Wednesday, May 16, 2007

'Survivor's' ratings keep dropping

The long-running CBS reality show isn't immune to the networks' general malaise.
From Times wire reports

May 16, 2007

Eating bugs, stabbing fish with a makeshift spear and tropical island backstabbing appear to be losing their appeal for "Survivor" fans.

The long-running CBS game isn't immune to the general malaise affecting network TV this spring, as only 13.6 million people watched Sunday as California advertising executive Earl Cole unanimously won the Fiji edition, according to Nielsen Media Research.

That's down 17% from the 16.4 million people who watched the end of the previous edition in December. Last spring's finale had 17.1 million viewers, Nielsen said.

It illustrates how long it has been since the first "Survivor" in the summer of 2000 electrified fans and drew 51.6 million people to its conclusion. The latest game was the 14th "Survivor" edition.

CBS notes, however, that "Survivor" consistently wins its time slot against a hot new hit, ABC's "Ugly Betty," and NBC's "My Name Is Earl."

Even television's May sweeps, usually a season's climax, can't seem to get viewers excited. Only the two "American Idol" episodes and "House" on Fox brought in more than 20 million viewers last week, Nielsen said. ABC's "Desperate Housewives" slipped to 16.1 million viewers.

The veteran CBS comedy "King of Queens" went out with a small wave of nostalgia, however. It was the most-watched sitcom on the air last week, and the 13.4 million who watched this Monday's finale was its biggest audience since 2003.

CBS was the nation's most popular network last week, averaging 11.3 million viewers in prime time. Fox had 10.2 million and won among viewers ages 18 to 49, a coveted demographic.

The week's only premiere, the ABC drama "Traveler," was 38th for the week and third in its Thursday 10-11 p.m. time slot with 8.6 million viewers. Viewership dropped 19% from the first half-hour to the second.

For the sixth consecutive week, HBO's "The Sopranos" was cable's most-watched show of the week, with 6.49 million viewers for its first airing Sunday, which would have put it 56th among the programs on the five major broadcast networks.

ABC's "World News" won the evening news ratings race, averaging 7.9 million viewers. NBC's "Nightly News" had 7.2 million viewers and the "CBS Evening News" was third for the 33rd consecutive week, with 6.1 million viewers.

Prime-time TV rankings

Here are the rankings for national prime-time network television last week (May 7-13) as compiled by Nielsen Media Research. They are based on the average number of people who watched a program from start to finish. Nielsen estimates there are 283.5 million potential viewers in the U.S. ages 2 and older. Viewership is listed in millions.

Program Network Viewers
1American Idol (Wed.)FOX28.20
2American Idol (Tue.)FOX25.47
3House (Tue.)FOX21.36
4Grey's Anatomy (Thu.)ABC19.58
5Dancing With the Stars (Mon.)ABC19.44

7CSI: MiamiCBS17.18
8Dancing With the Stars (Tue.)ABC16.86
9Desperate HousewivesABC16.13
10Without a Trace (Thu.)CBS14.31

12Survivor: FijiCBS13.76
13Survivor: Fiji FinaleCBS13.63
14King of QueensCBS13.42
15Two and a Half MenCBS13.27

16Criminal MindsCBS12.92
17CSI: NYCBS12.83
19Brothers & SistersABC11.61
20"Survivor: Fiji Reunion"CBS11.43

22Law & Order: SVU (Tue.)NBC10.94
24The UnitCBS10.74
25Deal or No Deal (Mon.)NBC10.43

26The Bachelor: An Officer and a GentlemanABC10.38
27Extreme Makeover: Home EditionABC10.35
28Close to HomeCBS10.27

31Boston LegalABC9.98
32Ugly BettyABC9.63
3360 MinutesCBS9.50
35Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? (8 p.m.)FOX9.32

36Ghost WhispererCBS9.15
37Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? (9 p.m.)FOX8.70
39Law & Order (Fri.)NBC8.30
40Without a Trace (Tue.)CBS8.15

42New Adventures of Old ChristineCBS7.82
44How I Met Your MotherCBS7.69
45House (Mon.)FOX7.48

46Law & Order (Sat.)NBC7.41
47Family GuyFOX7.22
48The OfficeNBC7.17
49America's Funniest Home VideosABC7.04
5048 Hours MysteryCBS6.99

51Law & Order: Criminal IntentNBC6.94

My Name Is EarlNBC6.94
53The Simpsons (8:30 p.m.)FOX6.86
54Dateline: NBC (Fri.)NBC6.78
55The Simpsons (8 p.m.)FOX6.54

