Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Once you've had a chance to review the MarchMayES selling book, get in touch with me regarding how you would like March shares reflected in the rest of the selling books. If I don't hear from your station, I'll use my own judgment.. LOL.
Later this week, I'll be updating everyone's Golf... Tiger's back and the March survey shows it.
(Oh, and Idaho Fox is done, too.)
Some agencies will insist on using March shares. Others couldn't care less. And of course, there will be those who want March shares used for Second Quarter avails, but not beyond. *That's* what a MarchMayES Selling book is for.
My suggestion is to submit both MarchMayES and MAYES and be prepared to sell the higher number.
The folks in Las Vegas needed help from Birmingham, so my work on Sunbelt's northern properties is in mid-stream now.
I'll buy ya lunch today if you haven't eaten:
Folks, take a look at Kings. For a program moved four different times in less than a month, it delivered really decent demos. The summer schedule gives it a chance to be spotlighted... Take it from me, this is NBC's Summer version of West Wing.
Monday, April 27, 2009
If you're the DoS or GSM at an NBC station, drop me a note and let's talk about this.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
America's Got Talent's premiere expands to 2 hours on 6/23, and in August, the two hours move later by an hour.
L&O plus L&O:SVU fill the first hour of prime on Wednesday later in the summer, replacing Great American Road Trip which moves to the first hour of Tuesdays, causing the elimination of five previously scheduled specials.
Mountain and Pacific clients get Dateline this Wednesday at 8/7p, while Eastern & Central get the live POTUS news conference at that time.
If you are my client, all of these changes are already in your MediaOffice inventory.
Friday, April 24, 2009
With Leno Ailing, ‘Tonight’ Is Canceled Again
By Bill Carter of NY Times
NBC canceled a second “Tonight Show” Friday because of the illness of Jay Leno, but the network said the show’s host was feeling better and would return on Monday. It said he probably had a stomach virus.
Mr. Leno told staff members when he arrived at his office Thursday that he was not feeling well. After some conversation with producers he decided to go to a hospital, and NBC showed a repeat on Thursday night.
Except for scheduled time off, Mr. Leno, famous for his work ethic, had never before missed a “Tonight Show” in his 17 years as host. The only other time he did not appear during a week when the show was in production was one day when he exchanged roles with Katie Couric, who was then a “Today” show host. She replaced him on “Tonight” after he replaced her that morning on “Today.”
For NBC, Mr. Leno’s health is more important than ever because he will start a new show in prime time five nights a week this fall. Mr. Leno was expected to return home from the hospital Friday afternoon.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Kings postponed till mid-June, while Southland fits in the middle of L&O family reruns.
Want the details? Check your MediaOffice inventory this afternoon. No, you aren't confused.. this is the THIRD change NBC has made to Spring and Summer Saturdays in the past 4 business days.
March data has arrived today for Fort Wayne.. you'll be updated today, too.
Friday, April 17, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
grace: Everything else
Its ratings have certainly tumbled in primetime
By Toni Fitzgerald
Apr 16, 2009
NBC has seen its fortunes fall in primetime over the past five years, going from the No. 1 network to the No. 4. But in essentially every other daypart, it remains dominant.
During first quarter, NBC programs were No. 1 in late night, evening news, mornings and Sunday mornings, many of them by a large margin.
That’s all the more impressive considering NBC’s low ratings in primetime. It means that viewers are consciously switching over to NBC programming after tuning into other networks during primetime, where CBS dominates among total viewers and Fox among adults 18-49.
In several dayparts, NBC’s lead is even growing, due either to increases in its viewership or decreases for the competition.
“The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” upped its percentage lead over CBS’s “The Late Show with David Letterman” from 27 percent during first quarter 2008 to 39 percent in first quarter 2009, with an average 1.4 rating to the latter’s 1.1. That was due to ratings shrinkage for “Late Show” rather than “Tonight” growth.
