(Marc Berman's Programming Insider column at Mediaweek.com)
Primetime Ratings for Monday Oct. 25th
NBC: 5.7/ 8
WB: 5.7/ 8
Fox: 4.4/ 6
UPN: 2.9/ 4
Percent Change From Comparable Year-Ago Night (Mon., Oct. 27, 2003):
CBS: + 3
Fox: - 4
UPN: - 6
Fast Affiliate Ratings
CBS: 16.22 million
Fox: 2.5/ 6
WB: 2.3/ 6
UPN: 1.6/ 4
7th Heaven (WB)
Monday Night Football (ABC)
Everybody Loves Raymond R (CBS)
Two and a Half Men (CBS)
CSI: Miami (CBS)
The Benefactor (ABC)
One On One (UPN)
Half and Half (UPN)
The Swan (Fox)
2004 Radio Music Awards (NBC)
Even with a repeat of Everybody Loves Raymond in the mix, CBS won Monday, beating No. 2 ABC by an average of 14 percent in the overnights, 2.25 million viewers and 2 percent among adults 18-49. More proof that reality is fading was the season-premiere of Fox's The Swan (two episodes: a Where Are They Now? update followed by the first episode of the second season) finishing fifth overall in the overnights (4.4/ 6) and total viewers (5.42 million), and fourth among adults 18-49 (2.5/ 6) from 8-10 p.m. The official season opener at 9 p.m. averaged a modest 5.0/ 7 in the overnights, with 6.30 million viewers and a 2.9/ 6 among adults 18-49. Compared to The Swan's first telecast in the Monday 9 p.m. hour last season (Overnights: #3, 6.8/10; Viewers: #4, 8.31 million; A18-49: #2t, 3.9/10 on April 12, 2004), this was a decline of 26 percent in the overnights, 2.01 million viewers and 26 percent among adults 18-49.
Note: Total viewers and adults 18-49 are based on the fast affiliate ratings.
In series-finale news, ABC's The Benefactor faded to oblivion with a distant fourth-place finish in the overnights (4.3/ 6) at 8 p.m. First in the hour based on the overnights were CBS comedies Still Standing (7.4/11) and Listen Up (7.2/10), followed by NBC's sinking Fear Factor (6.8/10), the WB's rock-solid 7th Heaven (6.4/ 9), The Benefactor, The Swan special (3.8/ 5), and UPN's deteriorating One On One (2.8/ 4: down 18 percent from a repeat of The Parkers on the year-ago night - 3.4/ 5 on Oct. 27, 2003) and Half and Half (2.8/ 4: down 16 percent from a repeat of Eve on the year-ago night - 3.3/ 5 on Oct. 27, 2003). Based on adults 18-49, Fear Factor (4.6/12) won the hour, followed by Still Standing (3.0/ 9) and Listen Up (3.0/ 8), 7th Heaven (2.5/ 7), The Swan (2.1/ 6), and One On One (1.5/ 4) and Half and Half (1.6/ 4). The Benefactor's adult 18-49 rating is excluded from the mix because football in the central and western time zones is included in the 8-9 p.m. fast affiliate averages.
At 9 p.m., even a repeat of CBS' departing Everybody Loves Raymond remains an option with a first-place finish in the overnights (11.3/16), and a competitive No. 2 behind ABC's Monday Night Football among adults 18-49 (5.3/13). Lead-out Two and a Half Men (#2, 11.8/16; A18-49: #2, 6.0/14 at 9:30 p.m.) is a compatible fit, while CSI: Miami at 10 p.m. (16.1/24; Viewers: 21.22 million; A18-49: 8.0/20) remains the top-rated show of the evening. For more on Everybody Loves Raymond, don't miss Mr. Television's conversation with series creator Phil Rosenthal in Mediaweek next Monday, Nov. 1.
On ABC, Monday Night Football remains a force to reckon with at an 11.4/18 in the overnights from 9 p.m. to 12:30 p.m., and 15.95 million viewers and a 6.4/15 among adults 18-49 in primetime.
Over at NBC, The 2004 Radio Music Awards was a dud, with a 5.1/ 7 in the overnights, 7.57 million viewers and a 3.5/ 8 among adults 18-49 from 9-11 p.m. In the 9-10 p.m. battle of UPN versus the WB, the frog net's Everwood (#4: 5.2/ 7; A18-49: #5, 2.1/ 5) held a considerable advantage, besting UPN comedies Girlfriends (#6: 3.1/ 4; A18-49: #6, 1.7/ 4) and Second Time Around (#6, 2.7/ 4; A18-49: #6, 1.4/ 3) by an average of 79 percent in the overnights and 35 percent among adults 18-49.
Source: Nielsen Media Research data
Coming Up On NBC:
November Sweep Highlights
With the start of the November sweeps just two days away, what follows are programming highlights for NBC:
-$25 Million-Dollar Hoax: Mon., Nov. 8, 10 p.m. ET
New Cast Additions
-Jimmy Smits joins The West Wing: Wed., Nov. 10, 9 p.m. ET
-The Most Outrageous Game Show Moments 3: Sat., Nov. 6, 8 p.m. ET
-The voice of David Spade on Father of the Pride: Tues., Nov. 9, 9 p.m. ET
-Alanis Morissette on American Dreams: Sunday, Nov. 7, 8 p.m. ET
-James Caan, Josh Duhamel and Vanessa Marcil of Las Vegas on Crossing Jordan: Sun,, Nov. 7, 10 p.m. ET
-Jill Hennessy and Jerry O'Connell of Crossing Jordan on Las Vegas: Mon., Nov. 8, 9 p.m. ET
-Kelly Preston on Joey: Thurs., Nov. 11, 8 p.m. ET
-Ray Liotta on ER: Thurs., Nov. 11, 10 p.m. ET
-Fear Factor: Mon., Nov. 8, 8 p.m. ET: 100th episode
What's Hot/What's Not
NBC Wins Friday, Oct. 22:
Although an average 6.1/11 in households, 8.71 million viewers and a 2.8/ 9 among adults 18-49 is nothing to boast about, it was still enough for NBC's combination of Dateline, Third Watch and Medical Investigation to win Friday, with an advantage over the No. 2 network (CBS in households and total viewers; ABC among adults 18-49) of 17 percent in households, 930,000 viewers and 27 percent among adults 18-49.
Note: Ratings for the WB are currently being reprocessed.
Reader Feedback Forum:
LAW & ORDER
"I do not normally write to columnists, but I do agree with R.T.'s comments yesterday about Dennis Farina on Law & Order. While I do like him as an actor and was looking forward to him appearing in the series, the attitude and comments of his character are totally different from any detective that has appeared on Law & Order. While I am not yet ready to throw in the towel, it certainly is no longer one of the few television series that I make a point of either watching or recording. I am not a fan of CSI so switching to CSI: NY is unlikely to happen.
Do you have any further information about the debut of Trial By Justice?
-D.W., Alexandria, VA
At press time, the only information I have about Law & Order: Trial By Justice is that it will be premiering in midseason. Based on the holes on NBC's line-up, Monday at 10 p.m. in place of LAX (and ultimately $25 Million Hoax), or Tuesday at 9 p.m. leading into Law & Order: SVU are certainly options. Had NBC known, however, that the franchise would begin to lose steam, it probably would not have gone forward with Trial By Justice.