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!

'Brothers' Wins for ABC, NBC's 'Apprentice' Tumbles

March 2, 2009 10:31 AM

ABC's special two-hour edition of "Brothers & Sisters" helped the network win Sunday night, while the season opener of NBC's "Celebrity Apprentice" came in as the franchise's lowest-rated premiere ever.

Celebrity Apprentice

On ABC, "Brothers" finished on the high side with an average 4.1 rating/10 share among viewers 18-49 and 11.9 million viewers, according to preliminary Nielsen Media Research information. Last night's telecast was up 32% from the most recent original episode two weeks ago and was the show's highest-rated episode since the season premiere in the fall. New episodes of "America's Funniest Home Videos" and "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" were in line with previous performances. Overall the network scored a 3.6/9 and 11 million viewers.

Fox trailed closely behind ABC thanks to overrun of the network's presentation of NASCAR's Las Vegas 400. NASCAR coverage ran until 8:41 p.m., followed by scripted programming from 8:41-10:10 p.m. Due to the volatile nature of live coverage, more accurate information for Fox's lineup will be available when Nielsen releases final numbers later today. In preliminary numbers, the network finished with a 3.5/9 and 8.7 million viewers.

Back-to-back "Saturday Night Live" specials featuring the best of Tracy Morgan and Will Ferrell opened the night on NBC. The two-hour season premiere of "The Apprentice" was down 16% from the Thursday premiere of the franchise's first celebrity edition last spring, and down 7% from the show's Sunday debut two years ago. "Apprentice," however, posted a 90% increase in its two-hour time period compared with last week. Overall NBC placed third with a 2.7/7 (6.6 million).

CBS finished fourth with a 2.4/6, but topped the night among viewers with 13.8 million. While a new episode of "60 Minutes" was on par with recent performances, the third week of "The Amazing Race" was up 15% from last week. The fifth movie in the "Jesse Stone" franchise, "Thin Ice," was down 12% from the last installment, "Sea Change," which aired in May 2007; however, it was up 16% in total viewers.

The CW placed fifth (0.4/1, 1.5 million) with an encore episode of "Jericho" (which began at 6:30 p.m.) and a presentation of the film "Rain Man." Among women 18-34, the network averaged a 0.4/1.

Primetime Preliminary Sunday Ratings



7:30 8







3.6 / 9

America's Funniest Home Videos

2.7 / 8

9 mil

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

3.5 / 9

11 mil

Brothers & Sisters

4.1 / 10

11.9 mil


2.4 / 6

60 Minutes

2.2 / 6

14.1 mil

The Amazing Race

3.0 / 8

10.8 mil

Movie: Jesse Stone: Thin Ice

2.2 / 5

15.1 mil


3.5 / 9

NASCAR Las Vegas 400

4.1 / 11

11.2 mil

NASCAR Post-Race/

The Simpsons

3.0 / 7

6.7 mil

The Simpsons/

King of the Hill

3.1 / 7

6.3 mil

King of the Hill/

American Dad

2.7 / 6

5.5 mil

No Programming


2.7 / 7

SNL: Best of Tracy Morgan

1.0 / 3

3 mil

SNL: Best of Will Ferrell

2.2 / 5

5.9 mil

Celebrity Apprentice

3.8 / 9

8.8 mil


0.4 / 1


0.3 / 1

0.9 mil

Movie: Rain Man

0.5 / 1

1.7 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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