NBC’s “Today” had its biggest first-quarter advantage over ABC’s “Good Morning America” since 2004, averaging a 4.4 household rating to the latter’s 3.5. “GMA” has seen its viewership dip this year.
On Sunday mornings, NBC’s “Meet the Press” maintained its dominance despite breaking in a new moderator, David Gregory, who had his first full quarter with the show following last summer’s death of Tim Russert.
“Press” averaged 4.15 million viewers, 25 percent more than second-place “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” despite the latter registering its best first quarter in a decade.
Finally, NBC’s “Nightly News” remained ahead in first quarter thanks to year-to-year viewership gains.
What’s remarkable about NBC’s daypart supremacy is that the network has not lost any ground since its primetime lineup began slipping. Fewer primetime viewers means less chance to promote its other properties, such as a big Matt Lauer interview on “Today” or a special episode of “Tonight Show.”
Yet while the network’s primetime has lost its must-see status, its dayparts supremacy hasn’t been threatened. “Press,” “Today” and “Tonight” have all won at least 46 straight quarters.
The network could be getting a boost from cross-promotion on its cable news networks, which are having strong years. MSNBC just finished ahead of CNN in primetime for the first time last month, and CNBC has seen ratings gains from the economic meltdown.
pah note: Please follow the link listed above for some great ratings info about the current strength of NBC programming.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Is NBC's long ratings slump over?
April 15, 2009
Over the last few years, the network has become nearly as well known for its management miscues and skimpy ratings as for its programming lineup. But in recent days a bit of life has stirred in the old peacock.
The latest evidence comes in the form of its new Amy Poehler sitcom, "Parks & Recreation," and "Southland," the Los Angeles police drama from "ER" producer John Wells. Both series premiered Thursday to surprisingly strong numbers.
Overall, "Parks & Recreation" picked up a relatively modest 6.9 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research. But on the strength of Poehler's popularity from "Saturday Night Live," the premiere proved popular with the all-important younger viewers sought by advertisers, hanging on to a healthy 88% of the young-adult audience from "The Office," which is NBC's No. 2 show overall.
As for "Southland," the premiere beat CBS' heavily promoted (but poorly reviewed) horror/mystery "Harper's Island" among adults 18 to 49, with a 3.2 rating versus a 2.6. And the race was closer than expected in total viewership, with "Southland's" 9.9 million nearly matching the 10.2 million for "Harper's Island."
Both shows would likely have fared worse had ABC not aired a repeat of "Private Practice" in the 10 p.m. hour, but NBC nevertheless enjoyed one of its most encouraging starts for a dramatic series in quite some time.
Does all this mean rivals should start looking over their shoulders? Not exactly.
There's no guarantee that the new series won't suffer the same destiny as, say, the ill-fated fantasy "Heroes" -- a fast start followed by a swift swoon. The network's only top 10 entry is "Sunday Night Football," which doesn't even air during the second half of the season.
Indeed, NBC still has a long way to go before any sort of recovery could be declared. For the season to date, the network ranks No. 4 in total viewers (8 million average per night) and is tied with ABC for No. 3 among viewers 18 to 49.
Still unknown, meanwhile, is the impact of NBC's controversial decision to put a new Leno talk show at 10 p.m. weeknights next season, which eliminates a key showcase time period for dramas like "Southland."
Yet, for the first time in years, long-term trends are beginning to smile on NBC. The ratings hemorrhage seems to have been halted, at least for now; NBC's numbers among young adults are flat compared with last season, while ABC and Fox are down. CBS is up 7%.
NBC's prime-time audience is getting slightly younger -- to a median age of 47.2 this year from last season's 48 -- while all of its rivals' audiences have gotten older. That's an important metric for youth-obsessed marketers.
Perhaps the best news: Fox's "American Idol," which has decimated midweek competition for years, continues to decline, down 9% to 27 million viewers on Tuesdays this season. That creates opportunities for NBC as well as its rivals.
The message? NBC is nowhere near its glory days of the 1980s and 1990s. But Leno might want to use up those jokes about his employer's problems while he still can.
