Fox’s ‘Roar’ reduced to a whisper

NBC has won another week of primetime Nielsens, its ninth in a row, as a lackluster ratings summer gets only more so this week with a big second-episode decline for Fox’s “Roar.”

The July 21 telecast of “Roar,” probably the most aggressively promoted summer series in years, has quieted to a 5.0 rating, 8 share, down 31% from its raucous premiere numbers of last week (Daily Variety, July 16). “Roar” also fell 9% below its 18-49 lead-in from the previous hour’s “When Animals Attack” (6.5/12 in homes), com-pared with a 43% gain last week, when “Roar” followed a rerun “X-Files.”

In another bad sign for the historical drama, “Roar” this week faded by 5% in adults 18-49 from its first half-hour to its second, compared with last week’s 8% improvement.

The second telecast of “Roar” still finished a solid second its hour in that key 18-49 demo, improving by a rous-ing 34% over what Fox did in the slot a year ago (with the film “Mo’ Money”). In fact, if “Roar” could hold onto these levels without further losses, it would still qualify as a moderate success for Fox, though more losses seem likely.

“Roar’s” week-two travails again demonstrate the challenge any net faces trying to get full value out of competi-tive firstrun programming during the summer months.

An exception continues to be newsmagazines, which have flourished in recent summers. Last week’s four epi-sodes of “Dateline NBC,” for example, played a big role in that net’s weeklong victory, each winning or tying for first in its hour among adults 18-49.

The July 14-20 averages in that 18-49 demo were: NBC, a 4.3 rating, 14 share (down in rating by 53% vs. results for the same week last year, when NBC started its coverage of the Summer Olympics); ABC, 3.4/11 (down 3%); Fox, 3.1/11 (up 24%); CBS, 2.8/9 (down 3%); UPN, 1.4/4 (up 8%); WB, 1.1/4 (down 8%).

Monday

“Dateline NBC” (11.1 rating, 20 share) continued its hot streak on Monday, July 21, leading NBC to wins for the night in homes and adults 18-49. The Peacock’s 8-10 p.m. sitcoms again outscored CBS’ in adults 18-49 (with a 4.2 rating vs. a 3.3) while CBS’ remain stronger in homes (6.9/13 vs. 6.2/11).

Despite its “Roar” losses, Fox led the 8-9 p.m. hour among adults 18-49 with “When Animals Attack.” “Ani-mals” devoured ABC’s competing “Tiger” special (4.9/9), prevailing by 6 shares in adults 18-49.

ABC’s strong two-parter “Telling Secrets” revealed the best rerun multiple-parter results for any net since last August, an 8.3/15.

Sunday

NBC won its first Sunday in adults 18-49 without any NBA help since “The Odyssey.” Fox still enjoyed the higher 7-10 p.m. average, while CBS led in homes. “Dateline NBC” scooped “60 Minutes” in adults 18-49, while the CBS newsmag reported the stronger adult 25-54 results.

At 7 p.m., Fox’s “Goosebumps” beat the combined kids shares of the ABC-CBS-NBC competition.

“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” may have bitten off more than it can chew with its test run on Sundays. Last week “Buffy” slid 23% behind its previous-week first try, for the netlet’s worst rating there in seven weeks.

Saturday

Against tough movie competition, CBS squeaked out a households win but landed last in adults 18-49 and third in adults 25-54. Fox tied NBC for first in adults 18-49.

“The Hand That Rocks the Cradle” nurtured ABC’s best Saturday 18-49 rating in nine weeks.

NBC got its highest Saturday-pic rating in nine weeks from “Out for Justice,” which chased “Walker, Texas Ranger” to its weakest regular-slot rating ever.

Friday

ABC controlled Friday as the T.G.I.F. sitcoms won their block in adults 18-49 for just the second time in seven weeks.

Fox’s “Millennium” is feeling the heat this summer, last week melting to that net’s lowest regular-series rating in that slot since July 1991 (“Alien Nation”).

Thursday

NBC breezed, as usual, with “Suddenly Susan” holding 91% of its 18-49 lead-in from “Seinfeld,” the best retention for “Susan” in its last 10 tries in that slot.

“Politically Incorrect” faded 9% below its lethargic previous-week 18-49 numbers, while slot rival “48 Hours” rallied to its closest finish behind “ER” in a year.

Wednesday

“Drew Carey” and “PrimeTime Live” led ABC to its easiest Wednesday win in eight weeks. At 9:30, though, “Ellen’s” coming-out boost seems to have faded; last week, “Ellen” held just 86% of its 18-49 lead-in from “Drew Carey,” its biggest falloff since an earlier run in that slot last February.

NBC benched its wobbly sitcom lineup for the first of its seven “Wildly Wicked Wednesday” films, but could only tie the sitcoms’ adults 18-49 average of the past three weeks.

CBS, meanwhile, wrapped its own seven-week “Wayback Wednesday” vidpic package with a solid 21% gain in adults 25-54 vs. year-ago results and even an 8% improvement in adults 18-49.

Fox’s “Pacific Palisades” earned the historic and dubious distinction of being the first program from the four es-tablished nets ever to finish a half-hour increment with a rating falling behind that of both competing programs on UPN and WB.

Tuesday

“Dateline NBC” put the Peacock back in first on Tuesday after a seven-week Peacock winning streak was interrupted by the Baseball All-Star Game.

CBS’ impressive reality spec “The Searchers” found the Eye’s best adults 18-49 rating that hour in 15 weeks. “The Godfather, Part III,” though, faded to a two-night 6.6/12, putting it ahead of just two of six rerun multiple-parters aired by the nets last summer.

UPN is making some Tuesday progress. “Social Studies” (a surprising omission from the fall sked) held 87% of its lead-in from “Moesha,” compared with a 73% average for the most recent run of slot regular “Homeboys in Outer Space.” Also, “In the House” has averaged an impressive 23% build on its lead-in in three showings at 9:30.

Monday

NBC led in 8-11 p.m. averages July 14, but Fox charged to an 8-10 p.m. win in adults 18-49 with the strong “Roar” premiere (Daily Variety, July 16).

Each rating point represents an estimated 970,000 households, or 1% of the country’s TV homes. The share is the same sort of percentage, except that it’s measured against only the households in which TV is being watched dur-ing the timeslot involved.

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