TV Ratings: Goodbye to the old, hello to the new

The new fall TV season officially kicked off last night, and based on debut overnight ratings (plus their comparison to lead-in ratings and year-ago performance in their time slots), Mediaweek columnist Marc Berman declared NBC’s new series Surface (10.9 million viewers) a winner, gave an honorable mention to CBS’ Out of Practice (13.4 million), and a "loser" designation to Fox’s enjoyable Kitchen Confidential (4.3 million) and The WB’s Just Legal (3.5 million).

But before we get carried away with the new, it’s also fun to look at the old, namely the stats for the full 52-week period from Sept. 20, 2004, to Sept. 18, 2005. For example, did you know UPN’s Bad Girls Guide was the lowest-rated regularly scheduled series for the last 52 weeks, pulling down a paltry average 1.6 million viewers? Or that the mercifully departed Life on a Stick, aided by its American Idol results show lead-in, actually averaged more viewers (9.2 million) than NBC’s Joey (8.6 million)? And for those of you who doubt the power of a Mariska Hargitay-Christopher Meloni sandwich, chew on this: Their series, Law & Order: SVU, averaged a respectable 8.2 million viewers in its repeat Saturday night airings, more than One Tree Hill and Girlfriends combined.


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Comments (6 total) Add your comment
  • Josh

    I’m so sad that ‘Arrested Development’ and ‘Kitchen Confidential’ did so poorly in the ratings last night. ‘AD’ again made was the funniest half hour of my week, while ‘KC’ has a great cast and lots of potential. [Meanwhile my VCR was set on CBS and I must say that I also love ‘How I Met Your Mother’ and its spot-on cast]

  • Laura

    I’m also really sad that Arrested Development did so badly in the ratings. I watched it, and it was hilarious!
    Unfortunately, I don’t have a Nielson box, so my viewing won’t count – which is ridiculous. Come on, who are these Nielson people that they’re picking anyway! I think the whole system is seriously flawed and should be revised, because it really doesn’t represent what the whole country is watching.

  • Ritchie

    Laura: don’t feel too bad about your viewing not counting for the Nielsens. I live in Vancouver, BC and can never be counted towards U.S. viewership, where it most matters! ‘Kitchen Confidential’ was superbly done, and I’ll try to get every person I know south of the border to tune in! I smell a grass-roots campaign brewing to save ‘Kitchen’ if Fox axes it before November ends …

  • V.M.L.

    Oh no! I really don’t want KC to end soon!

  • Johanna

    “And for those of you who doubt the power of a Mariska Hargitay-Christopher Meloni sandwich, chew on this: Their series, Law & Order: SVU, averaged a respectable 8.2 million viewers in its repeat Saturday night airings, more than One Tree Hill and Girlfriends combined.”
    Hell yes. But actually? Best sandwich ever. And most attractive. Holy jesus.

  • Aaron

    I’m not surprised that “Arrested Development” has fared so poorly in the ratings. The show is populated with unlikable characters and disjointed editing.

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