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Ratings Chart Attack! is the TV industry’s destination for a daily dose of prime-time ratings. Delivering the daily scoop on which shows are scoring. TVWeek’s Sergio Ibarra calls the winners and losers, and what it means to broadcast network programmers. From day-in, day-out ratings to long-view trends and noteworthy performances, Ratings Chart Attack! delivers.

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April 2008 Archives

Coping With Ratings Delays

April 30, 2008 3:22 PM

Those desperate to know how well Tuesday’s all-Neil Diamond version of “American Idol” did against “Dancing With the Stars” will need to hold their horses.

Nielsen said they are having “processing issues” and cannot release Tuesday’s ratings until tomorrow morning. Those fast nationals aren’t so fast, are they?

While you’re waiting, why not look into the Paula Abdul-inspired “Idol” gaffe from last night? Judges gave their remarks to the contestants at the halfway point of the show, firing-line style. Ms. Abdul was a little confused and flustered over the break from the standard performance/critique format. So she tore down Jason Castro’s second song of the night, despite the fact that Mr. Castro had only sung one song.

Awkward silence and stifled laughter ensued. Check out the moving pictures below for what happened, and I’ll be back tomorrow with Tuesday’s (and hopefully Wednesday’s) ratings.

‘House’ Moves, Wins Monday

April 29, 2008 1:02 PM

HouseOne of the last shows to come back with original episodes after the writers strike-related hiatus, Fox’s “House,” returned to form Monday as the night’s top-rated show, despite being down considerably from its previous Tuesday average.

“House” scored a 5.7 rating/13 share in the 18- to 49-year-old demographic, according to Nielsen preliminary numbers. The medical drama soared 159% over “New Amsterdam’s” previous season-to-date average in the demo. “Amsterdam” previously held the 9 p.m. Monday time slot.

However, “House” dipped 11% from its previous season-to-date average on Tuesdays.

“Bones” (3.2/9) improved 19% from last week’s showing, helping Fox finish the night in first place with a 4.4/11.

“How I Met Your Mother” (3.8/10) and “The Big Bang Theory” (3.0/9) both were up slightly from last week on CBS (3.9/10).

“Mother” grabbed headlines Monday as production began on another episode featuring guest star Britney Spears.

“Two and a Half Men” (4.7/11) dipped 6% and “Rules of Engagement” fell 5%. “CSI: Miami” (3.9/10) dropped 9%.

It was a close third for ABC (3.7/9), with tentative numbers for “Dancing With the Stars” (4.4/11) on par with last week. If the preliminary numbers hold, “Samantha Who?” (3.6/8) would see a 29% leap—that’s nearly a full ratings point. “The Bachelor” would be flat from last week with a 2.6/7.

Live programming tends to disrupt preliminary numbers, meaning ABC’s numbers probably will change once final numbers are released by Nielsen.

NBC’s (2.9/7) “Deal or No Deal” (2.9/7) was on the low side, down 19% from its previous season average, but up a bit from last week’s episode. “Medium” (3.1/8) was on par with its average.

The CW (1.2/3, 1.8/5 in the 18-34 demographic) continues to see good results from the return of “Gossip Girl” (1.7/3, 1.9/6 in 18-34), as the show essentially held even with last week’s solid numbers.

“One Tree Hill” slipped 14% from last week to a 1.2/3. Also, the show dropped 24% in 18-34 to a 1.6/4, tying its previous season average in that demo.

Interestingly, last week’s “Gossip” return appears to have kick-started the week for The CW, as several shows Tuesday through Thursday cashed in with high ratings in key demos not seen in nearly a month.

ABC Dramas Improve as Network Wins Sunday

April 28, 2008 12:57 PM

Housewives.jpg“Desperate Housewives” grew slightly from last week’s rocky post-strike return as ABC clinched the first Sunday win in May sweeps.

“Housewives” was up 6% to a 5.8 rating/14 share, up slightly from last week’s series low in the 18- to 49-year-old demographic, according to preliminary Nielsen data.

“Brothers & Sisters” (4.0/10) jumped 18% from last week. A two-part “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (2.3/7, 3.9/10) led off the night. The 8 p.m. episode, in “Makeover’s” usual slot, was down 13% from its last original telecast.

ABC placed first for Sunday night with a 4.0/11.

New episodes from Fox’s animation stable helped give the network second place with a 3.0/8. Increases abounded for the cartoon set from their previous original episodes, with “The Simpsons” (3.6/10) up 9%, “King of the Hill” (3.0/8) up 7%, “Family Guy” (4.3/10) up 5% and “American Dad” (3.3/8) up a big 32%.

CBS (2.1/6) ended its latest season of “Big Brother” (2.3/6) to little movement of the needle, tying its previous season average. “Cold Case” (2.7/6) bettered its last telecast by 8% and “Dexter” continues to hold steady at a 2.0/5.

NBC (1.3/4) is having little luck with repurposed USA Network shows “Psych” (1.0/2) and “Monk” (1.0/3). Both dipped again from last week’s small numbers. “Dateline” tied its previous season average with a 1.5/5.

The CW (0.5/1) had new episodes of “Everybody Hates Chris” (0.5/1), “Aliens in America” (0.4/1) and “The Game” (0.6/1), which were even with their previous season average.

