Did TV Audience Return?

Jan 25, 2009  •  Post A Comment

Some might say the beginning of the 2008-09 broadcast TV season marked a return to business as usual. With the writers strike a distant memory, the broadcast networks are back in the business of providing quality, regularly scheduled programming with new episodes of old favorites and the debuts of new shows.
But an interesting question to ask is whether it’s business as usual for TV viewers as well. Are viewers still engaged with broadcast TV? Which programs are doing the best job of capturing their attention, the new shows or the returning shows?
For this installment, we wanted to see which of the regularly airing programs aired so far during the new broadcast season are being watched most closely.
The table below shows the one series on each of the five broadcast networks garnering the highest engagement so far this season. The Nielsen IAG Program Engagement score is highly relevant to advertisers and programmers alike because of the strong link between a show’s engagement level and viewers’ ability to recall ads aired within the program.
While some familiar shows such as “Desperate Housewives” and “One Tree Hill” have held their audience’s attention in the new season, some new programs make the list this fall.
CBS’ “Worst Week” and Fox’s “Fringe” are both freshman programs.
Meanwhile, NBC’s “30 Rock,” while not a newcomer to the airwaves, makes its first appearance on one of our most engaging program lists in quite some time.


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