×

Eclectic mix drives Eye in all key demos

Storms, sleuths and songs equal successful sweeps

A fictional natural disaster wreaking havoc on the Midwest combined last week with some forensic sleuths and country crooners to lift CBS to its most convincing ratings victory of the season.

While each of the other five broadcasters was flat or down slightly year-to-year among young adults, CBS was up a nifty 20%.

Eight weeks into the season and nearly halfway through the November sweep, the Eye net is the clear leader in the demo most prized by advertisers — adults 18-49 — as well as its strongest-charted categories of adults 25-54 and total viewers.

Last week, all three editions of the “CSI” franchise dominated their time periods, joining Thursday’s “Without a Trace” and “Survivor: Vanuatu” and Sunday movie “Category 6: Day of Destruction” among the week’s top 10 in adults 18-49.

Also, Tuesday’s “Country Music Assn. Awards” and Monday laffer “Two and a Half Men” cracked the top 15 as CBS enjoyed success on every night but Saturday.

Overall, according to Nielsen estimates, CBS captured the Nov. 8-14 frame in adults 18-49 (4.8/13), adults 25-54 (6.0/14) and total viewers (15 million) — with its 14% advantage over runner-up NBC in adults 18-49 (4.2/11) the net’s largest advantage on record for a November sweep week.

ABC ran third in 18-49 (3.9/10), with Fox well behind in fourth (3.2/8).

Through Monday of the current week, which saw “CSI: Miami” and “Two and a Half Men” shine (see below), CBS is the leader of the November sweep in adults 18-49 with a 4.7 rating/12 share (up 9% in rating vs. a year ago), followed by NBC (4.1/11, down 9%), ABC (4.0/11, up 18%), Fox (3.0/8, up 3%), the WB (1.6/4, even) and UPN (1.5/4, down 6%).

In adults 25-54, the CBS advantage is a healthy 23% over second-place NBC (5.8/14 vs. 4.7/11), and in total viewers it’s a runaway (14.9 million vs. 10.8 million for second-place Peacock).

By comparison, the Eye’s 4.8 rating in adults 18-49 (roughly 6.3 million viewers) topped the six highest-rated cable networks combined. Coincidentally, one of those six, Spike, is on the rise thanks primarily to repeats of CBS’ No. 1 program, “CSI.”

Leading the way as usual for CBS was Thursday heavyweight “CSI” (10.8/25 in adults 18-49, 29.64 million viewers overall), the week’s — and the season’s — top-rated program in 18-49, 25-54 and total viewers.

Also, a special 90-minute “CSI: Miami” rocked on Monday (8.1/20 in 18-49, 22.09m), Tuesday’s 38th annual “CMAs” (5.9/15, 18.46m) gave the net its strongest Tuesday demos in three years and Sunday’s opener of two-part disaster pic “Category 6” (6.3/14 in 18-49, 19.35m) came through with CBS’ strongest demos for a scripted movie since “Jesus” in May 2000.

Sunday soph drama “Cold Case” warmed up to its best scores to date (4.8/11 in 18-49, 18.43m).

NBC ran second in most categories for the week, getting nice contributions from Thursday’s “ER” (9.4/23 in 18-49, 19.83m) and “The West Wing” (4.5/11 in 18-49, 15.26m), while a handful of other shows, including “American Dreams,” “Fear Factor” and “Las Vegas,” hit season highs in 18-49.

Also, Friday’s “Medical Investigation” (3.1/9 in 18-49, 8.94m) notched another 18-49 victory despite increased competish, and Tuesday’s weight-loss skein “The Biggest Loser” was again solid (4.1/10 in 18-49, 10.00m).

ABC remained competitive — and won the week in viewers 12-34 — even with megahit “Desperate Housewives” making way Sunday for the “American Music Awards” (5.7/13, 12.91m), which topped the ratings of its previous three telecasts and helped the Alphabet tie for the night’s 18-49 lead.

“NYPD Blue” hit season highs (3.7/9 in 18-49, 10.76m), as did the net’s Friday laffers, led by “Hope & Faith” (2.9/8, 8.20m). And although the fear of Federal Communications Commission fines took it off the air in about 30% of the country, a Veterans Day repeat of “Saving Private Ryan” gave the net its best Thursday of the season (2.6/6, 7.71m).

Fox didn’t have much to get excited about, although Thursday’s “The OC” (3.6/9 in 18-49, 8.08m) retained most of its premiere-week aud and Wednesday’s “Nanny 911” (4.1/10 in 18-49, 8.73m) remains perky. Not faring well was Tuesday’s two-hour preem of Richard Branson’s “Rebel Billionaire” (2.3/6 in 18-49, 5.09m).

The WB topped UPN in 18-34 for the week (1.8/5 vs. 1.5/4), with both nets down about 10% year-to-year.