On Friday, CBS (2.2/7) was the winner with an all-new lineup of “Ghost Whisperer” (2.3/9), “Moonlight” (2.1/7) and “Numb3rs” (2.2/7). “Whisperer” and “Numb3rs” were even from their previous average, while “Moonlight,” in its first original airing since the writers strike, was down 13% from its last original episode.

NBC (1.6/5) was second with a new “Dateline” (1.9/6), on par from last week. Fox and The CW tied for third with a 1.3/4.

ABC (1.2/4) was fifth with “20/20” (1.6/5) and “Duel” (0.9/3), which was the lowest-rated original show of the night.

Police shows won Saturday night for Fox (1.8/6), with ABC a close second (1.6/5) with a “Harry Potter” showing. CBS ranked third (1.1/4) and NBC was fourth with repeats (0.8/3).

ABC’s Thursday Lineup Slumps as Sweep Starts

April 25, 2008 12:26 PM

GreysAnatomyThe May sweep kicked off on an ominous note as several networks’ shows hit series lows in the ratings.

ABC’s “Ugly Betty” and “Grey’s Anatomy” returned in originals last night, to their lowest first-run episodes ever, minus Thanksgiving and clip shows. “Betty” reeled in a 2.5 rating/8 share in the 18- to 49-year-old demographic, according to preliminary Nielsen results. “Betty” was down 14% from its last original episode.

“Grey’s,” Thursday’s top-rated show, collected a 6.3/16, off 11% from its last original in January.

“Lost” (5.5/14), returning from a monthlong hiatus, jumped into its new 10 p.m. slot just about on par with its previous season average.

ABC finished the first night of May sweeps in first place with a 4.8/13.

“Survivor” (4.0/13) was average for CBS (4.2/13), while “CSI” (4.6/11) hit its lowest Thursday original ever, minus Thanksgiving. “Without a Trace” also was flat (3.3/9) from its previous season average.

NBC (2.9/8) rearranged its schedule last night, moving “Scrubs” to 8:30 p.m. and “30 Rock” to 9:30 p.m. “Scrubs” (2.4/7) took a 37% slip from last week’s episode. “30 Rock” (2.8/7) held steady, remaining flat from last week’s episode and its season average.

“My Name Is Earl” (2.3/7) chalked up its lowest original rating, down 15% from its last episode. “The Office” (3.9/10) was off 22% from last week for an original-episode season low.

“ER” also bottomed out with an original series low (2.9/8).

Fox (2.3) aired two back-to-back episodes of “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?” (2.1/6, 2.5/6). In its regular 8 p.m. slot, the quiz show was off 16% from last week.

“Smallville” (1.4/4) was on par for The CW (1.2/3), while a returning “Supernatural” (1.0/2) was down 23% from its last original episode. The show also dipped 36% in the 18-34 demographic from its last original (1.4/4 to a 0.9/2).

Odds and Ends: The final player to return to this writers strike-embattled season is Fox’s “House” on Monday.

Sliding ‘Idol’ Still Places First on Wednesday

April 24, 2008 1:13 PM

AmericanIdolRatings.jpgStill a dominating show, “American Idol’s” star continues to lose its luster in its seventh season, as the show played to its lowest rating since 2003.

“Idol” was the highest-rated show of the night with an 8.4 rating/21 share, according to preliminary Nielsen numbers, but it was down 5% from last Wednesday.

Of more concern was “Idol’s” 18-34 rating, 6.3/17, one of its lowest showings in that demographic since the show’s first season in 2002.

There was some good news for Wednesday night winner Fox (5.5/12), as “’Til Death” (2.3/7) and “Back to You” (2.7/7) saw increases of 15% and 8%, respectively, from their time-period debuts last week.

A returning “Law & Order” (3.7/10) helped pushed NBC (2.8/7) to second place last night. “L&O” scored its highest rating since its season premiere in January, thanks to Jesse L. Martin’s final episode and a “Deal or No Deal” lead-in (2.3/6).

“Big Brother” continues to hold at its 2.3/7 from last week on CBS (2.2/6), as repeats dominated the rest of the night. The network finished the night in third place.

Fourth-place ABC’s (2.0/5) “Wife Swap” (2.2/7) tied its previous season average, while “Supernanny” (2.2/5) is still 21% off the mark from its average. “Men in Trees” was essentially flat (1.5/4).

“America’s Next Top Model” (2.0/6) and the season finale of “Pussycat Dolls Present: Girlicious” (1.2/3) grabbed season highs last night in several demos on The CW (1.6/4).

Gains Greet ‘Gossip Girl’

April 22, 2008 12:39 PM

Gossip Girl
“Gossip Girl” gabbed again on The CW last night and posted modest gains over its last original episode, which aired back in January.

“Girl” scored a 1.3 rating/4 share in the 18- to 49-year-old demographic, according to preliminary Nielsen numbers, an 18% increase from its last original episode. The show also scored a 1.9/6 in the 18-34 demo, up 27%.

In the show’s bread-and-butter demographic, women 18-34, it saw a 38% increase from its last original episode with a 2.9/8.

The CW is gambling that its refusal to stream this season’s final five fresh episodes of “Girl” will funnel the young demographic toward broadcast.

“One Tree Hill” continued the night by holding or building on key demos, ending up with a 1.4/3 in 18-49 and a 2.0/5 in 18-34, just about on par with last week.

The CW finished the night with a 1.3/3 in 18-49, and 2.0/6 in 18-34.

