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Carat Predicts Strong Fall Finish for ABC, Fox

Aug 12, 2008  •  Post A Comment

A major advertising agency is giving ABC and Fox a major vote of confidence going into the fall season.
In its just-released fall prime-time preview, Carat says the two networks will finish in a tie for first place among adults 18-49. Among total viewers, the agency gives the nod to CBS.
Should Carat’s forecast come true, it would be a major coup for Fox, which has ended recent fourth quarters in fourth place, only to surge ahead later in the season on the wings of “American Idol.”
Last season, the four networks ended the fourth quarter in a close race, with ABC in first with a 3.4 demo rating, followed closely by NBC and CBS with a 3.3. Fox was last with a 3.1.
Carat’s projections are based on C3 ratings, which combine average commercial minute ratings with three days of DVR playback.
Fox scheduling chief Preston Beckman said he’s happy about Carat’s forecast, but not yet ready to break out in a jig.
“Among our tribe there’s something called a kenahora,” he said, referring to a Yiddish expression meaning to ward off the evil eye. “It’s nice that they feel that way. I don’t know if they’re right or wrong. But if we can just keep improving our performance in the fourth quarter, we’ll be fine.”
Mr. Beckman said Fox’s fall schedules have continued to display “more stability and consistency” in recent years. This season, the network is adding just 2 ½ hours of new programming in the fall.
“It would be a win if we got out of fourth place in the fourth quarter and don’t see any significant erosion,” he added.
Carat’s forecast should come as good news to ABC also. The network is rolling the dice with a fall schedule with just two new shows, “Life on Mars” and “Opportunity Knocks.”

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