Frog’s Tuesday (“One Tree Hill” and the resurgent “Gilmore Girls”) is up sharply year-to-year, making up for the net’s struggles with first-year dramas “Jack & Bobby” and “The Mountain.” Sunday’s “Mountain” crumbled to a 10th-place finish for its hour in adults 18-34 (0.7/2).

For UPN, new dramas “Veronica Mars” and “Kevin Hill” and the relocated “Enterprise” are providing timeslot improvements, but Thursday’s “WWE Smackdown” and the net’s Monday comedies are down.

ESPN led the ad-supported cable nets for the week (1.06 rating in 18-49), paced by Sunday’s National Football League game between the New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills (3.4/8 in 18-49, 7.78m).

Court TV achieved a milestone Friday, as its coverage of the Scott Peterson verdict (4-5 p.m. ET) averaged a net-best 2.66 million viewers.

* * *

On Monday of the current week, CBS received season-high results from both “CSI: Miami” (8.4/20 in 18-49, 22.48m) and “Two and a Half Men” (6.4/15, 17.47m) following the 200th episode of “Everybody Loves Raymond” (6.0/14, 17.80m).

Eye success translated to latenight, too, as “The Late Show With David Letterman” edged out NBC’s “Tonight Show With Jay Leno” in metered-market overnights (5.0/12 vs. 4.8/11). And “The Late Late Show,” with guest host D.L. Hughley, delivered a season-high 2.2/8 in the overnights.

Elsewhere, NBC’s “Fear Factor” led at 8 in demos (4.3/11 in 18-49, 10.85m), but is looking a bit tired. Fox’s “The Swan 2” picked up slightly (3.4/8, 7.26m) even as lead-in “Trading Spouses” dipped (3.2/8, 7.50m).

ABC’s “Monday Night Football” (7.1/19 in 18-49, 17.11m) was on the high end with its Dallas Cowboys-Philadelphia Eagles contest. NBC’s “$25 Million Dollar Hoax” (2.7/7 in 18-49, 6.05m) was down in its second week.

More TV

  • Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith

    Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith Dies at 78

    Walt Disney Archives founder Dave Smith, the historian who spent 40 years cataloging and preserving the company’s legacy of entertainment and innovation, died Friday in Burbank, Calif. He was 78. Smith served as Disney’s chief archivist from 1970 to 2010. He was named a Disney Legend in 2007 and served as a consultant to the [...]

  • TV Writer Christopher Knopf, Former WGA

    TV Writer Christopher Knopf, Former WGA West President, Dies at 91

    Prolific Emmy-nominated television writer Christopher Edwin Knopf, former president of the Writers Guild of America West, died in his sleep of congestive heart failure on Feb. 13. He was 91. Knopf was born in New York and attended UCLA, leaving during his senior year to join the Air Force during World War II. He finished [...]

  • Jussie Smollett The Black AIDS Insitute

    Jussie Smollett Case: Two Suspects Released Without Charges as New Evidence Emerges

    After two days of questioning, the Chicago Police Department announced Friday evening that it has released two suspects in the Jussie Smollett case without filing charges. Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said that detectives had developed new information in the case. Police no longer consider the men to be suspects. “Due to new evidence as a [...]

  • GOTHAM: L-R: Guest star Cameron Monaghan

    TV News Roundup: Fox Drops 'Gotham' Final Season Trailer (Watch)

    In today’s TV news roundup, Fox released a new trailer for an upcoming episode of “Gotham” and Disney has announced the cast for its upcoming “High School Musical” series.  FIRST LOOKS Showtime released a new trailer and the official poster for the upcoming fourth season of “Billions,” premiering March 17 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. In [...]

  • Chris Rock

    Chris Rock to Direct Kenan Thompson Comedy Pilot at NBC

    Chris Rock has come onboard to direct the NBC single-cam comedy pilot “Saving Kenan,” Variety has learned. Rock will also executive produce the pilot, which stars “SNL” mainstay Kenan Thompson. Thompson will play a newly widowed dad determined to be everything for his kids while begrudgingly letting his persistent father-in-law become more involved in their lives [...]

  • Peak TV Saturation TV Placeholder

    Apollo Global Management Buys Majority Stake in Cox TV Stations

    Private equity giant Apollo Global Management has cut a deal with Atlanta-based Cox Enterprises to buy a majority stake in Cox’s 13 TV stations as well as three newspapers and a handful of radio stations in Ohio. Apollo has been in the hunt for broadcast TV stations for some time. Cox’s station group, which includes [...]

  • Ken Jeong TV Take Podcast

    Listen: Ken Jeong on His Return to Stand-Up and New Netflix Special

    Welcome to “TV Take,” Variety’s television podcast. In this week’s episode, Variety’s executive editor of TV, Daniel Holloway, talks with Ken Jeong about his Netflix comedy special, “Ken Jeong: You Complete Me, Ho,” and being a judge on Fox’s “The Masked Singer.“ Jeong started working on his new standup act after ABC canceled his show “Dr. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content