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Ratings Chart Attack!

Something’s Eating at ‘Simpsons’

May 5, 2008 12:45 PM

The SimpsonsWhether it was daylight-saving time or the release of “Grand Theft Auto IV” earlier in the week, Fox’s Sunday animation block fell considerably from last week, with “The Simpsons” matching its second-lowest rating ever.

“The Simpsons” garnered a 3.0 rating/9 share in the 18- to 49-year-old demographic, according to preliminary Nielsen numbers, dipping 19% from last week.

More telling are the week-to-week stats for “The Simpsons’” core 18-34 male audience, which tumbled 28% (from 5.3/17 to 3.8/14). “King of the Hill” (2.7/8) dropped 10% in 18-49 from last week. “Family Guy” (3.9/10) and “American Dad” (3.4/8) both stumbled by 9%.

If we want to get into even wackier stats that lend themselves to this “GTA: Grand Television Absence” theory (patent pending), consider males 12-17. Looking at the preliminary half-hour breakdowns, “The Simpsons” dropped 31% week-to-week in males 12-17 (from 4.9/16 to 3.4/13) while “Family Guy” fell almost a full ratings point, from a 6.2/19 to a 5.3/18. Interestingly, “American Dad” was pretty stable in both males 18-34 and 12-17 ratings.

Fox ended the night in second place with a 2.6/8.

On the front end, first-place ABC (4.2/12) saw some nice gains over its sluggish Sunday last week. “Desperate Housewives” (6.2/16) posted a 5% increase from last week. “Brothers & Sisters” (3.9/10) was up a tick, and “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (4.1/12) jumped two ticks. “America’s Funniest Home Videos” celebrated its 400th episode of crotch-crushing fun with an on-par 2.4/9.

CBS (1.8/5) wrapped up its run of “Dexter” with two back-to-back episodes (1.5/4 and 1.8/5), slightly below average. “Cold Case” (2.4/7) also ended its season, down 11% from last week’s 9 p.m. showing. “60 Minutes” (1.5/5) ran flat.

NBC’s (1.2/4) re-airing of USA’s “Monk” (0.9/3) and “Psych” (1.0/2) continues to flounder. “Dateline” (1.2/4) dipped 25%.

The CW (0.5/1) was flat week-to-week.


CBS (2.2/7) won another Friday, thanks to new episodes of “Ghost Whisperer” (2.3/8), “Moonlight” (2.1/7) and “Numb3rs” (2.4/7), up 14% from last week.

NBC (1.7/6) placed second with a new “Dateline” (1.9/6), flat from last week.

Third-place ABC (1.2/4) brought out a special “20/20” (1.6/6), along with an average “Duel” (1.0/3) and a down “20/20” (1.2/4).

The CW (1.2/4) beat Fox (1.1/4) by a tick with its “Friday Night Smackdown!” (1.2/4) against Fox’s movie “Are We There Yet?” (1.1/4).


Fox finished first with NASCAR coverage (2.4/8), followed by ABC (2.0/7), CBS (1.1/4) and NBC (1.0/3).


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Comments (9)

bob g:

Daylight savings time??????


Daylight savings time? The DST that began in Mid-March?

How could that possibly be blamed for a drop in viewership since last week?!?!


I know that I end up not watching the Fox Sunday night animation block because I never know if there's going to be new episodes. And if there is a new episode, it's usually only for one or two of the shows. This week they were all new, but who knew.


Networks have been attributing some blame of down ratings on DST because it's not as dark around the 8 p.m. hour, and so people are outside (or that's the logic).

Yes, it's May now, but consider that it's going to get brighter later throughout the month, leaking into the 8 p.m. hour. Situated at 9 p.m., "Family Guy" doesn't have to worry about that, but "The Simpsons" right at 8 p.m. has to have some concern that people are going to be outside longer because it's getting closer to summer.

That's a big chunk out of "The Simpsons" week-to-week that has to be explained somehow. It's not sole reason of the drop, but it's a possibility.


Operdogs,Just check your newspaper listings. They put an "N" next to all new shows. Not 100% perfect but no need to miss programs you like. Also, if you have cable, check your on-screen listings.

Hope this helps.

Sam Damon:

Could it be the storylines stink?

Sunday's Family Guy episode was the worst one I've seen -- as if the writers were "phoning it in" -- so to speak.

"The Simpsons" wasn't anything to write home about, either... The program Jumped the Shark with that stupid "That '90's Show" episode.


I agree wholeheartedly about Sunday's Family Guy which had me wondering whether it was one of the partially completed episodes Fox was threatening to show if the writer's strike hadn't ended or if, in fact, the writers just didn't give a #$@! this week.

Anyone not in the habit of watching on Sunday who tuned in this past week most certainly won't be back (and will wonder what, precisely, MacFarlane did to warrant that $100 million…)

zoe wanless:

hya people i love da simpsons lol we watch it every nite with out fale even if it is a repeat ma lil brothers wnts to be a character on it lol
well rite bak any 1
luv yew.xxxxx.

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