When I was a little kid in the 1950s, my parents would give me a slide puzzle on long road trips to keep me busy. With 24 tiles in a 5 by 5 grid, you had to move the same pieces around to put them in a different order.
50 years later, and NBC gives me programming instead of tiles.
Clients will begin to see changes today.. this will likely take until Thursday to complete. NFL teams will be added a bit more slowly due to this surprise announcement.
Are we there yet?
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009
NBC Station Backs Down From Resistance to Leno Show
The duel in Boston between NBC and its affiliated station there, WHDH, over the future of Jay Leno’s new prime-time program ended without economic bloodshed Monday, less than two weeks after it started.
Mr. Leno’s show will be on WHDH starting in September, and the station will remain an NBC affiliate. That resolved a conflict that began on April 2 when WHDH’s general manager, Ed Ansin, announced that the station had decided to block the new Leno show, set for 10 p.m. each weeknight, and intended to replace it with an hour-long local newscast.
Mr. Ansin had said in an interview that the station did not think Mr. Leno’s new show would be “effective in prime time” and would be detrimental to the station’s 11 p.m. newscast. NBC reacted swiftly and ferociously, threatening that the network would replace WHDH as a network affiliate — a move likely to seriously undermine the station’s asset value.
On Monday, both sides issued conciliatory statements. Mr. Ansin, sounding a bit like an N.F.L. replay official, said, “Upon further consideration we have decided to telecast Jay Leno at 10 p.m. starting in September.” He added, “Jay is from Andover where I went to school. I enjoy his humor.”
NBC issued a statement attributed to John Eck, the president of the NBC TV network: “We are very pleased that WHDH will carry Jay Leno’s new prime-time comedy show at 10 p.m. this fall on NBC. We look forward to working closely with the station on a successful launch in Boston of this show.”
Friday, April 10, 2009
UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. April 10, 2009 The series debuts last night of "Southland" and "Parks and Recreation" joined forces with NBC's established Thursday comedy hits "The Office" and "30 Rock" to propel the network to a tie for #1 in primetime's key demographic of adults 18-49 and an outright win in adults, men and women 18-34, according to "fast affiliate-based" "live plus same day" viewing figures from Nielsen Media Research.
Last night from 10-11 p.m. ET, the series debut of "Southland" (3.2 rating, 9 share in adults 18-49, 9.7 million viewers overall) won the hour in adults 18-49, adults 18-34, adults 25-54 and nearly every key demographic, topping the series debut of CBS's "Harper's Island" and ABC's "Private Practice" encore. The "Southland" margin of victory was 19 percent in adults 18-49 (3.2 vs. 2.7 for "Harper's Island") and 63 percent in adults 18-34 (2.6 vs. 1.6 for "Harper's"), pending updates.
"Southland" increased from half-hour to half-hour by 6 percent in both 18-49 rating (to a 3.3/10 from a 3.1/9) and in total viewers (to 10.0 million from 9.4 million), while the drama competition on CBS and ABC declined in both categories.
"Southland" is the first launch of a 10 p.m. network drama to build in 18-49 rating from the 10 p.m. half-hour to the 10:30 half-hour in more than four years (since NBC's "Medium" on January 3, 2005).
NBC's primetime kicked off at 8 p.m. ET with a special telecast of "The Office" (3.3/6 in 18-49, 7.2 million viewers overall), which, pending updates, ranked #1 in adults 18-49, adults 18-34 and other key demos in this highly competitive time period ahead of CBS's "Survivor," Fox's "Bones" and ABC's "In the Motherhood." "The Office" matched last week's "ER Retrospective" in delivering NBC's highest 18-49 rating in this time period this season.
At 8:30 p.m. ET, the series debut of "Parks and Recreation" (3.0/11 in 18-49, 6.8 million viewers overall) won its highly competitive time period in adults, men and women 18-34. In adults 18-49, "Parks and Recreation" retained 91 percent of its lead-in from "The Office" special, and topped NBC's season-to-date average for this time period by 36 percent (3.0 vs. 2.2, "live plus same day").
