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What Do Demo Women Watch Most on Broadcast Primetime? (Hint: We'll Hum a Few Bars)

5/01/2012 02:45:03 PM Eastern

What are the highest-rated shows among women in the 18-49
demo season-to-date? If you're looking for an all-around champ, it's NBC's The Voice -- unless you take out the
post-Super Bowl telecast. Then it would fall below the 6.9 rating that Fox's American Idol is averaging in the demo
on Wednesdays and the 6.1 it gets on Thursdays.

Next on the list among women in the demo is ABC's Modern Family, averaging a 4.8, just
edging out CBS' The Big Bang Theory,
which averages a 4.7. Rounding out the top 10: CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men with a 4.6; ABC's Dancing With the Stars and NBC's
The Voice
results show, both with a 4.5; ABC drama Grey's Anatomy with a
4.4; and CBS sitcom 2 Broke Girls
with a 4.2. The DWTS results show
barely misses the top 10 with a 4.1.

After Grey's, the
next two highest-rated dramas also come from ABC: Once Upon a Time with a 4.0 and Desperate
Housewives
with a 3.7. CBS' Criminal
Minds
, a drama that many might believe skews more heavily male, also
averages a 3.7 among women 18-49, and another CBS drama, NCIS, is next with a 3.6. ABC's Grey's
spinoff Private Practice and NBC
drama Smash are next among the dramas
with a 3.3 rating in the demo, followed closely by NCIS: Los Angeles, with a 3.1, and Fox's Touch (3.0) and CSI with
a 2.9. Also averaging 2.9's are ABC's two freshman dramas Revenge and Scandal and
CBS' crime drama Hawaii Five-0.

CBS' other two Monday sitcoms, Mike & Molly (3.8) and How
I Met Your Mother
(3.7), are among the top 10 comedies in the demo, as are
Fox's Glee and New Girl (both 3.6), and four ABC comedies: Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 (3.3), Happy Endings (2.9), Suburgatory
(2.7) and The Middle (2.6).

NBC's highest-rated show of any type in the women 18-49 demo
is The Biggest Loser with a 2.8. Its
highest-rated drama in the demo is Parenthood
with a 2.4 and its highest-rated scripted sitcom is The Office with a 2.3. NBC's Fashion
Star
has a subpar 2.2 number.

What's also not good news for NBC is that Fox's male-skewing
animation series Family Guy gets a
higher rating in the women 18-49 demo, a 2.4, than The Office. Family Guy
also gets the same demo rating among women as Parenthood. And slightly more women 18-49 watch Fox's The Simpsons than they do Fashion Star on NBC.

There are a couple of surprises on the list as well, namely
that the ABC drama Body of Proof
starring Dana Delaney has averaged only a 2.1 among women 18-49, and ABC sitcom
Cougar Town starring Courteney Cox has
averaged only a 1.8, as has NBC's Whitney,
starring Whitney Cummings. The canceled NBC drama Prime Suspect, starring Maria Bello, averaged only a 1.4 in the
demo, again showing that female leads don't necessarily draw large numbers of
female viewers.

Ratings for women in the 25-54 demo pretty much mirror the
18-49 group, although a couple flip-flop here and there. One notable difference
is that among dramas, CBS' Person of
Interest
is ninth among women 25-54 with a 4.1 rating in the demo, and 15th
among women 18-49 with a 2.7 rating.

How much do women drive the ratings of Dancing With the Stars and American
Idol
compared to men? DWTS earns
a 4.5 rating for women in the demo compared to a 1.8 for the men. In the 25-54
demo, women average a 6.6 and men a 2.5. Idol
figures a bit closer. The 18-49 women rating for the Wednesday show averages a
6.9, while the men average a 3.6. Among women 25-54, the average is an 8.5
rating while the men in that demo average a 4.8.

Women clearly rule the ratings in broadcast primetime
entertainment programming and that fact has not been lost on the broadcast
networks as more attempt to program to women. Nearly all of ABC's schedule
targets women, as does a significant portion of NBC. Other than its Sunday
animation block (and now Saturday night sports programming), all of Fox's
sitcoms and most dramas target women. While all of CBS' sitcoms target mainly
women, its crime dramas are an anomaly, having the ability to draw mass
audiences that include lots of women.

All of the ratings numbers are from Nielsen.

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