Fox: King of the world!

May 23, 2008

strike.jpgTV strike? What TV strike?

Seems that Fox survived the 14-week writers strike, and arguably thrived if you stack its prime-time ratings up against major broadcast networks. It has  finished the season as the undisputed ratings leader for the first time, thanks to a combination of the Super Bowl and that little talent show known as “American Idol.”

Sure, “American Idol” ended its latest run with year-to-year declines in both overall audience and ratings for viewers aged 18 to 49 — and the show notched some record ratings lows this season. But let’s be honest here, it’s coming off pretty tough comparisons.

Even if the talent show is fading a bit, the network has built a strong supporting cast around “American Idol,” one that includes “House,” “Bones,” and “24,” which will be back next year after the strike kept it off the schedule this season.

Simply put, Fox is dominating right now. As per usual, it winds up the season as the most popular network with young adults, but now, for the first time in its two-decade history, it also wears the crown of the most-watched network in prime-time. CBS had long owned that title.

Not that Fox is free and clear. In a year when the five largest English-language broadcasters — ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and the CW — ended the season down 10 percent collectively among young-adult viewers and 7 percent in overall audience, everybody in the industry is worried. Fox is just a bit less worried.


 Keep an eye on:

  • Why hasn’t online online video advertising taken off as quickly as many expected? Executives attending the Reuters Global Technology, Media and Telecoms Summit this week cite inexperienced creative and sales staff and fear of the unknown among the roadblocks for online video advertising (Reuters)
  • Steven Spielberg’s fourth “Indiana Jones” installment is one of the most highly anticipated films of the year — one that many in Hollywood hope will revive a sluggish box office (Reuters)
  • The leading contenders to buy the Weather Channel in an auction are Time Warner and a partnership between General Electric Co’s NBC Universal and Blackstone Group LP, people familiar with the auction tell The Wall Street Journal.

(Photo: Reuters)

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