: SVU

NBC

5.0

6.47

18

FEAR FACTOR

NBC

4.7

6.08

19

LAS VEGAS

NBC

4.6

5.93

20

EXTREME MAKEOVER: HOME

ABC

4.4

5.69

20

LAW & ORDER: CI

NBC

4.4

5.66

22

CROSSING JORDAN

NBC

4.3

5.48

22

THE SIMPSONS

FOX

4.3

5.56

24

BACHELOR: WOMEN TELL ALL

ABC

4.2

5.43

25

CBS SUNDAY MOVIE

CBS

4.1

5.25

25

THAT 70’S SHOW 5/16 8:30

FOX

4.1

5.30

25

THE SWAN

FOX

4.2

5.23

28

STILL STANDING

CBS

3.8

4.84

28

MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE

FOX

3.8

4.89

30

THE SIMPSONS 5/16 9:30

FOX

3.6

4.66

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

 

CABLE TV
Ranked on Households
Week Ending May 9

BASIC CABLE

#

PROGRAM NAME

NET

Households 

Persons 2+

(000)

Rtg %

(000)

1

NBA PLAYOFFS (LAKERS/SPURS)

TNT

4395

4.1

5925

2

WWE ENTERTAINMENT (WWE RAW ZONE)

SPIKE

3553

3.3

4664

3

S TIMMY JIMMY POWER HOUR

NICK

3442

3.2

4956

4

NBA PLAYOFFS (KINGS/TIMBERWOLVES)

TNT

3402

3.1

4240

5

WWE ENTERTAINMENT (WWE RAW)

SPIKE

3260

3.0

4396

6

REAL WORLD XIV

MTV

3182

2.9

3937

7

DANNY PHANTOM

NICK

2893

2.7

4152

8

S TIMMY JIMMY POWER HOUR

NICK

2889

2.7

4377

9

FAIRLY ODD PARENTS

NICK

2884

2.7

3702

9

JIMMY NEUTRON

NICK

2884

2.7

3711

11

JIMMY NEUTRON

NICK

2863

2.6

3759

12

SPONGEBOB

NICK

2847

2.6

3487

13

FAIRLY ODD PARENTS

NICK

2840

2.6

3637

14

NBA PLAYOFFS-CONF SEMIS L (KINGS/TIMBERWOLVES)

ESPN

2776

2.6

3660

15

FAIRLY ODD PARENTS

NICK

2726

2.5

3503

PAY CABLE

#

PROGRAM NAME

NET

Households 

Persons 2+

(000)

Rtg %

(000)

1

SOPRANOS, THE

HBO

5471

5.0

8481

2

DEADWOOD

HBO

2593

2.4

3884

3

IN-LAWS, THE

HBO

1540

1.4

2198

4

WCB: 5/8/04 (MARQUEZ VS. PACQUIAO)

HBO

1526

1.4

2244

5

WCB: 5/8/04 (POST)

HBO

1336

1.2

1945

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

 

SYNDICATION
Ranked on Households
Week Ending May 9

#

 PROGRAMS

Syndicator

Households

US Rtg%

(000)

1

WHEEL OF FORTUNE

KIN

8.2

8866

2

OPRAH WINFREY SHOW (AT)

KIN

6.9

7522

3

JEOPARDY

KIN

6.6

7176

4

SEINFELD (AT)

SPT

6.0

6455

5

FRIENDS-SYN (AT)

WB

5.8

6295

6

SEINFELD-WKND (AT)

SPT

5.7

6229

7

EVRY LVS RAYMOND-SYN (AT)

KIN

5.4

5871

7

DR. PHIL SHOW

KIN

5.4

5846

9

ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT(AT)

PRM

5.0

5431

10

JUDGE JUDY (AT)

PRM

4.8

5162

Source: Nielsen Media Research

 

SPANISH-LANGUAGE TELEVISION
Ranked on Households
Week Ending May 16

#

PROGRAMS

Net

NHTI

(000)

1

MARIANA DE LA NOCHE TUE

UNI

23.4

2472

2

MARIANA DE LA NOCHE WED

UNI

23.3

2463

3

MARIANA DE LA NOCHE MON

UNI

21.8

2309

4

MARIANA DE LA NOCHE THU

UNI

21.5

2278

5

BAJO LA MISMA PIEL TUE

UNI

20.9

2211

6

BAJO LA MISMA PIEL WED

UNI

20.3

2141

7

BAJO LA MISMA PIEL MON

UNI

20.2

2139

8

BAJO LA MISMA PIEL THU

UNI

19.9

2107

9

AMAR OTRA VEZ TUE

UNI

19.8

2093

10

MARIANA DE LA NOCHE FRI

UNI

19.6

2072

11

AMAR OTRA VEZ MON

UNI

19.4

2054

11

AMAR OTRA VEZ WED

UNI

19.4

2053

13

AMAR OTRA VEZ THU

UNI

18.6

1970

13

BAJO LA MISMA PIEL FRI

UNI

18.6

1970

15

CRISTINA-MON

UNI

17.6

1865

16

AMAR OTRA VEZ FRI

UNI

17.1

1810

17

AQUI Y AHORA-THU

UNI

16.1

1703

18

DON FRANCISCO PRESENTA-WE

UNI

16.0

1696

19

ESCUELITA VIP FRI

UNI

14.4

1521

20

AL FILO DE LA LEY TUE

UNI

13.9

1469

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

 

NETWORK SPORTS
Ranked on Households
Week Ending May 9

#

PROGRAMS

Net

Episode

Households

Persons 2+

US
Rtg%

Shr

(000)

(000)

1

NBA
PLAYOFFS
ON ABC
SUN 1

ABC

SAN ANT.
AT LA 

4.7

13

5147

7092

2

WACHOVIA CHAMPS
SU(S)-5/9

CBS

3.6

10

3915

5087

3

WWE
SMACKDOWN!

UPN

2.8

4

3015

4352

4

WACHOVIA
CHAMPS
SA(S)-5/8

CBS

2.7

8

2918

3460

5

MARSHALL'S
WRLD
SKTNG CH(S)-5/9

ABC

1.4

5

1535

1998

6

NHL PLYFFS ON
ABC-SAT 5(S)-5/8

ABC

PHILA AT
TAMPA 

1.1

3

1235

1517

7

NBC SPORTS
SPEC. 5/8-B(S)

NBC

VANS SLAM
JAM

1.1

3

1214

1443

8

NBC SPORTS
SPEC. 5/8-A(S)

NBC

BOXING

1.0

3

1078

1323

9

NBC SPORTS
SPEC. 5/9(S)

NBC

GOLD
GLOVES

0.9

3

1006

1134

10

PGA TOUR
2004
SAT(S)-5/8

CBS

PGA 18:
ULTIMATE
ROAD TRIP-1

0.7

2

721

764

11

NBC ARNA
FOOTBALL

NBC

VAR.
TEAMS
AND TIMES

0.7

2

801

938

Source: Nielsen Media Research


May 19, 2004© 2004 Media Life


 --Diego Vasquez is a Washington writer.


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