ABC Poised to Win Sweeps

Nov 29, 2006  •  Post A Comment

With the sweeps period concluding Wednesday night, ABC is claiming its first November victory in seven years.

The network is leading by a significant margin in the key 18 to 49 demographic, according to Nielsen Media Research, while rival CBS is riding high among total viewers.

ABC’s climb to the top culminates two seasons of rebuilding for the network, which upgraded its scripted and nonfiction programming with hits such as “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Lost,” “Desperate Housewives” and “Dancing With the Stars.” The win is all the more impressive considering this is ABC’s first year without “Monday Night Football,” which moved to ESPN.

As of Nov. 28, ABC had a 4.1 average rating, followed by CBS (3.8) which was tied with NBC (3.8), then Fox (3.0) and The CW (1.4).

On Wednesday night, CBS’s “Jericho” and “Criminal Minds” were set to go up against NBC’s “Christmas in Rockefeller Center” special and “Biggest Loser” finale, a matchup that was unlikely to break the tie.

Compared with the same period last year, almost all of the networks are down in this year’s sweeps. ABC is down 7 percent, CBS is down 14 percent, Fox is down 9 percent and The CW is down 7 percent compared with both UPN and The WB.

The exception is NBC, which is up 15 percent thanks to “Sunday Night Football,” “Heroes” and “Deal or No Deal.” Without factoring in sports programming, however, NBC is flat for sweeps to date and ABC is up 7 percent.