CBS (4.0/10), however, won the night with its comedy block. “The Big Bang Theory” (2.9/8) and “Rules of Engagement” (4.1/10) were even with last week. “How I Met Your Mother” saw a 9% week-to-week bump while “Two and a Half Men” dropped 8% from last week. “CSI: Miami” closed the night with a 4.3/11.

ABC’s (3.5/9) “Dancing With the Stars” (4.3/11) saw a 5% upturn from last week’s low for the performance show. “Samantha Who?” was down a tick to a 2.9/7 and “The Bachelor” was flat (2.7/7).

NBC (2.8/7) trotted out President George W. Bush for a guest appearance on “Deal or No Deal” (2.7/7), which was down 7% from last week’s spring break episode. “Medium” (3.0/8) fell 6%.

“Bones” (2.6/7) on Fox (2.6/7) slipped 10% to its second-lowest rating ever. The network, in fourth place, ended the night with a “House” repeat.


‘Oprah’ Finishes Big, ‘Housewives’ Sags

April 21, 2008 12:16 PM

Oprah

“Oprah’s Big Give” was less than generous to lead-out “Desperate Housewives,” sending “Housewives” to a ratings low Sunday on ABC.

“Housewives” brought in a 5.5 rating/13 share on Sunday in the 18- to 49-year-old demographic, according to preliminary Nielsen numbers, a series (minus clip shows) low.

“Oprah’s Big Give” (3.2/9) ended its run yesterday, up 10% from last week’s series low. “Brothers and Sisters” (3.6/10) returned to its 10 p.m. time period with a rating 20% better than its last original episode, which, coincidentally, was a series low.

ABC finished first on Sunday with a 3.6/10.

Fox (2.0/6) took second with animation repeats, while CBS was third (1.7/5). “Big Brother” (2.3/6) and “60 Minutes” (1.5/5) dipped down from last week 18% and 38%, respectively. CBS had the benefit of a Masters lead-in last week.

The TV movie “Sweet Nothing in My Ear” (1.5/4) preempted “Cold Case” and “Dexter.”

“Monk” (1.3/4) and “Psych” (1.1/3) continue to twist in the wind on NBC (1.3/4). “Monk” took a slight uptick from last week, while “Psych” dropped slightly.

The CW (0.5/1) had new episodes of “Everybody Hates Chris” (0.4/1) and “The Game” (0.7/2), essentially flat from last week.

On Friday, ABC (1.1/4) struggled with original content against a mainly repeat-heavy schedule. “Duel” bottomed out with a 0.9/3, while “20/20” (1.5/5) scored a second-place tie in its time period.

NBC won Friday (1.8/6) thanks to “Most Outrageous Moments” repeats and a new two-hour “Dateline” (1.9/6), which improved 12% over last week’s low “Miss USA 2008” showing.

CBS (1.5/5) ran repeats, while Fox (1.3/4) finished its run of “Canterbury’s Law” (1.0/3) to a series low.

The CW (1.2/4) grappled with fifth place, thanks to “Friday Night Smackdown!” (1.2/4), down 14% from last week.

Now that NCAA coverage is out of the way, Fox reclaimed Saturday with its crime lineup of “Cops” (1.7/6, 2.1/8) and “America’s Most Wanted” (2.1/7). ABC placed second with a 1.3/4, CBS third with a 1.1/4 and NBC was fourth with a 0.9/3.

‘Office’ Wins Promotion for NBC

April 18, 2008 1:47 PM

The Office

Subtract original episodes of “CSI” and “Lost” from Thursday, and NBC’s “The Office” gets promoted to the top show of the night in the ratings game.

“The Office” was up slightly from last week to a 5.0 rating/13 share, according to Nielsen numbers. “Scrubs” also faced weaker competition and bounced up 9% from last week to a 3.7/10.

On par with its time slot average, “30 Rock” scored a 2.8/8, while “My Name Is Earl” was down slightly with a 2.7/9. “ER” tied last week’s numbers with a 3.1/9.

NBC finished the night in first place with a 3.4/10.

CBS (3.0/8) tied last week’s “Survivor” numbers with a 3.9/12 and rounded out the night with “CSI” and “Without a Trace” repeats.

Fox (2.8/8) tumbled from an “American Idol”-enhanced Thursday last week, with “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?” (2.5/8) and “Don’t Forget the Lyrics” (3.1/8), the latter down 23%.
A two-hour “Lost” (1.3/4) repeat didn’t do ABC (1.5/4) or its lead-out “Eli Stone” any favors, as it was the second lowest-rated show of the night.

“Eli Stone’s” season finale brought in a 2.0/6, which is 11% better than last week, but third for the time period.

The CW (1.4/4) aired a new episode of “Smallville” (1.4/4), tying its previous season average. “Supernatural” was in repeats.

Odds and Ends:

Next week, expect original episodes to return for “Gossip Girl” and “Supernatural” on The CW; “Ugly Betty,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Lost” on ABC; “Moonlight” on CBS; and “Law & Order” on NBC.

Freshness Not Enough for Fox Comedies

April 17, 2008 3:31 PM

Biggest Loser

Fox comedies “Back to You” and “’Til Death” returned to originals with subpar to average numbers, while “American Idol” won yet another night with a recent ratings low.