56Crimetime Saturday (9 p.m.)CBS6.42

58According to Jim (8 p.m.)ABC6.35
5920/20 (10 p.m.)ABC6.15
60Law & Order: SVU (Sat.)NBC5.97

61Crimetime Saturday (8 p.m.)CBS5.71
62Notes From the UnderbellyABC5.70
63American DadFOX5.67
64Crossing JordanNBC5.34

66Thank God You're Here (Wed.)NBC5.27
67Destilando Amor (Mon.)UNI5.00
68Dateline: NBC (Tue.)NBC4.98
69Destilando Amor (Thu.)UNI4.96
70America's Top Model 2 (Wed.)CW4.92

71NBA Playoffs (8:12 p.m.)ABC4.91
72La Fea Más Bella (Mon.)UNI4.89
73Destilando Amor (Tue.)UNI4.88

La Fea Más Bella (Wed.)UNI4.88
75Destilando Amor (Wed.)UNI4.85

76Dateline: NBC (Sat.)NBC4.82
77Real Wedding CrashersNBC4.77
78"Fox NASCAR Nextel Pre-Show" (Sat.)FOX4.67
79Destilando Amor (Fri.)UNI4.63
80George Lopez (Tue.)ABC4.60

81Friday Night SmackdownCW4.56
82According to Jim (9 p.m.)ABC4.55
83La Fea Más Bella (Tue.)UNI4.42
84George Lopez (Wed.)ABC4.41

8620/20 (9 p.m.)ABC4.34
87Grey's Anatomy (Fri.)ABC4.30
88La Fea Más Bella (Fri.)UNI4.15

La Fea Más Bella (Thu.)UNI4.15
90Gilmore GirlsCW3.99

91Cops (8:30 p.m.)FOX3.87
92King of the Hill (7:30 p.m.)FOX3.68
93Dateline: NBC (Sun.)NBC3.67

Thank God You're Here (Sun.)NBC3.67
95"Daddy Day Care"FOX3.64

96Cops (9:30 p.m.)FOX3.57
97Cops (9 p.m.)FOX3.47
98Nuestra Belleza (Tue.)UNI3.44
100Aqui y AhoraUNI3.35

101Don Francisco PresentaUNI3.33
1027th Heaven (8 p.m.)CW3.32
103Bailando Boda Suenos UNI3.23
104One Tree HillCW2.95
105King of the Hill (7 p.m.)FOX2.90

108Duelo de Pasiones (Wed.)UNI2.87
109Duelo de Pasiones (Thu.)UNI2.77
110Casos VidaUNI2.67

111Duelo de Pasiones (Mon.)UNI2.63
112Duelo de Pasiones (Fri.)UNI2.60
113Duelo de Pasiones (Tue.)UNI2.48

Everybody Hates ChrisCW2.48
115"NBA Playoffs" (Sat., 8 p.m.)ABC2.47

116All of UsCW2.29
117Sabado GiganteUNI1.96
118Veronica MarsCW1.85
119Futbol Liga MexicanaUNI1.70
120America's Top Model 2 (Sun.)CW1.67

1217th Heaven (7 p.m.)CW1.44
122Dame Chocolate (Mon.)TEL1.31
123Dame Chocolate (Tue.)TEL1.29

Dame Chocolate (Wed.)TEL1.29
125Zorro (Tue.)TEL1.22

126Dame Chocolate (Fri.)TEL1.18
127Esclava Isaura (Mon.)TEL1.16
128Zorro (Wed.)TEL1.15
129Zorro (Mon.)TEL1.14
130Esclava Isaura (Tue.)TEL1.12

131Marina (Wed.)TEL1.12
132Marina (Tue.)TEL1.10
133Hora PicoUNI1.09
134Marina (Mon.)TEL1.08
135Zorro (Fri.)TEL1.07

136Cinemundo del SabadoTEL1.06
137Dame Chocolate (Thu.)TEL1.03
138Zorro (Thu.)TEL1.01
139Marina (Fri.)TEL1.00
140Esclava Isaura (Thu.)TEL0.95

141Esclava Isaura (Wed.)TEL0.92
142Esclava Isaura (Fri.)TEL0.87
143Marina (Thu.)TEL0.86
144Cine NuestroTEL0.78
145Cine MillonarioTEL0.76

146Marav Mundo DisneyTEL0.56
Network averages

Here is the number of viewers (in millions) that each network averaged per hour of prime time, for last week and for the season.
NetworkLast weekSeason to date