At 9 p.m. ET, "The Office" (3.9/11 in 18-49, 7.9 million viewers overall) won its time period in adults 18-49, adults 18-34 and other key measures, topping CBS's "CSI," Fox's "Hell's Kitchen" and a rebroadcast of "Grey's Anatomy" on ABC. "The Office" at 9 p.m. was the #1 telecast of the night on any network in adults 18-49.
At 9:30 p.m. ET, "30 Rock" (3.1/9 in 18-49, 6.8 million viewers overall) won its competitive half-hour in adults, men and women 18-34 and finished within 2 shares of the slot lead in adults 18-49.
NBC is currently tied for #1 for the night in adults 18-49, pending updates, and is #1 outright in men 18-49 and adults, men and women 18-34.
Late night hosts to headline May 19 event for advertisers
By Ben Grossman -- Broadcasting & Cable, 4/9/2009 8:00:00 PM MT
NBC will keep an upfront week presence yet again, but don’t book your tickets to Radio City Music Hall just yet.
Instead, this year the network will host the “NBC Comedy Showcase,” a night of stand-up acts and taped pieces for advertisers and VIP guests. The event will take place Tuesday night, May 19, at The Town Hall in New York.
Expected to perform are current (and soon to be former) late night hosts Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien and Jimmy Fallon.
Cast members from The Office and 30 Rock will contribute taped comedy pieces, while The Office’s Rainn Wilson and Saturday Night Live’s Seth Meyers will appear in person. Jimmy Fallon’s house band, The Roots, is also expected to perform.
While the network will continue its presence during upfront week in New York with the comedy showcase that won’t feature clips of new shows in typical upfront fashion, it hopes to have done a good chunk of its upfront business by that point.
NBC flew down talent and met with advertisers at this year’s Super Bowl in Florida, in something it called “SuperFronts.” Then at the end of March, network execs Angela Bromstad and Paul Telegdy travelled to meet with advertisers in New York and Chicago.
Next up is meetings with advertisers for Bromstad, Telegdy, Ben Silverman and other execs in New York (May 4 and 5), Chicago (May 7) and Los Angeles (May 12), during which NBC brass will show clips of pilots and talk specifics for next season.
Last year, NBC dumped the traditional Radio City Music Hall song and dance in favor of an “NBC Experience” interactive presentation and party.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
UNIVERSAL CITY, CALIF. - April 9, 2009 - NBC has re-scheduled the broadcast dates for two original, four-hour summer miniseries as "Meteor" now will be telecast on Sunday, July 12 and Sunday, July 19 (9-11 p.m. ET both nights), while "The Storm" will now air on Sunday, July 26 and Sunday, August 2 (9-11 p.m. ET both nights).
"Meteor" -- which was previously scheduled to be telecast on Sundays, June 7 and 14 (9-11 p.m. ET) - is a new suspenseful four-hour miniseries. In the story, Dr. Lehman (Emmy Award winner Christopher Lloyd, "Back to the Future") and Imogene O'Neil (Marla Sokoloff, "The Practice") are two scientists who discover that the giant meteor Kassandra has been knocked out of its orbit and is now barreling straight for Earth.
"The Storm" - which previously was set for broadcast on Sundays, July 19 and 26 (9-11 p.m. ET) -- is an epic miniseries event where the changeable forces of nature combine -- in the air, on land, in the seas as the world counts down its final, catastrophic hours. Golden Globe and Emmy nominee Treat Williams ("Everwood") and James Van Der Beek ("Dawson's Creek") star in this ultimate tale of man against nature.
Troubled NBC calls on exec Angela Bromstad to revive prime time
The network passed over Bromstad two years ago. Now it's counting on her to find hits, starting tonight.
By Meg James
April 9, 2009
Angela Bromstad is NBC's survivor.