According to Nielsen numbers, “Death” scored a 2.0 rating/6 share, its lowest rating since January 2007, when the show ran on Thursdays. “Back to You” (2.5/7) managed to break about even with its last original in November.

“Idol” (8.8/22) unsurprisingly was the highest-rated show of the night, despite a four-year low rating, excluding specials. Fox was first for the night with a 5.5/15.

Second-place CBS (3.2/9) improved overall from last week with a 10% rise for “Big Brother” (2.3/7), a 6% bump for “Criminal Minds” and a 22% increase for “CSI: NY” (3.9/10).

In third, ABC (2.3/6) started the night with the Pennsylvania Democratic debate (2.7/7), while “Men in Trees” wandered back onto the schedule with a below-average 1.5/4.

“Deal or No Deal” (2.6/8) was slightly above last week’s rating on fourth-place NBC (1.9/5), which closed the night with “Law & Order” repeats.

In fifth place, The CW (1.4/4) brought in a good showing from “America’s Next Top Model” (1.9/8), which won the hour in 18- to 34-year-olds with a 2.2/7. “Pussycat Dolls” was even from last week with a 0.9/2.

‘Loser’ Has Big Finish, But Fox Still Rules Tuesday

April 16, 2008 12:18 PM

Biggest Loser

The season finale of “The Biggest Loser: Couples” weighed in as a big winner for NBC, tying its season-high premiere numbers, despite stiff competition from reality heavyweights “Hell’s Kitchen” and “Dancing With the Stars.”

“Loser” ended the night with a 4.4 rating/11 share in the 18- to 49-year-old demographic, down 4% from its previous season finale in December. The December finale wasn’t running on the same night as “American Idol,” “Hell’s Kitchen” or “Dancing With the Stars.”

NBC (4.5/12) also welcomed back “Law & Order: SVU” (4.7/12) to average numbers for original episodes.

For all of “Loser’s” gains, Fox’s “American Idol” still rolled on to rule the night with an 8.8/23, down 7% from last week. “Idol” hasn’t posted a Tuesday gain since Feb. 12.

“Hell’s Kitchen” dropped 8% from last week to a 4.9/12. Fox finished first for the night with a 6.7/17.

ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” continued its ratings skid, with the results show posting a 3.4/8. That is a 6% drop and the show’s third-worst rating to date.

“According to Jim” schlepped into a new time slot, with two back-to-back episodes ending up with a 1.3/4 and a 1.3/3, down 24% from the time period’s previous four-week average. “Boston Legal” ended the night with a 2.2/6, down slightly from last week.

ABC tied CBS for third with a 2.3/6. CBS’ “NCIS” (3.1/8) and “Big Brother” (2.4/6) were up slightly from last week, while a plugged-in special “48 Hours Mystery” (1.5/4) placed last in the 10 p.m. hour. “Mystery” replaced the quickly scuttled “Secret Talents of the Stars,” which posted the same rating last week.

The CW (0.6/2) had “Beauty and the Geek” (0.7/2), down 22% from last Tuesday, and a “Reaper” repeat.


‘Men’ Helps CBS Win Monday; ‘Stars,’ ‘Rules’ Tie for 2nd

April 15, 2008 12:28 PM

Two and a Half Men

ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” waltzed into a tie for the No. 2 program of Monday night, yet it dipped to a series low.

“Stars” pulled down a 4.0 rating/11 share in the 18- to 49-year-old demographic, according to preliminary Nielsen research. The rating fell 18% from last week to the show’s lowest rating to date, excepting specials.

Second-place ABC (3.4/9) ended the night with “Samantha Who?” (3.0/7, a 12% dip week-to-week) and “The Bachelor” (2.5/7), which was flat.

CBS was the night’s winner, edging out ABC with a 3.6/9. “Two and a Half Men” (5.3/13) beat its closest competitor by 33%. Tied with “Stars” for the night’s No. 2 show, “Rules of Engagement” (4.0/10) returned last night to near pre-strike numbers, off 5% from its last original airing in November.

“The Big Bang Theory” (2.9/8) landed within striking distance of its previous original airing two weeks ago, while “How I Met Your Mother” (3.4/9) tumbled 15% from its last airing.

A two-hour “Deal or No Deal” (2.9/7) tied last week’s hourlong counterpart on NBC (2.9/8). “Medium” (3.1/8) dropped 11%.

Fox’s “New Amsterdam” finished its run last night, capping the season with a 2.1/5, right around its previous season average. “Bones” (2.8/8) shuffled into the 8 p.m. slot, bumping “House” repeats. The move improved the time slot’s previous four-week average by 17%. However, “Bones” posted its second lowest rating ever as a result of the move.

Fox ended up fourth with a 2.5/6.

An original “One Tree Hill” (1.3/3) in its new time slot did well for The CW, with a 2.0/5 rating in the 18-34 demographic. “Hill” posted a network high in the 18-34 demo in the Monday 9-10 p.m. time slot. A “Gossip Girl” repeat led off the night.

The CW ended the night with a 1.0/2 (1.3/4 in the 18-34 demo).

‘Housewives’ Return to Record Low on ABC

April 14, 2008 1:32 PM

Desperate Housewives

ABC’s strategy for reintroducing “Desperate Housewives” after the writers strike ended up backfiring, bringing the show its worst performance for an original to date. In the process, “Oprah’s Big Give” lost ground after being shuffled earlier on the schedule.

