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!

'Lost,' 'Lie' Tie Behind 'Idol' in Ratings

February 5, 2009 10:59 AM

Fox's "Lie to Me" tied with ABC's "Lost" for the No. 2 show of the night, both coming behind "American Idol," which claimed the top spot.

Lie to Me

"Idol's" second day of Hollywood Week was down 3% over last week's episode but up 1% from last year in its adults 18-49 rating, according to preliminary Nielsen Media Research numbers. At 9 p.m. "Lie to Me" was up 7% from last week to score its second-highest broadcast (out of three episodes so far) and its biggest audience to date. Fox finished first for the night with a 7.3 rating/19 share (19.6 million).

After a repeat of "Lost" at 8 p.m, a new episode of the series was on par with its season-to-date average, while a new episode of "Life on Mars" at 10 p.m. was flat from its time-period premiere from last week. ABC averaged a 2.8/7 (7.3 million) for a second-place finish.

CBS and NBC tied for third with a 1.9/5.

CBS drew an average 7.6 million viewers with "Katie Couric's All-Access Grammy Special" and repeat episodes of "Criminal Minds" and "CSI: NY."

NBC averaged 6.8 million viewers with new episodes across the board. "Knight Rider" dipped 26% from last week, "Life" was up 6% from its last original episode on December, and "Law & Order" took an 8% dip over last week.

The CW finished fifth with a 0.4/1 (1 million), airing repeat episodes of "Privileged" and "90210." The network posted a 0.6 rating among women 18-34 for the night.

Primetime Preliminary Wednesday Ratings









2.8 / 7


1.7 / 5

4.8 million


4.7 / 12

11 million

Life on Mars

2.1 / 6

6 million


1.9 / 5

Criminal Minds

1.7 / 5

8.5 mil

Katie Couric's All Access Grammy Spcial

2.1 / 5

6.8 mil


1.9 / 5

7.5 mil


7.3 / 19

American Idol

9.9 / 27

26.3 mil

Lie to Me

4.7 / 12

13 mil

No Programming


1.9 / 5

Knight Rider

1.4 / 4

4.9 mil


1.8 / 4

6.8 mil

Law & Order

2.4 / 7

8.7 mil


0.4 / 1


0.3 / 1

0.9 mil


0.4 / 1

1.1 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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