“American Idol” again blew the competition out of the water, so Fox handily won the 18-49 demo for the May Sweep, while CBS claimed the Households crown. But final numbers from Nielsen show that pretty much every network’s performance in May 2008 didn’t measure up to May 2007.
To be sure, Fox dominated the big money 18-49 demo, with a 3.7 rating and 11 share, but that fell short of its 4.1/12 in the May Sweep a year ago. ABC repeated in 2nd place, but its 3.0/9 was down from 3.6/11. CBS was at 2.7/8, down from 3.0/9, and NBC at 1.9/5, down from 2.4/7. Of the 11 broadcast networks measured by Nielsen Media Research, the only gainer in 18-49 was MyNetworkTV, up to 0.5/1 from 0.4/1.
The story is similar in HH ratings, with CBS on top at 6.7/11, but down from 7.1/12 a year earlier. ABC’s 6.2/10 was down from 6.9/12. Fox’s 6.0/10 was down from 6.3/11. And NBC’s 3.9/7 was down from 4.7/8. There were only two gainers out of the 11 nets. MyNetworkTV rose to 0.8/1 from 0.6/1 and TeleFutura was at 0.4/1, up from 0.3/1.
TVBR observation: Was the writers strike to blame? That’s what many observers are saying. The network schedules had pretty much recovered from the strike, with new episodes of nearly all shows, but viewers may have lost interest in some shows that had been on hiatus for a while. It is hard to see that anyone gained anything from that strike, so it will be to the benefit of both unionized workers and the networks to resolve the other contracts talks going on now without having another strike.