“Big Give” moved to 8 p.m. yesterday, landing a 2.9 rating/8 share in 18-49 year olds according to Nielsen preliminary numbers. That would be its lowest rating to-date.

“Housewives,” coupled with a lower than usual lead-in from “Big Give,” pulled down a 5.7/13.

That would be “Housewives” worst original performance to date, as well.

Who prospered? ABC’s special “Eli Stone” jumped 61 percent over its Thursday showing with a (2.9/7). “America’s Funniest Home Videos” led off the night with a 2.4/7, flat from last week. ABC finished first with a 3.5/9.

CBS (2.7/7) posted marked improvement on its Sunday slate, with a 23% increase from “Big Brother” (2.7/7), a 14% jump from “Dexter” (2.4/6), and a 129% bump from “60 Minutes” (3.2/10). “Cold Case” (2.5/6) was down slightly.

Mostly animation repeats, a new “Simpsons” (3.3/9) and “King of the Hill” (2.8/7) helped Fox remain even with a 2.4/6.

USA’s top shows, “Monk” (1.1/3) and “Psych” (1.2/3), continue to languish on NBC (1.3/3). “Monk” dipped 27% from last week, while “Psych” dropped 8%. “Dateline” (1.3/4) was near even, and a “Law & Order: SVU” repeat capped the night.

The CW (0.5/1) stayed essentially flat from last week, with repeats and new showings of “Everybody Hates Chris” (0.5/1) and “The Game” (0.6/1).

On Friday, NBC’s broadcast of “Miss USA 2008” didn’t help the network’s overall rating (1.5/5). The pageant posted a record low, 1.7/5, down 23% from last year. It was the worst performance from the event in at least 17 years. NBC’s “Amnesia” finished its run yesterday with a 1.0/3, down 23% from last week.

ABC’s “Duel” continued to dud with disappointing ratings, tying last week’s season opening 1.1/3. “20/20” bounced back from the low lead-in with a 2.2/6. ABC ended the night with a 1.6/5.
CBS ended up winning the night with a 2.3/7, thanks to new episodes of “Ghost Whisperer” (2.5/9), “The Price is Right Primetime” (2.1/6) and “Numb3rs” (2.3/7), all essentially flat from last week.

The CW placed fourth with “Friday Night Smackdown!” (1.4/4), down slightly.

“Canterbury’s Law” (1.2/4) on Fox (1.2/4) dropped 14% from last week.

No surprises on Saturday as Fox’s sports coverage nabbed the night. The Subway Fresh Fit 500 started late due to rain, but was the top program with a 2.5/8. Thanks to live programming, expect to see that change once final official numbers arrive.

Fox was first with a 2.4/8. NBC (1.3/4) was second with “Law & Order” stable repeats. ABC and CBS tied for third with a 1.1/3.

'Idol' Wins Thursday While NBC's Comedies Return

April 11, 2008 11:46 AM

The Office

NBC welcomed back its Thursday night lineup to on-par ratings, while a special Thursday “Idol” took the night.

NBC’s comedy block returned after its writers strike hiatus, with “The Office” (4.8/12) tying its highest rating since the September season premiere. “30 Rock” (2.7/7) and “Scrubs” (3.4/8) both returned to near their pre-strike fall average. “My Name is Earl” (3.0/9) was down slightly, 6%, from last week’s post-strike premiere.

Fox’s “American Idol” pulled down a 6.8 rating/19 share in the 18-49 year old age group, according to preliminary Nielsen data, tying Wednesday’s “Idol Gives Back.” Yesterday’s “Idol” tied the lowest-rated telecast of the show since May 2005.

Fox’s “Don’t Forget the Lyrics” followed with a 4.0/10, up 43% from its prior season average. The network finished first for the night with a 5.4/14.

On CBS (4.5/12), “Survivor: Micronesia” (3.8/11) hit an all-time Thursday low, (not counting Thanksgiving airings). “CSI” (5.7/14) fell slightly from last week, while “Without a Trace” (3.9/11) was flat.

A two-hour block of “Desperate Housewives” repeats dominated the ABC (1.6/4) lineup, with “Eli Stone” (1.9/5) bringing up the rear. “Stone” posted a 19% gain over its lowest rating ever last week.

The CW was in repeats, posting a 0.7/2.


Odds and Ends:

-SkyNet failed. Which is to say that TiVo was wrong wrong wrong yesterday in predicting that Syesha Mercado would get the boot last night on “American Idol.” The DVR company yesterday touted that it could call “Idol” losers by using second-by-second viewer data. TiVo guessed Ms. Mercado was getting cut, but America told Michael Johns to scram.

If TiVo can’t guess who sucks the most on “American Idol,” how is the Internet going to guess the next president?

Obama supporters may want to worry, as Matt Pace at Internet site tracker Compete just called the Democratic primary in a landslide for Obama using Web traffic stats to Sen. Obama’s and Sen. Clinton’s respective hubs on the Web.

- On tap to return to originals next week: ABC brings back “Desperate Housewives” back on Sunday. “Rules of Engagement” returns on CBS on Monday. “Bones,” “’Til Death” and “Back to You” reemerge on the Fox schedule, while “Law & Order: SVU” rolls in on NBC.

'Idol' Special Wins for Fox on Wednesday

April 10, 2008 12:21 PM

Idol

A two-and-a-half hour “Idol Gives Back” won the night for Fox in the ratings, while posting the show’s lowest numbers since 2005.