Two years ago, Bromstad, then president of NBC's television production studio, made what was seen as a suicidal career move. After losing a power struggle over control of the network's programming, she walked away from her job.
Fast-forward to last November. NBC's fall prime-time schedule had collapsed, Bromstad's nemesis at the network was long gone, another rival was about to be shown the door, and NBC Universal Chief Executive Jeff Zucker desperately needed to restore order to NBC after two tumultuous seasons with Ben Silverman in charge.
In a twist worthy of a TV movie, Zucker, who had sent Bromstad to London in 2007 to ramp up international production operations, called his loyal lieutenant back to Los Angeles and handed her the job she had wanted two years earlier. In January, she became NBC's chief programmer of dramas and comedies -- the fourth executive to hold the post in 19 months.
Bromstad parachuted in during television's busiest time of the year -- pilot season -- when network executives pick new comedies and dramas for the coming fall schedule. Days after arriving, she ordered 11 pilots. "I didn't have a lot of time to sit around and ponder things," she said.
Only a few weeks earlier NBC had laid off dozens of veteran program executives in a restructuring that combined the network and production studio program development teams into one unit, which Bromstad, 47, now manages.
The pressure is on to revive the fourth-place network as it heads into the all-important advertising selling season. Bromstad's first big test comes tonight, when NBC premieres two new programs: "Parks and Recreation," a sitcom that borrows a page from "The Office" and stars "Saturday Night Live" alum Amy Poehler; and "Southland," a gritty police drama about L.A.
One of Bromstad's early calls was to put "Southland" in the marquee 10 p.m. Thursday slot, and shuffle to Sunday night the lavish drama "Kings," starring Ian McShane. "Kings," which costs about $3 million an episode to produce, had been championed by Bromstad's predecessors. But Bromstad had doubts that a drama about a modern-day king who struggles with moral dilemmas and family conflicts would work on network television.
"The objective now is to broaden the network out, to give it a wider appeal," she said.
NBC hasn't fielded a breakout hit since "Heroes" in 2006, and that once-hot drama is cooling. The network's two quirky sitcoms, "The Office" and "30 Rock," have won critical acclaim but not enough viewers to satisfy advertisers.
And in its biggest gamble, NBC is transplanting late-night talk show king Jay Leno to 10 p.m. Bromstad said she initially was unsure about the Leno move because NBC had long used that time slot to showcase its best dramas.
Bromstad said she was now comfortable with Leno in prime time because the show would provide an alternative to the typical dramas and local newscasts that dominate the hour on other channels. It also reduces her burden of developing new shows because the network has five fewer hours per week of prime time to fill.
There is no shortage of problems for Bromstad and her peers in the television industry.
"She inherited a tough situation," said producer Dick Wolf, creator of the "Law & Order" franchise, which has helped NBC weather the hard times. "The TV business is going through enormous upheaval, and NBC obviously hasn't been immune from those problems." He said Bromstad was "not a screamer" but a "professional . . . who leaves people alone so they can do their jobs."
Since returning to Los Angeles, Bromstad has kept a low profile. Her style is more reserved than that of her attention-grabbing predecessors, including Silverman, who remains co-chairman of NBC Entertainment, or even Zucker, who ran NBC Entertainment several years ago.
"I have always tried to fly a bit below the radar," she said. "I am a bit superstitious about it. The higher your profile the more of a target you sometimes become."
That might be a lesson that NBC and Silverman learned the hard way. The network, and Silverman, refuse to say whether Silverman is staying on beyond mid-June when his two-year contract expires. People close to the situation say they believe Silverman has negotiated a one-year extension.
NBC executives privately concede that the last couple of years have been a programming disaster. The writers strike interrupted one development season, and Silverman, despite being a successful TV producer, did not demonstrate the skills needed to manage a network. Nor did any of the shows he developed score with audiences. This season's "My Own Worst Enemy," "Crusoe" and "Knight Rider" were prime-time car wrecks.
For his part, Silverman said he welcomed the changes.
