City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

5/23: Another tough year for broadcast TV

As usual, people are watching more TV — just less broadcast TV.

The only broadcast network this past season which saw its audience grow was CBS, according to the Hollywood Reporter, based on the broadcast season which ended Wednesday.

Overall, the big four (Fox, ABC, CBS, NBC) saw their audience drop 4 percent among 18 to 49 year olds and in totality.

CBS won overall audience (11.8 million viewers) and 25 to 54 year olds. Credit growth in many of its shows and freshman hit “The Mentalist.”

Fox won among 18 to 49 year old viewers for the fifth year in a row but saw the biggest falloff. It lost 13 percent of viewers and 16 percent among 18 to 49 year olds. Some of that was due to the lack of the Super Bowl and a dropoff on “Idol.”

ABC, at 8.9 million, lost about 400K viewers as its big shows lost steam. And NBC lost about 400,000 viewers as well, averaging 7.8 million viewers (aided by the Super Bowl.) Wednesdays and Fridays took the biggest hits for them.

Here’s an ABC promo, highlighting most of its bigger hits:

The CW, not included in the calculations, saw 22 percent of its viewers disappear but it held its 18 to 34 female viewers.

Cable networks don’t pay attention to the “season.” They simply schedule shows all year around, with special emphasis during the summer when the broadcast networks throw out leftover scripted shows and reality TV.

- Of the 74 scripted pilots the broadcast networks ordered, 29 were picked up. One ABC pilot shot in Atlanta, “Solving Charlie,” was part of the 45 that missed the cut.

3 comments Add your comment


May 23rd, 2009
2:51 am

Gee I wonder why people are turning off the television. Could it be the 22 minutes per hour of commercials, could it be the non stop reality show garbage, could it be the pro gay theme in some shows, or could it be most all prime time dramas are cop shows about murder. I quit watching TV 2 years ago and do not miss it.

Eli Karatassos

May 23rd, 2009
4:19 pm

NBC is making what will be a fatal gamble with its all-Leno 10PM weekday time slot. I didn’t watch him at 11:30 and will not at 10.


May 25th, 2009
12:47 am

Hey Eric, the reason for the gamble on Leno is because it saves them money and he is the #1 in late night so it might carry over…..DUH!