“Idol Gives Back,” the singing show’s yearly star-studded philanthropic event, posted a 6.7 rating/18 share in 18-49 year olds in preliminary Nielsen ratings. However, due to the way preliminary data works, “Idol” may see a jump due to an un-factored 7:30 start time.

“CSI: NY” dipped 14% week-to-week, leaving the series with a 3.1/8, which was on par with its previous season average for CBS. “Big Brother” (2.1/6) fell slightly and “Criminal Minds” (3.3/8) rose a bit from last week. CBS finished second with a 2.8/7.

A new “Supernanny” (2.2/5) was essentially flat from last week for ABC. “Primetime: The Last Lecture: A Love Story for Your Life” (2.7/7) improved the 10 p.m. time slot for the network by 80% (and captured the coveted “Most Colons in Show Title” nightly award). “Primetime” replaced “Men in Trees” this week. “Wife Swap” was in repeats. ABC ended the night with a 2.2/6.

NBC (1.9/5 for the night) had “Law & Order” repeats and a new “Deal or No Deal” (2.4/7), up 20% from last week.

At the CW “America’s Next Top Model” (1.1/3) dropped considerably, down 42% from last week. However, the episode was a clip show instead of a standard episode. “Pussycat Dolls Present: Girlicious” was new on Wednesday, matching its season high with a 0.9/2 (1.0/3 in 18-34 year old demo). The CW finished with a 1.0/3 (1.1/3 in the 18-34 year old demo).

Odds and Ends: - Viewers will be deprived of Roy Jones, Jr. rapping and country singer Jo Dee Messina performing “an urban dance, blending hip hop and step, with a supporting troupe,” as CBS has canned “Secret Talents of the Stars” after less than thrilling ratings last night during its premiere.

“48 Hours Mystery” and “Shark” will fill the void over the next five weeks.

Let’s relive the laughter (or lack thereof) of the show together:

‘Idol’ Continues Tuesday Slide

April 9, 2008 1:39 PM

Idol
“American Idol” won another night, but continued its four-week Tuesday ratings slide while posting its lowest rating since May 2004.

“American Idol” landed an 8.9 rating/24 share in the 18- to 49-year-old demo, according to preliminary Nielsen numbers. “Idol” was down 7% from last week.

Fox (7.2/18) ended the night with a solid showing from “Hell’s Kitchen” (5.4/13), nearly par with its series high last week.

"Idol" kicked up a little in national returns, officially posting a 9.2/24. Also changing was that instead of May 2004, yesterday's showing was "Idol's" worst numbers since March 2005.

“The Biggest Loser: Couples” (3.7/9) is winding down toward its finale next week, posting a 12% gain from last week in its best showing in three months. Second-place NBC (3.4/9) finished the night with a “Law & Order: SVU” repeat.

ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” (3.5/9) didn’t fare well Tuesday, as its results show scored the lowest rating for the show in more than two years. Two episodes of “Just for Laughs” (1.4, 1.5) were about average. “Boston Legal” (2.4/7) returned with an original episode, up 33% from its last original episode in late February. ABC finished third with a 2.5/6.

Viewers didn’t care too much about George Takei’s country singing ability as CBS’s “Secret Talents of the Stars” (1.5/4) posted the worst showing in the Tuesday 10 p.m. time slot in nearly two years.

“Secret Talents” was off 38% from the time period’s previous four-week average and was down 42% from the slot’s most recent premiere, “Jericho” in mid-February.

“Big Brother” (2.4/6) was flat, and “NCIS” returned to near its previous season average with a 2.9/7. CBS ended the night in fourth place with a 2.3/6.

“Beauty and the Geek” (0.8/2, 0.9/3 in the 18-34 demo) was on par, and The CW (0.7/2) ended the night with a “Reaper” repeat.

2:30: Added fourth paragraph

NCAA Basketball Gives CBS a Big Bounce

April 8, 2008 12:44 PM

NCAApage.jpg

Kansas’ win against Memphis in the championship game of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament was Monday’s highest-rated program, leading CBS to a definitive victory for the night.

The game pulled in a preliminary 6.1 rating/15 share in the 18- to 49-year-old demo, down 15% from last year’s Ohio State/Florida matchup. However, live programming is more volatile and is subject to change once Nielsen’s final numbers are released.

CBS led into the game with “The Big Bang Theory” and “Two and a Half Men” repeats, and ended the night with a 5.4/14.

ABC’s “Samantha Who?” returned to the schedule with a solid 3.5/8 showing, thanks to a hefty “Dancing With the Stars” (4.8/13) lead-in. “Stars” was down 6% from last week, while “Samantha” was up 25% from the last original episode it aired, all the way back in December.

“The Bachelor” (2.6/7) was down slightly. ABC finished second with a 3.9/10.

NBC (2.5/7) ended its run of “My Dad Is Better Than Your Dad,” which hobbled across the finish line with a flat 1.3/4. “Deal or No Deal” (2.9/7) and “Medium” (3.4/9) were up from last week, 4% and 10% respectively.

Fox (2.4/6) ran a “House” repeat and “New Amsterdam” (2.3/6), which improved slightly week-to-week.

The CW (0.5/1) ran repeats of “Gossip Girl” and “One Tree Hill,” which replaced “Pussycat Dolls Presents: Girlicious” this week.

