“Survivor” is the king of demo island, and, now, so is its network.
With the summer phenom hitting new ratings highs last week, CBS has ventured into long-uncharted waters with its first primetime ratings victory in adults 18-49 in the 330 weeks since March 6, 1994 (Daily Variety, July 11).
“Survivor” posted new highs last week in viewers (24.49 million), adults 18-49 (10.6/32), adults 25-54 (11.2/32) and adults 18-34 (10.4/35). It also ranked as the No. 1 program in each of these categories for the week of July 3-9, according to Nielsen, paving the way for CBS to win the week in viewers (9.71 million), adults 18-49 (3.4/11) and adults 25-54 (3.8/12).
Eye net ascended to second place in adults 18-34 (2.8/10), its best finish in this group since October 1993.
Combined with a first-place finish in teens (6.5/24) for the net’s “Big Brother” preem, a CBS program placed first for the week in every key demo — from kids to adults 25-54 — a feat no net has pulled off since the season finale of ABC’s “Spin City” swept the board two months ago.
While “Big Brother” is boosting the Eye’s early-evening demos on every night it airs, CBS is having less success with the show’s lead-out dramas. Last week’s “City of Angels” (Thursday), “JAG” (Friday) and “Walker, Texas Ranger” (Saturday) sent many of “Brother’s” younger viewers reaching for the remote control.
In fact, these shows actually performed below the net’s summer averages on these nights. This underscores that “Brother” is, indeed, drawing a much different aud to CBS, and that those viewers are not as interested in sticking around for the typical Eye drama.
ABC and NBC tied for second in adults 18-49 (3.0/10), with “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” boosting the Alphabet web by returning to firstrun segs after more than two weeks of repeats.
Fox rebounded to place just two-tenths of a ratings point out of second in adults 18-49 (2.8/9) — its best finish of the postseason. Net won Saturday and Sunday in the demo and also won the week in adults 18-34 (3.0/11).
The WB, meanwhile, pulled to within less than half a million viewers of UPN (2.42 million vs. 2.84) — its closest finish since February. The netlet is seeing nice gains with its comedies on Friday and Sunday.
Broadcast nets’ adults 18-49 averages for the week of July 3-9: CBS, a 3.4 rating/11 share (up 36% in rating vs. a year ago); ABC, 3.0/10 (up 3%), tied with NBC, 3.0/10 (down 3%); Fox, 2.8/9 (even); UPN, 1.2/4 (up 50%); the WB, 1.0/3 (down 23%); Pax, 0.3/1 (even).
In homes: CBS, 6.8/13 (up 3%); ABC, 6.2/12 (up 9%); NBC, 5.6/11 (down 3%); Fox, 4.2/8 (down 5%); UPN, 2.0/4 (up 43%); the WB, 1.7/3 (down 26%); Pax, 0.8/2 (even).
Adults 18-49 averages for cable services: HBO, 1.1/4 (down 15%); TBS, 0.8/3 (up 14%), tied with USA, 0.8/3 (even); TNT, 0.6/2 (down 40%).
CBS won July 10 in viewers (11.12 million) and adults 18-49 (4.1/12), winning each half-hour in the latter.
Airing in a stronger Eye timeslot, “Big Brother” (10.53 million viewers, 4.0/14 in A18-49) delivered its best numbers since its second outing last Thursday. That helped the net’s comedies each hit five-week highs in young adults, led by “Everybody Loves Raymond” (4.9/14).
Fox, which edged NBC on the night in adults 18-49 (3.4/10 vs. 3.3/10), was led by the best numbers for “The Simpsons” (9.41 million, 5.0/16 in A18-49) since its season finale May 21.
The WB also enjoyed comedy success on the night, as its 8-10 p.m. block matched its best adults 18-49 average (1.1/3) since February.
“Millionaire” was the night’s top show in viewers (19.74 million) and adults 18-49 (5.3/14), but its share in the demo was the lowest for a firstrun Sunday seg this season. It didn’t get much help from lead-in repeat pic “Adventures of Pinocchio” (5.43 million, 1.7/5 in A18-49), which was a distant fourth each half-hour from 7-9.
