ABC Dancing Its Way to Top Spot

Nov 27, 2006  •  Post A Comment

For the ninth week of the season, ABC continued to dominate the broadcast networks, leading with a wide margin among the coveted 18 to 49 demographic.

Powered by the final two episodes of the season of “Dancing With the Stars,” ABC earned a 4.4 average 18 to 49 rating for the week ended Nov. 19, which included seven days in the current sweeps period, according to Nielsen Media Research. That gave ABC a firm lead over CBS (3.9), NBC (3.7), Fox (2.7) and MyNetworkTV (1.5).

Week to week, ABC climbed 5 percent thanks to “Dancing,” whose two final telecasts were the most-watched programs of the season so far among total viewers. The network was also helped by its “Saturday Night Football” drawing viewers on a tough-to-program night (3.2) and by its powerhouse Thursday night drama “Grey’s Anatomy” (8.7). The network’s weakest link continues to be Monday night, when its reality shows “Wife Swap” (2.6) and “The Bachelor” (3.3) and drama “What About Brian” (2.3) face off against the likes of NBC’s “Heroes” (6.5) and CBS’s sitcom block. Also, the network’s new drama “Day Break” premiered Wednesday to a disappointing 3.6.

In second place, CBS was also up 5 percent for the week. The network continued to draw strength from its procedurals, with “CSI” (8.0) rebounding in the face of “Grey’s,” and “Criminal Minds” (4.9) on Wednesday night pulling more total viewers than ABC’s “Lost.” Like ABC, CBS also had a disappointing midseason premiere, the medical drama “3 Lbs,” which debuted to a 2.9 on Tuesday night.

NBC slipped slightly, down 3 percent due to “Sunday Night Football” (5.7) underperforming versus the prior week, but the network still is running hot compared with last year (up 12 percent). In addition to “Heroes,” NBC found strength in “Deal or No Deal” (a 5.5 on Monday, a 3.3 on Friday), while recently renewed Tuesday night drama “Friday Night Lights” (2.3) and Monday’s “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip” (3.1) have failed to improve.

In fourth place, Fox slipped 7 percent week to week, its brightest spot being “House” (6.2) on Tuesday night. On Monday, “Prison Break” (3.8) also performed well. The network’s return of “The O.C.” (1.7) on Thursday and freshman drama “Standoff” on Tuesday (2.0) continue to struggle.

The CW was unchanged for the week, though it had its best Sunday yet with the return of “Reba” (1.3 and 1.6).