Update at 2:53 p.m.: Volatile is volatile as final Nielsen numbers trickled in that put the NCAA championship game at a 7.3/19, 20% higher than the preliminary numbers. This also puts the game just about on-par with last year's championship game. "Big Bang" dropped to a 2.5/8, and "Men" dipped to a 3.1/9. CBS' official score for the night is now a 5.2/14.

ABC Scores Seventh Straight Sunday Win

April 7, 2008 12:44 PM

Oprah's Big Give

ABC took its seventh Sunday in a row on the back of its feel-good lineup, as “Oprah’s Big Give” and the season finale of “Here Come the Newlyweds” shared the top program spot for the night.

“Oprah” and “Newlyweds” pulled in a 3.2 rating/8 share in the 18- to 49-year-old demographic, according to preliminary Nielsen research.

It was a big dip for “Oprah,” off 18% week-to-week, but “Newlyweds” was up 7% to tie its previous season average.

“America’s Funniest Home Videos” (2.2) was flat, and “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” was in repeats. ABC won the night with a 2.9/8.

Repeats of Fox’s animation block, along with a new “King of the Hill” (2.5/7), put Fox in second with a 2.3/6. A repeat of “Family Guy’s” Star Wars parody, “Blue Harvest,” was only a tenth of a ratings point away from tying “Oprah” and “Newlyweds.”

CBS (2.1/6) didn’t have the advantage of the NCAA basketball overrun this week. “60 Minutes” (1.4/5) was down 56% from last week, while “Big Brother” (2.1/6) dipped 19%. “Cold Case” (2.7/7) was flat, and “Dexter” was slightly up (2.1/5).

USA Network’s “Psych” (1.3/3) and “Monk” (1.5/4) arrived on NBC (1.5/4) to tepid numbers, off a respective 28% and 25% from their time periods’ previous four-week average, mainly held by “Law & Order” repeats and “Dateline.”

The CW (0.4) ended up fifth with repeats and new episodes of “Everybody Hates Chris” (0.4/1) and “The Game” (0.6/1), both down slightly from last week.

On Friday, CBS (2.3/7) returned with “Ghost Whisperer” (2.3/8) and “Numb3rs” (2.3/7). Good news: CBS won the night. Bad news: “Whisperer” and “Numb3rs” tied their series lows. “The Price Is Right” was in the 9 p.m. slot with a 2.2/7, up 16% from its last airing.

NBC (1.6/5) had “Amnesia” (1.3/4), which was flat, while “Dateline” (1.8/5) tumbled 44% from last week.

“Duel,” which had its season premiere on ABC (1.4/4) on Friday, arrived with a thud, pulling down a 1.2/4. “Duel” dropped 45% from its December debut and is ABC’s lowest original rating in that time period this season-to-date. ABC also had “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (1.5/5) and “20/20” (1.5/5).

The CW (1.4/5) tied for fourth with “Friday Night Smackdown!” (1.4/5).

Fox was in the five spot (1.3/4) with a “Bones” repeat and “Canterbury’s Law” (1.4/4), which posted a 27% gain from last week’s time-period premiere.

The NCAA basketball tournament led CBS to an easy Saturday win with a 4.5/15. Fox was second with a 1.9/6, followed by a tie for ABC and NBC (1.2/4).

CBS’ Dramas Hold Steady; ‘Survivor’ Sinks

April 4, 2008 12:00 PM

CSI

CBS’ dramas returned to business as usual on Thursday, landing near their previous season-average ratings, while “Survivor” bottomed out.

“CSI” posted a 5.8 rating/15 share in the 18- to 49-year-old demographic, according to preliminary Nielsen ratings. That’s up 16% from its last original broadcast in January, which was a Thursday series low.

“Without a Trace” (4.1/11) fared better, jumping 21% from its last original episode.

“Survivor” (3.9/11) hit a Thursday series low, not counting Thanksgiving, for an original episode.

CBS won the night with a 4.6/13.

Second-place Fox (2.9/8) ran back-to-back episodes of “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?” (2.8/8, 3.0/8), which were slightly above par.

“My Name Is Earl” (3.1/9) returned to NBC (2.6/7), holding close to its previous season average. NBC padded out the night with two hours of “The Office.”

As “Lost” entered a second week of repeats, its lead-ins and lead-outs have definitely suffered as ABC (1.5/4) took fourth place.

“Miss Guided” (1.5/5, 1.6/4) fell 25% and 24% from last week to end the season with a series low. “Eli Stone” (1.6/4) also posted a series low, ending up a distant third against “The Office” and an original “Without a Trace.”

The CW (0.8/2) was in repeats.


Odds and Ends:

- MyNet continues a trend, adding an eighth week to “Jail’s” streak of 1+ household ratings, a first for the fledgling network.

- DeadlineHollywoodDaily’s Nikki Finke was wrong about her suspicion last week on the confusing Jeff Zucker cold opening to “My Name Is Earl,” as it ran unedited yesterday. She bet last week that it wouldn’t.

I talked about it last week here. The opening itself is also located there.

- Here’s what’s coming back in originals next week:

ABC has “Samantha Who?” on Monday and “Boston Legal” on Tuesday. NBC is bringing back the Thursday night gang with “The Office,” “Scrubs,” “30 Rock” and “ER.” Tonight is new for CBS with “Ghost Whisperer” and “Numb3rs,” while “NCIS” is back on Tuesday.


