NBC Reclaims 18 to 49 From CBS

Feb 23, 2004  •  Post A Comment

After two weeks of February sweeps, NBC has taken the lead over CBS in adults 18 to 49, while CBS retains its total viewer lead.
In the first week, the Grammy Awards telecast helped propel CBS to first place in the demo.
In the second week, NBC held a 7 percent advantage over CBS in the demo. NBC was fueled by its Thursday night lineup of “Friends,” “The Apprentice” and “ER” as well as standout performances by “Fear Factor” on Monday and the Sunday night movie “Shrek.”
“Fear,” which aired the last episode of its seven-episode couples arc, scored its highest ratings ever in adults 18 to 49 (8.4 Nielsen Media Research rating/21 share) and total viewers (18.8 million). The broadcast premiere of “Shrek,” which garnered a first-place 5.5/15 in adults 18 to 49, boosted NBC to a rare Sunday night victory in the demo.
CBS was home to half of the 10 most-watched shows during the second week of sweeps (Feb. 12-18). “CSI” set a series high in total viewers with 30.9 million. “Survivor” (22.5 million), “Without a Trace” (20.1 million), “Everybody Loves Raymond” (19.8 million) and “CSI: Miami” (19.6 million) were also in the top 10.
CBS and UPN-both owned by Viacom-continued to be the only broadcast networks to show gains in February sweeps over last year. CBS is up 28 percent in adults 18 to 49 and up 16 percent in total viewers. UPN is up 6 percent in adults 18 to 49 and up 7 percent in total viewers.
UPN, which got another solid performance from “America’s Next Top Model” this week (3.1/7 in adults 18 to 49 and 6.4 million total viewers), edged by The WB for fifth place in adults 18 to 49 two weeks into sweeps with a 1.7/4 to The WB’s 1.6/4 and is tied with The WB in total viewers with 4 million.
Along with The WB, ABC has seen the biggest declines, down 24 percent in adults 18 to 49 and down 19 percent in total viewers, putting it in fourth place. ABC is counting on the special five-night “Super Millionaire” event next week and the “76th Annual Academy Awards” broadcast Feb. 29 to get the network in the race.
Both ABC and The WB have seen their Tuesday and Wednesday night lineups battered by Fox’s “American Idol.”
Fox’s big Tuesday and Wednesday night wins have been offset by extremely poor Thursday and Friday night performances, leaving the network down double-digit percentages in adults 18 to 49 and total viewers.