September 6, 2011

THE SKED: Summer Broadcast Ratings Update Aug 29-Sep 4

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Written by: Mitch Salem
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>Well, preseason NFL football was fun while it lasted.  The broadcast week just concluded (August 29-September 4) saw network weekly ratings come crashing down to earth.  FOX wilted to a summer low 1.1 weekly average, with only one hour of Hell’s Kitchen above a 2.0 young adult rating.  CBS and NBC saw similar declines without football.  ABC actually won the week with only a 1.4 rating, a number supported by the opening college football Saturday night game (LSU at Oregon).  The game averaged a 2.6 in the fast nationals, and we are estimating that number will rise to a 2.8 (or 2.9) when the west coast numbers are correctly accounted for in the nationals.  (In telecasts live to all time zones, the Pacific and Mountain viewing is not correctly measured in the fast nationals because of the unusual network feed pattern.) 

Estimated Non-Official Weekly Network Averages
               Adult 18-49 rating

Week of     ABC   CBS   NBC   FOX   CW
June 13     1.2   1.1   2.0   1.6   0.3
June 20     1.3   1.1   1.8   1.4   0.3
June 27     1.3   1.0   1.6   1.2   0.3
July 4      1.4   1.2   1.6   1.3   0.3
July 11     1.3   1.3   1.4   1.7   0.3
July 18     1.3   1.4   1.3   1.5   0.3
July 25     1.3   1.3   1.3   1.6   0.3
Aug  1      1.4   1.3   1.2   1.4   0.3
Aug  8      1.35  1.45  1.22  1.80  0.3
Aug  15     1.28  1.41  1.64  1.81  0.3

Aug  22     1.45  1.67  1.77  1.17  0.3
Aug  29     1.41  1.30  1.25  1.07  0.3 

With Labor Day in the rear view mirror, television usage levels (Homes Using Television, HUT, and Persons Using Television, PUT) start their climb back up to fall levels quickly over the next few weeks, just in time for Premiere Week.  The seasonal patterns in TV viewing are as old as the medium — these patterns have been the same for decades and are the most predictable component of TV ratings.  Speaking of Premiere Week, ShowBuzzDaily will cover the daily roll-out of new shows, and we will compare our ratings predictions from back in May to the verdicts delivered by the only jury that counts: the 10,000 homes in the national Nielsen sample. 

The second chart below lists the hit network shows by night (those programs at or near a 2.0 Adult 18-49 rating or higher). 

Top Network Shows (Adult 18-49 rating 2.0+)
Week of August 29-September 4

Mon: FOX Hell’s Kitchen 2.9
     ABC Bachelor Pad 2.0
Tue: NBC America’s Got Talent 3.1
     ABC Wipeout 2.0 
Wed: NBC America’s Got Talent 2.6 
     CBS Big Brother 3.3 
Thu: CBS Big Brother 2.5 
Sat: ABC NCAA Football LSU-Oregon 2.8 (est. national from fast)
Sun: CBS Big Brother 2.4

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."