CBS squeezed past ABC to win the night in viewers (10.67) and adults 25-54 (3.7/10).
“Big Brother” gave CBS its biggest non-sports 18-49 rating in the lead-off hour (2.4/10) since March 4. That lead-in didn’t mesh well with the “Walker, Texas Ranger” aud, as that vet series slipped to easily its weakest demo rating of the summer (1.3/5).
NBC’s mini-marathon of the canceled “Freaks and Geeks” built throughout the night, with the 10 p.m. seg winning in both viewers (6.75 million) and adults 18-49 (3.0/10).
Pax’s 10-11 p.m. coverage of Olympic diving trials brought nearly three times the number of viewers it’s averaged in the slot the previous two weeks (.94 million vs. .35).
“Big Brother” won its half-hour by 7 shares in homes and placed first in all demos except kids. Its most impressive perf came in adults 18-34 (3.3/15), where CBS saw its biggest rating in the timeslot with series programming since Feb. 12, 1993 (“Golden Palace”).
NBC won the night in adults 18-49 with a 2.8/10, just ahead of ABC (2.6/9) and CBS (2.4/8). The Peacock was led by the top-rated Friday “Dateline” of the summer (3.6/13).
Another newsmag, ABC’s “20/20,” matched its best adults 18-49 rating (3.5/12) since May 12.
A comedy block that included two episodes of “The Jamie Foxx Show” lifted the WB into second place in men 18-34 (1.5/7). At 9, “The Steve Harvey Show” matched its best adults 18-34 score (1.6/7) in the last 20 weeks.
NBC and ABC tied in adults 18-49 (4.8/15) while the Alphabet was an easy winner in total viewers over the Peacock (14.45 million vs. 9.94) with its biggest Thursday aud in five weeks.
Key for NBC was a strong showing for a one-hour repeat of “Friends” from February. Seg, strategically placed to blunt the first Thursday episode of “Big Brother,” edged the new CBS series in the 8 p.m. half-hour (4.9/17 vs. 4.4/16) and surged to a 5.8/19 at 8:30, topping second-place “Whose Line Is It Anyway” (3.6/12) by 7 shares.
CBS went from 1 share out of the 18-49 lead at 8 with “Big Brother” to a fifth-place finish at 9:30 with the timeslot premiere of “City of Angels” (1.4/4 in A18-49).
“Millionaire” returned to firstrun segs and won its hour in adults 18-49 (6.3/19), ranking as the week’s No. 4 program in the demo.
At 10, ABC’s “20/20-Downtown” topped NBC’s “ER” in adults 18-49 for just the second time (4.8/14 vs. 4.3/13), delivering its best demo perf and largest aud (14.03 million) in six weeks.
“Survivor” surged to its largest audience to date (24.49 million) and outdelivered the other five nets combined by 4% in adults 18-34 (10.4/35 vs. 10.0/34), by 9% in adults 18-49 (10.6/33 vs. 9.7/30) and by 12% in adults 25-54 (11.2/32 vs. 10.0/30).
That led into “Big Brother’s” bow, which gave CBS its best demos in the hour on any night since the Grammys in February (Daily Variety, July 7).
Newsmag “48 Hours” followed at 10 with season-best numbers in viewers (15.82 million) and adults 18-49 (6.9/19), among other demos.
As a testament to the ability of “Millionaire” to bring extra eyeballs to primetime whenever it airs, this year’s Fourth of July was not the least-watched night of the year, as is almost always the case. The night’s HUT level (percentage of homes using television) was 45.4, slightly better than the previous Saturday’s 45.0.
“Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks” spec scored a whopping 19.9/37 homes rating in Gotham on WNBC, the highest mark for any program on a Fourth of July in New York since 1986 (Statue of Liberty re-opening).
CBS won July 3 in viewers (9.27 million) and adults 18-49 (3.1/10). Leading the way was “Everybody Loves Raymond,” which was the No. 1 Monday comedy in adults 18-49 (3.7/12) for the 13th straight week.
UPN’s comedy lineup finished second in teens (2.0/8).