The season finale of “American Idol” is still ahead, but Fox has nailed down a victory in the May sweep and full season for the key 18-49 demo and just about every other adult demo you want to talk about. CBS is claiming it will win its 6th consecutive May sweep in viewers. CBS is also slightly ahead of Fox in Household ratings through 34 weeks of the season, but there’s still that “Idol” finale to be tallied.
The season outcome was never really in doubt. Even though all of the networks were impacted by the writers strike, Fox had both the Super Bowl and “American Idol” as powerhouse audience draws for the second half of the season.
CBS got its full lineup of scripted shows back to original episodes for the May sweep and, with three days yet to be tallied, was claiming to have put nine shows in the top 20 for the sweep. But while “CSI” was the most-watched scripted show, ABC was celebrating because it had the top two scripted shows for the sweep in the big money 18-49 demo, “Desperate Housewives” and “Grey’s Anatomy.” So, the Alphabet net is proudly proclaiming that it will finish a strong second to Fox in the 18-49 demo for the sweep and the entire season.
Through 34 weeks of the 2007-2008 season, Fox had an 18-49 rating of 4.2 and an 11 share, compared to ABC and CBS tied at 3.0/8 (and ABC slightly ahead in viewers) and NBC at 2.8/8.
For Households, CBS was at 6.7/11 and Fox at 6.6/11, so we’ll be waiting for the final few days to determine that outcome. Fox might want the bragging rights to a clean sweep, while CBS wants to be able to say it is #1 in something. In addition to 18-49, Fox is comfortably ahead in Persons 2+, Adults 18-34 and Adults 25-54.