What you watched on TV last week…

It was all about sports last week as the World Series and a couple of big football games ranked among the most-watched prime-time shows. Fox was the big winner, according the the latest Nielsen figures.

With the World Series Game 5, the hospital drama “House,” and the comedies “The Simpsons” and “Family Guy,” Fox brought in the highest ratings among adults 18-49 for the week ending Nov 2. Year over year, Fox boosted its ratings last week by 26 percent.  Just wait until ”American Idol” and “24″ return.

Total Viewers (’000, change from 2007-08)

CBS 11,384, down 8 percent

ABC 10,140, down 11 percent

Fox 9,527, up 36 percent

NBC 7,529, down 6 percent

Adults 18-49 (ratings, change from 2007-08)

Fox 3.4, up 26 percent

ABC 3.1, down 14 percent

NBC, 2.8, down 7 percent

CBS, 2.8 down 22 percent

Week’s Top Shows for Adults 18-49 (network, rating)

World Series Game 5, Fox 6.2

Sunday Night Football, NBC 6.2

The Simpsons, Fox 6.2

Desperate Housewives, ABC 5.8

Grey’s Anatomy, ABC 5.7

House, Fox 5.4

Family Guy, Fox 5.1

Office, NBC 4.8

CBS, CBS 4.8

The OT, Fox 4.4

Saturday Night Football, ABC 4.4

What you watched on TV last week…

Helped by the World Series, Fox last week scored five of the top 10 shows among 18-49 year-olds. That’s the good news. The bad news is that Fox ratings were nonethless down 22 percent for the week, and are down 17 percent year-to-date, according to the latest Nielsen data.

Fox isn’t alone. Season-to-date ratings for NBC and ABC are down similar amounts. That leaves CBS on top. But even CBS is down 6 percent, so it’s dubious honor.

Total Viewers (’000, change from 2007-08)

CBS 11,351, up 2 percent

Fox, 10,875, down 21 percent

ABC 9,958, down 11 percent

NBC 6,098, down 13 percent

Adults 18-49 (rating, change from 2007-08)

Fox 3.6, down 22 percent

CBS 3.0, no change

ABC 3.0, down 19 percent

NBC 2.2, down 15 percent

Week’s Top Shows for Adults 18-49 (network, rating)

Desperate Housewives, ABC 5.8

House, Fox, 5.6

CSI, CBS 5.5

Grey’s Anatomy, ABC 5.4

Two and a Half Men, CBS 5.1

Fox World Series Game 4, Fox 5.1

The OT, Fox 5.0

Fox World Series Game 1, Fox 4.8

Fox World Series Game 4-Pre, Fox, 4.4

Survivor Gabon, CBS, 4.4

(Photo: Reuters)

Take my savings — but not my mediocre TV shows

No doubt about it, the financial crisis has been tough on the media business. Just ask Sumner Redstone, the folks over at the Associated Press, or anyone on Madison Avenue.

Then there are some of the poorly rated television shows to consider… The Hollywood Reporter writes that thanks to the economic downturn, the broadcast networks could play it safe and order full-seasons of some low-rated programs rather than replace them with new series.

There are a number of reasons for this, one of which is that it costs money to order and market a new series.

What you watched on TV last week…

tvwatching.jpgIt was another solid week for CBS, which has become a regular at the top of the TV ratings race so far this season, according to the latest figures from Nielsen.

But while CBS was the most-watched network and brought in the most 18-49 year-olds, it was ABC’s soapy dramas that were the most popular individual shows. Sexy doctors and sexy housewives, pretty bankable as ratings winners.

Total Viewers (’000, change from 2007-08)

CBS 11,472, up 4 percent

NBC 7,207, down 13 percent

ABC 9,147, down 14 percent

Fox, 6,727, down 43 percent

Adults 18-49 (rating, change from 2007-08)

CBS 3.2, up 7 percent

NBC 2.7, down 13 percent

ABC 2.8, down 20 percent

Fox 2.5, down 36 percent

Week’s Top Shows for Adults 18-49 (network, rating)

Grey’s Anatomy (ABC, 5.9)

Desperate Housewives (ABC, 5.7)

Two and a Half Men (CBS 5.3)

House (Fox, 5.3)

CSI (CBS, 5.2)

Family Guy (Fox, 4.7)

Heroes (NBC, 4.3)

The Office (NBC, 4.3)

SNL: Weekend Update (NBC, 4.2)

Survivor: Gabon (CBS, 4.2)

(Photo: Reuters)

What you watched on TV last week…

It was a big week in the TV world for CBS, according to the latest Nielsen data.

