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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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Football Helps CBS, Doesn’t Do Much for NBC

October 20, 2008 12:57 PM

A close football game at the beginning of the night bolstered CBS, but a dominating NFL matchup at the end didn’t necessarily help NBC in the Sunday ratings.

The Unit

Overrun from a Raiders/Jets game that went into overtime helped CBS tie as the highest-rated network for the night with a 3.7 rating/9 share nightly average in the 18- to 49-year-old demographic, according to preliminary Nielsen Media Research data.

CBS led the night in total viewers with 13.5 million.

The rest of CBS’ lineup, “60 Minutes” (4.3/12), “The Amazing Race” (3.0/7), “Cold Case” (2.7/6) and “The Unit” (2.5/6), is likely to see final numbers change due to live events’ effects on fast nationals.

ABC also drew a 3.7/9 for the night, led by “Desperate Housewives” (5.6/12), down 5% from last week to its lowest showing of the season. “Brothers and Sisters” (3.5/9) declined by a tenth of a ratings point.

“America’s Funniest Home Videos” grew by 11% to a 2.1/6, while “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” dipped by 5% to a 3.6/9.

NBC’s coverage of the Seahawks versus the Buccaneers (3.2/8) fell 27% from its coverage last week of the Patriots against the Chargers. The Seahawks are in the cellar in the NFC West and the Bucs waltzed into the halftime leading 17-0, which could partially explain the lower viewership. In addition, the game aired opposite game seven of the American League Championship Series, which may have siphoned off viewers.

NBC had a 2.8/7 for the night, placing fourth.

Fox ended the night in third, averaging a 3.2/8, with its animation block of “The Simpsons” (3.8/10), “King of the Hill” (3.5/8), “Family Guy” (4.7/10) and “American Dad” (3.3/7). “Guy” and “Hill” posted season highs in adults 18-49.

The CW’s Media Rights Capital-fueled night continues to dwindle, nearing hash mark territory, which would be an audience too small for Nielsen to measure.

“In Harm’s Way” (0.2/1) slipped a tenth of a percentage point from last week, while “Valentine” (0.2/1) declined 50%. “Easy Money” drew a 0.2/0, down a tick. The CW placed fifth overall with a 0.2/1.

On Friday, NBC premiered “Crusoe” to a 1.6/5, which is down 24% from last year’s premieres of “Deal or No Deal” and “Las Vegas” in the time period.

Overseas partners are reducing production costs on “Crusoe,” meaning while the numbers aren’t stellar, NBC isn’t sweating it because it isn’t completely financial vested.

This isn’t the case for “Life” (1.5/5), which improved a tenth of a point from last week but is still on the low side of its numbers.

NBC ended the night in third with a 1.6/5.

CBS ended up taking the night with a 2.2/7 in the demo and 7.9 million total viewers. “Ghost Whisperer” (2.5/9, 8.9 million), “The Ex List” (2.0/6, 6.4 million) and “Numb3rs” (2.1/7, 8.6 million) landed on their season averages.

ABC placed second with a 1.9/6, followed by Fox with a 1.4/5 and The CW with a 0.7/2.
News and Notes:

  • Gov. Sarah Palin’s visit to “Saturday Night Live” gave the sketch comedy show its highest metered market overnight numbers since 1994. The show drew a 10.7 rating/24 share in 56 markets, boasting appearances from Gov. Palin, Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin and Oliver Stone, along with host Josh Brolin and musical guest Adele. The last “SNL” episode to do better in metered markets was a March 12, 1994, episode featuring Olympic skater Nancy Kerrigan and musical guest Aretha Franklin.

    Due to the skewering of the impending presidential election, “SNL” is on a ratings tear as of late, with the most recent episode up 161% versus last October’s average.

  • The valuable adults 18- to 34-year-old demographic showed up at Univision on Friday, as the Spanish-only network beat CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox and The CW in the demo. Univision pulled in a 1.7/6 nightly average rating in adults 18-34, outpacing second-place ABC by one-tenth of a ratings point.

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