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.


Ratings Chart Attack!

Football Scores, 'Mentalist' Shines on CBS' Sunday

January 19, 2009 2:04 PM

CBS' coverage of the NFL AFC Championship between the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers scored a major touchdown over the rest of the Sunday-night competition, which included the 100th episode of ABC's "Desperate Housewives."

The Mentalist

CBS' NFL presentation helped a special episode of "The Mentalist" score a 4.6 rating in primetime among viewers 18-49, according to preliminary Nielsen Media Research numbers. The show's performance marks the highest-rated episode in the series' history in the demographic, up 24% from the show's usual live-plus-same-day average. Sunday's "Mentalist" also gave the timeslot a 19% bump in total viewers, but dipped 2% from the usual "Without a Trace" demographic rating. CBS finished the night with a 12.0/29 and 33.7 million viewers, though those numbers may change due to the nature of live programming.

ABC finished second (3.0/7, 9.3 million) with new episodes of the usual Sunday night programming all down from the previous week's performance, including the 100th episode of "Desperate Housewives," which was down 12% from its rating in the demographic last week.

Fox came in third in the demographic (1.8/4) but fourth in total viewers (4.2 million) for the night, which started with the time-period premieres of "Hole in the Wall," which was up a tick in the network's time-period average at 7 p.m. but down 38% in the 7:30 p.m. slot. Both showings were down from the show's Thursday-night time period averages from earlier this season. Fox finished the night with repeats of "The Simpsons" and "Family Guy."

NBC placed fourth in the demographic (1.3/3), but edged out Fox among total viewers with 5.3 million, thanks to an episode of "Dateline" and a repeat of the election-themed special "Saturday Night Live: Presidential Bash 2008."

The CW finished fifth (0.4/1, 1.1 million) with "Jericho" and the movie "Mr. Mom," both down a tick from last week's Sunday-night performance for the network. Among women 18-34 the network scored a 0.4 rating.

Prime Time Preliminary Sunday Ratings



7:30 8







3.0 / 7

America's Funniest Home Videos

1.8 / 5

6.7 mil

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

2.9 / 7

8.6 mil

Desperate Housewives

4.6 / 10

13 mil

Brothers & Sisters

2.8 / 7

8.9 mil


12.0 / 29

NFL AFC Championship: Baltimore-Pittsburgh

13.3 / 31

36.3 mil

The Mentalist

4.6 / 12

15.1 mil


1.8 / 4

Hole in the Wall

1.4 / 4

3.5 mil

Hole in the Wall

1.3 / 3

3.2 mil

The Simpsons

1.7 / 4

3.8 mil

The Simpsons

2.3 / 5

4.9 mil

Family Guy

2.2 / 5

4.8 mil

Family Guy

2.2 / 5

5 mil

No Programming


1.3 / 3


1.1 / 3

5.8 mil

Saturday Night Live: Presidential Bash 2008

1.5 / 4

4.9 mil


0.4 / 1


0.2 / 1

0.7 mil

Movie: Mr. Mom

0.5 / 1

1.2 mil

No Programming

Source: Nielsen Media Research

*Ratings are specified in the 18-to 49-year-old demographic and viewership in P2+.

A note about ratings: Ratings are expressed as percentages of Nielsen's estimated 114.5 million U.S. television households. The first number, the rating, is a percentage of households tuned into a specific program at a specific time.

The second number, the share, is a percentage of households with televisions in use tuned into that same program. For example, if a show obtains a 10.2/16, this means that 10.2% of all U.S. households tuned into the program at some point during the broadcast. Meanwhile, 16% of all households watching television during the time period viewed the program at some point. Ratings are broken down further by demographic, as networks sell advertising time based on the makeup of the audience.


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