Bromstad "is a creative development executive and I'm a creative business executive. It's a much different skill set," Silverman said. "Her job is running scripted programming and my job is a thousand different things. She's awesome."
It will be up to Bromstad to inject stability into NBC's programming department, which in recent years has produced a more compelling drama in its management suites than for the TV screen.
Two executives lost their jobs in part to clear the path for Bromstad's return: Katherine Pope, a rival to Bromstad who had been running NBC's television studio, and Teri Weinberg, Silverman's No. 2. Weinberg, who had been in charge of program development, received a lucrative two-year producing deal at NBC.
Also on Bromstad's to-do list is the task of regaining the trust of Hollywood agents and producers who have been alienated by NBC's puzzling proclamations, such as when Silverman said he was "managing for margins," not chasing shows that would generate big ratings.
Jason Katims, executive producer of "Friday Night Lights," said he bonded with Bromstad several years ago when she expressed confidence in his vision for the show. Then last fall Katims was drafted to spearhead an adaptation of the 1989 movie "Parenthood" as a family-oriented dramedy for NBC.
Some network executives would flyspeck a script with notes about plot, character and dialogue to exert control. But Bromstad demonstrated her tendency to stay out of a producer's way. According to Katims, she sent back just one note on his outline: "When can you have a draft of the script?"
Since then, Bromstad has worked closely with Katims to develop the characters for "Parenthood." He said she took a special interest in the stay-at-home dad character, making sure the story lines dealt with his inner conflict.
"She has a way of distilling these characters in a way that makes them feel real," he said.
Katims said he appreciated Bromstad's collaborative style. "She doesn't go out of her way to take on that persona, that she's the big head of the network. She seems comfortable in her own skin."
Bromstad said she was feeling at ease too.
"It feels great to be home," she said. "It helped to get away from Hollywood politics. It's good to be realistic about the issues that we are facing, but I'm not worn out."
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Remaining eight episodes to air Saturdays starting April 18
NBC is pulling "Kings" from Sunday nights, yanking the struggling allegorical drama effective this week.
Kings will be replaced with a second hour of "Dateline," which will now run for two hours starting at 7 p.m.
Sunday's "Kings" received a 1.1 rating among adults 18-49, while "Dateline" had a 1.5 in its half-hour leading into the drama. The thinking is that "Dateline" will provide a better lead-in for 9 p.m.'s "Celebrity Apprentice," which has seen some audience erosion in recent weeks that might be attributed to "Kings."
The remaining eight episodes of "Kings" will air on Saturday nights at 8 p.m. starting April 18.
Changes have been made to client inventories for Law & Order:CI, Dateline and Kings through June 2009.
Monday, April 6, 2009
April 5, 2009
-By Katy Bachman of MediaWeek.com
When times are tough, people turn more often to local TV for news. According to a new study by Frank N. Magid Associates for Hearst-Argyle Television, 99 percent of respondents said they are turning to local TV news at least as much as or more frequently than in the past due to the troubled economy.
Conducted over two weeks in February, the study surveyed 2,500 TV news viewers in Hearst-Argyle's 24 TV markets including Boston, Baltimore, Orlando, Cincinnati, Sacramento, Pittsburgh and Milwaukee.
Sixteen percent said they are following local TV news "more." The only medium surpassing local TV was the Internet, cited by 17 percent of respondents. Newspapers, radio and print magazines trailed at 10 percent, 9 percent and 6 percent, respectively.
Commercials airing on local TV news engage consumers more than other traditional media. When asked which types of ads respondents pay more attention to, 57 percent cited local TV versus 43 percent for magazines; 64 percent versus 36 percent for newspapers, 72 percent versus 28 percent for radio, 81 percent versus 19 percent for yellow pages, and 55 percent versus 45 percent for direct mail. Respondents also found local TV ads more engaging than all forms of online ads, on average 85 percent for local TV versus 15 percent for online ads.
