‘Idol’ Worship Keeps Fox on Top

May 16, 2005  •  Post A Comment

Fox’s first-place ratings average in adults 18 to 49 after two weeks of May sweeps matched its one-week average, while CBS improved slightly to narrow the gap between itself and the “American Idol”-propelled sweeps leader.

For the first 14 days of the May sweeps, which began April 28, Fox averaged a 4.3 rating in the adults 18 to 49 demographic, according to Nielsen Media Research. CBS scored a 4.0 two-week average, up from the 3.8 it garnered the first week of May sweeps.

ABC came in third with a 3.7 in the demo, down from the 3.9 it registered in the first week, while NBC trailed with a 3.3, which was a slight decline from its first seven days of sweeps.

The WB was down slightly in the demo from its week one average with a 1.4, while UPN was even, also with a 1.4.

Year-to-year comparisons in adults 18 to 49 were more stark. Fox was up 10 percent over its two-week sweeps performance last May, while CBS was flat. ABC was up 32 percent from last May, while former demo leader NBC was down 38 percent. The WB was down 13 percent from last May while UPN was up 17 percent.

CBS won the first two weeks of the May sweeps in total viewers with an average of 13.5 million, followed by Fox (10.1 million), ABC (9.6 million), NBC (9.5 million), The WB and UPN (both 3.4 million).

CBS won Thursday, May 5, in adults 18 to 49, in part by dominating the 8 p.m. hour with “Survivor: Palau” (7.1), which more than doubled its closest time period competition, NBC’s “Joey” (3.0) and “Will & Grace” (3.4). At 9 p.m. CBS’s “CSI” was the winner in the demo with a 9.0, compared with the No. 2 performer “The Apprentice” (5.8) on NBC. At 10 p.m. NBC took the hour from CBS with “ER’s” 7.1 in adults 18 to 49, compared with “Without a Trace’s” 5.2.

Friday, May 6, also belonged to CBS, with a 2.6 for the night in adults 18 to 49. The network had the highest-rated show in the demo with “Numb3rs,” which scored a 3.2 at 10 p.m. At 9 p.m. a repeat of “CSI” (2.8) beat both the one-hour special season finale of “Hope & Faith” (2.3) on ABC and the series finale of NBC’s “Third Watch” (2.7).

On Saturday, May 7, Fox won the night in the demo with a 3.6 rating for the NASCAR Dodge Charger 500, easily beating procedural repeats on both CBS (2.0) and NBC (1.8). ABC scored a 2.3 in the demo with the three-hour broadcast premiere of “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.”

Sunday, May 8, was a big win for ABC, which averaged a 6.8 for the night in adults 18 to 49 and 16.2 million viewers. The top-rated show in the demo was ABC’s “Desperate Housewives,” which scored an 11.4, while its 10 p.m. lead-out, “Grey’s Anatomy,” hit a new series high of 8.5. Part one of CBS’s miniseries “Elvis” scored a 3.9 from 9-11 p.m., behind ABC’s dramas and Fox’s 9 p.m. “Family Guy” (4.5), which was off 22 percent from its premiere the previous week.

CBS led the demo on Monday, May 9, with the night’s top-rated “CSI: Miami” (6.9) at 10 p.m. and the second-to-last original episode of “Everybody Loves Raymond” (6.1) at 9 p.m. The third-highest-rated show of the night was “Raymond” lead-out “Two and a Half Men” (5.8), which won its 9:30 half-hour. NBC’s 10 p.m. “Medium” and Fox’s 9 p.m. “24” tied for fourth place at 4.8. ABC special “Extreme Makeover: Wedding Edition” at 10 p.m. managed a 2.2 in the demo, down 41 percent from “Supernanny’s” season average in the hour.

On Tuesday, May 10, the two-hour finale of the seventh installment of CBS’s “The Amazing Race” (6.8) brought the show its highest adults 18 to 49 rating ever, but Fox’s “American Idol” (10.2) and “House” (7.4) outpaced “Race” in the demo, giving Fox the nightly win with an 8.8 to CBS’s 5.6.

Fox took Wednesday, May 11, in the demo with the half-hour “Idol” results show at 9 p.m. (11.5) and its sitcom lead-out “Stacked,” which maintained the previous week’s season high of 5.1. The second half of CBS’s “Elvis” miniseries ranked third in adults 18 to 49 from 8-10 p.m. with a 2.9, and was down 26 percent in the demo from Sunday’s part one. In the 10 p.m. hour, CBS’s “CSI: NY” (4.9) outpaced both NBC’s “Law & Order” (3.8) and ABC’s “Supernanny: Family Update Special” (2.7).