ABC hopes the Academy Awards does for it what the Grammys did for CBS. On the strength of the music awards show, seven days into the February sweeps, CBS was up 22% viewers, 42% in adults 18-49 and 38% in its key demographic of adults 25-54, compared to the same seven days last year. CBS is the only network to be up across the board in all key demos. Season-to-date, CBS is up 7% in viewers, 5% in adults 18-49 and 6% in adults 25-54.
The only other network to be up year-to-year is CBS’s Viacom sister UPN. With the help of America’s Next Top Model, UPN has quietly righted itself, and seven days into the sweeps it’s up 7% in viewers, 7% in adults 18-49. UPN is flat in its key demo of adults 18-34. Season-to-date, the network is down 6% in viewers and down 6% in adults 18-34.
ABC, meanwhile, is down 14% in viewers and 16% in adults 18-49. Season-to-date, the network is down 13% in viewers and 17% in adults 18-49. But the network has the Oscars and its new Super Millionaire on deck.
At Fox, American Idol is delivering the promised "January come-back," but it still has some recovering to do without another reality hit like last year’s Joe Millionaire. In the first seven days of the sweeps, Fox is down 16% in viewers, 21% in adults 18-49 and 25% in adults 18-34.
Fox also is in third place in adults 18-49, unlike last year when it was in first place at this point in sweeps. Season-to-date, Fox is up 3% in viewers, flat in adults 18-49 and down 3% in adults 18-34.
NBC, although it’s gotten a boost from The Apprentice, is down 7% in viewers and down 8% in adults 18-49 sweeps-to-date. Season-to-date, it looks about the same for NBC, with a 9% drop in viewers and in adults 18-49. The picture is unlikely to look much different for NBC by the end of sweeps, no big events on the horizon.
The WB, lacking a reality hit like every other network has, is way down sweeps-to-date and season-to-date. Comparing the first week of February sweeps to last year, The WB is down 18% in viewers and 32% in adults 18-34, its key demo. Season-to-date, The WB is down 13% in viewers and 23% in adults 18-34.