Where Are TV Viewers Going?
20 May 2009 2:29 AM, PDT
Network ratings slipped further last week, despite the fact that many programs were airing season finales or closely approaching them. The top-ten list included the usual players, but all of them had seen better days. American Idol finally eliminated all but its final two contestants, and while Wednesday's results show posted a 14.0 rating and a 22 share, putting it at No. 1 for the week, it was slightly below the show's season average of 14.3/22. ABC's Dancing With the Stars, which came in third, drew an 11.8/18, down from a 12.6/19 average for the season. Indeed every show in the top ten was down from its season average -- at a time when ratings usually rise. The results make all the more curious a Nielsen study released today (Wednesday) indicating that home television viewing in general is up 1.2 percent over last year. Presumably viewers may now be watching more cable shows and fewer broadcast ones. (Online viewing is covered in a separate study.)
The top ten shows of the week according to Nielsen Research:1. American Idol (Wednesday), Fox, 14/22; 2. American Idol (Tuesday), Fox, 13/21; 3. Dancing With the Stars (Monday), ABC, 11.8/18; 4. Grey's Anatomy, ABC, 11/18; 5. NCIS, CBS, 10.2/16; 6. The Mentalist, CBS, 10.1/15; 7. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CBS, 9.3/15; 8. Dancing With the Stars (Tuesday), ABC, 9.1/14; 9. Without a Trace, CBS, 8.8/15; 10. CSI: Miami, CBS, 8.7/15; 10. (Tie)Desperate Housewives, ABC, 8.7/14.