‘Truth’ Posts Flat Finale; CBS Dramas Return

April 3, 2008 1:33 PM

Moment of Truth

The first season of Fox’s well-performing “Moment of Truth” ended with ratings on par with last week, while “American Idol” posted a three-year low on Wednesday. Meanwhile, CBS’ drama returns didn’t fare as well as the return of its Monday comedy block.

According to preliminary Nielsen numbers, “Truth” ended the night with a 4.1 rating/12 share in the 18- to 49-year-old age group, tying its season-to-date average. Unfortunately for “Truth,” it did not follow through with its promise of the fall of Western civilization via embarrassing questions about underwear.

“Idol” (9.1/23) faced some competition from the returning “Criminal Minds” on CBS, and slipped 7% week-to-week. The dip gave “Idol” its lowest rating on any night since March 2005, excluding specials.

Fox won the night with a 6.6/18.

A second-place CBS (3.1/8) came back with original episodes of “Criminal Minds” (3.4/9) and “CSI: NY” (3.6/10), minus the trumpeting that heralded the return of its Monday comedy block two weeks ago—and without the success of those shows.

It was a solid showing for the crime procedurals, but “Criminal’s” 3.4 was the second-lowest rating for an original episode this season. “CSI: NY” jumped 24% from its last original showing in February, which was the lowest original rating ever for the “CSI” franchise.

“Big Brother” led off the night, drawing an on-par 2.2/7.

ABC’s (2.0/5) Wednesday reality shows were off the mark, with “Wife Swap” (2.0/6) down 13% from last week and “Supernanny” (2.3/6) on par with last week’s repeat but down 21% from its season-to-date average.

“Men in Trees” (1.5/4) was flat with last week.

NBC (1.8/5) ran a new “Deal or No Deal” (2.0/6) along with “Law & Order” repeats.

“America’s Next Top Model” (1.9/6, 2.2/7 in the 18- to 34-year-old age group) finished strong for The CW in a tight, reality-heavy 8 p.m. hour. “Model” hit a season record in terms of total viewers with 4.1 million, and was up slightly from last week.

“Pussycat Dolls Presents: Girlicious” (0.7/2) was flat from last week.

The CW ended the night with a 1.3/4 and a 1.5/4 in the 18-34 demo.

‘Kitchen’s’ Cooking With Gas

April 2, 2008 12:42 PM

Hell's Kitchen.jpg

Fox summer series “Hell’s Kitchen” turned up the heat in its April debut Tuesday, posting a series high, while lead-in “American Idol” sank to a four-year Tuesday ratings low.

“Hell’s Kitchen” ended up with a 5.7 rating/14 share, a 54% increase over last year’s June season premiere. “Idol,” on the other hand, slipped 3% week-to-week, ending with a 9.3/25, its lowest Tuesday since May 2004.

Regardless, Fox handily won the night with a 7.5/19.

NBC and CBS tied for second (2.9/7). NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” was up slightly from last week (3.3/8), as was as CBS’ “Big Brother” (2.4/6). A special “CSI: Miami” (4.1/11) improved “Jericho’s” former timeslot average by 105%.

The “Dancing With the Stars” results show was flat week-to-week (3.9/9), pushing ABC to fourth (2.6/7). Two episodes of “Just for Laughs” (1.3/4, 1.4/4) and “Live to Be 150 … Can You Do It?” (2.5/7) padded the night around “Dancing.”

The CW was flat with last week (0.7/2) with “Beauty and the Geek” (0.7/2) and “Reaper” (0.6/2).

‘Old Christine’ Ends Season on High Note

April 1, 2008 12:53 PM

Old Christine

CBS’ comedies helped the network win the Monday night ratings game, as the season finale of “The New Adventures of Old Christine” posted a two-year high.

CBS nabbed the night with a 4.4 rating/11 share in the 18- to 49-year-old demographic, according to preliminary Nielsen numbers.

“Old Christine” (4.4/11) jumped 16% week-to-week, fueled in part by a special appearance from “Seinfeld” alum Jason Alexander and in part by a half-hour less of competition from ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars.”

“Two and a Half Men” (5.3/13) was up slightly from last week as the top show of the night, while “The Big Bang Theory” (3.1/9) and “How I Met Your Mother” (4.0/11) dipped 9% and 11%, respectively. “Mother” jumpstarted its ratings last week with a highly publicized guest stint by Britney Spears.

“CSI: Miami” (4.8/12) was down slightly, but was the highest-rated drama of the night.

ABC pulled in a tentative second-place 4.0/10 with “Dancing With the Stars” (5.0/13) and “The Bachelor” (2.9/7). “Stars” airs live, meaning a final rating change is likely to occur.

NBC and Fox tied again for third on Monday with a 2.4/6.

NBC’s “Medium” (3.0/8) was flat, while “My Dad Is Better Than Your Dad” (1.3/4) was up a tenth of a ratings point. “Deal or No Deal” (2.7/7) slipped 13% week-to-week.

A “House” (2.6/7) repeat and “New Amsterdam” (2.1/5) were essentially flat from last week on Fox.

The CW (0.5/1) was fifth with a “Gossip Girl” repeat (0.5/1, 0.6/2 in the 18-34 demo) and “Pussycat Dolls Present: Girlicious” (0.6/1), down 25% from last Monday.