Its live plus same day ratings for the week ending October 12, the third week of the new TV season, are below. As you can see, CBS won in total viewers, adults aged 18-49, and had the top show of the week in CSI.

TOTAL VIEWERS (Average ratings/Audience)
CBS 3.8/11.0 million
ABC 3.3/9.6 million
Fox 2.7/8.0 million
NBC 2.4/7.0 million

ADULTS 18-49 (Average rating/Audience)
CBS 3.2/4.2 million
ABC 3.0/3.9 million
Fox 2.7/3.6 million
NBC 2.7/3.5 million

It’s 8:00 p.m. — do you know where your TV is?

television-set.jpgThe new prime-time TV season is starting and that means all eyes are on Nielsen ratings. While that’s the case every fall, this one is a bit different — the industry is recovering from a writers’ strike that threw the 2007-08 season into disarray.

AdAge points out, for instance, that serialized dramas already appear to be having trouble getting their footing back. It says two NBC dramas, “Chuck” and “Life,” both opened the season to sharply lower viewing numbers for the 18-49 demographic than they did a year ago.

Both are indicative of how many serialized dramas lost media momentum last year due to the strike, and how hard it will be to rebuild it without the buildup of free media any new show receives

Media, tech suffer along with everyone else

meltdown.jpgIt’s the economy, stupid. Or mostly the economy, says newspaper executive William Dean Singleton.In an interview with, Singleton, CEO of MediaNews Group, says that “more than half” of the problems facing the newspaper industry can be attributed to the economy. (Recall that most observers say the biggest problem is that people simply aren’t reading newspapers as often as they once did) Here’s what Singleton, who oversees the San Jose Mercury News and Denver Post, among other papers, says: “The biggest thing we need right now is an improved economy, because at least 60 percent of the revenue problem we’re facing today is good-old fashioned economic recession”Speaking of the economy, shares of some of the hottest tech companies were hammered yesterday on fears about evaporating consumer demand, Reuters reports.”Investors are no longer selling their losers in tech but have turned to selling stocks that still have meat on the bone,” Scott Kessler, head of S&P’s tech equities research, says in the story.Added Jeffrey Lindsay, an analyst who follows Internet stocks for brokerage Sanford C. Bernstein: ”Nothing has changed fundamentally in many of these stocks… But everyone is trotting out their bear market scenarios.”Keep an eye on:

    The nationally televised debate last week between U.S. presidential contenders John McCain and Barack Obama drew 52.4 million U.S. viewers, far below 1980′s record audience (Reuters)   ABC came in first place for the week ending Sept. 28, led by the return of the two top-rated dramas on television, “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Desperate Housewives” (Hollywood Reporter) Britain’s largest commercial broadcaster, ITV is to cut around 1,000 jobs including 430 from its news department as part of a cost-cutting drive (Reuters) A group founded by several major media and technology companies, Arts+Labs, plan to promote the Web as a place for consumers to get songs, television shows and movies without resorting to piracy (Reuters)

(Photo: Reuters)

‘How do you like the weather in Jordan, Senator?’

barackThe big three networks — and their big three evening news anchors — are all over Barack Obama’s trip to the Middle East. Extensive coverage is planned, interviews will be touted, and ABC, NBC and CBS are sure to document his every more.

So is this attention on his trip just more evidence that the media plays favorites with Obama, as some have argued? (Who can forget the SNL skit?)

One evening news anchor, CBS’ Katie Couric,  made her feelings on the subject quite clear in a talk with TV critics. She believes there are “a number of really critical questions” Obama needs to answer about foreign policy.

Television totally rules!

dollars.jpgWhat’s all this talk about the struggles of the TV industry?

Sure, ratings were down again last season. Screenwriters walked off the job, and while they eventually settled, the actors may be next to strike. No new shows really caught fire, and that Web thing sure does seem to be stealing advertising dollars. Then there’s $4/gallon gasoline, a housing slump, job losses — which all adds up to a generally lousy economy.

And yet… the upfront market looked pretty strong. Last week, NBC gave an early indication that the market was healthy and moving more quickly than expected as reports surfaced that it had booked deals worth about $1.9 billion, with prices up by mid-single digits to high-single digits on a percentage basis.

Yesterday, word spread that ABC’s prices were up about 9 percent and CBS landed gains of 7 percent to 9 percent. Fox is believed to have done even better.

Fox: King of the world!

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.