Local news also got the highest scores compared to other media for creating "buzz," having memorable ads, and the medium was on par with print magazines for trustworthiness and recall. Local news was also on par with print newspapers as the most important source of community information.
Although the audience to early morning news is growing, 62 percent said that late news is the daypart during which they typically watch local news; 58 percent cited early news (between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.) as the favored daypart; and 49 percent cited the hours of 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. Only 11 percent named midday news (between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.).
Friday, April 3, 2009
Released by NBC
'ER' TAKES ITS FINAL BOW WITH THE BIGGEST VIEWERSHIP FOR ANY TV DRAMA SERIES FINALE IN NEARLY 13 YEARS
LAST NIGHT'S 'ER' FINALE, WITH AN AVERAGE 16.2 MILLION VIEWERS, ATTRACTS THE LARGEST VIEWERSHIP FOR THE FINAL EPIOSDE OF ANY DRAMA SERIES SINCE 'MURDER, SHE WROTE' IN 1996
AMONG ADULTS 18-49, THE 'ER' FINALE SCORES THE TOP RATING FOR ANY DRAMA SERIES FINALE SINCE 'THE X-FILES' IN 2002
'ER' DOMINATES ITS TWO-HOUR TIME PERIOD, WINNING IN ADULTS 18-49, TOTAL VIEWERS AND OTHER KEY CATEGORIES, PACING NBC TO ITS BIGGEST NON-SPORTS THURSDAY SINCE MAY 2006
UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. April 3, 2009 Last night, the series finale of "ER" delivered the highest 18-49 rating for a drama series finale on the broadcast networks in nearly seven years and the biggest overall audience for any drama series finale in 13 years, according to "fast affiliate-based" "live plus same day" viewing figures from Nielsen Media Research.
Last night from 9-11 p.m. ET, the series finale of "ER" (6.0 rating, 16 share in adults 18-49, 16.2 million viewers overall) scored the highest 18-49 rating for a drama series finale since "The X-Files" wrapped with a 6.3 on May 19, 2002. In total viewers, "ER," with an average 16.2 million viewers, assembled the biggest overall audience for a drama series finale since "Murder, She Wrote" concluded with 16.5 million on May 19, 1996.
"ER," which made its original series dbut on NBC on Thursday, Sept. 22, 1994, following a two-hour movie on Monday, Sept., 19, 1994, concluded its 15th and final season with last night's telecast.
"ER" sewed up NBC's highest 18-49 and total-viewer results in this time period with entertainment programming since May 18, 2006, the night of the "Will & Grace" finale. This is the highest-rated episode of "ER" among adults 18-49 since October 12, 2006 and in total viewers since May 18, 2006. Versus "ER's" season-to-date average for original episodes, last night's telecast was up 88 percent in both adults 18-49 and total viewers (6.0 vs. 3.2 and 16.2 million vs. 8.6 million, "live plus same day').
"ER" took charge of the two-hour time period, dominating in adults 18-49, total viewers and other key ratings categories. In adults 18-49, "ER" generated a 94 percent margin of victory (6.0 vs. 3.1 for CBS's dramas in second place, pending updates). In the 10-11 p.m. hour, "ER" beat the ABC-CBS drama competition combined in all key ratings categories adults, men and women 18-34, 18-49, 25-54 and total viewers.
Last night from 8-9 p.m. ET, the special "ER Retrospective" (3.5/10 in 18-49, 10.6 million viewers overall) delivered NBC's best non-sports 18-49 rating in the time period since January 3, 2008 and biggest non-sports total viewership in the slot since March 27, 2008. The retrospective ranked #2 in the hour in adults 18-49 and #1 in adults 18-34, women 18-34, women 18-49 and women 25-54.
NBC's average 14.3 million viewers from 8-11 p.m. last night marks the network's best Thursday primetime performance in total viewers, excluding sports, since May 18, 2006 (the night of the "Will & Grace" finale). The network's 5.2 average among adults 18-49 from 8-11 p.m. matches the network's best non-sports primetime performance since that same date.