Maybe it was it ESPN’s and TNT’s coverage of Game 1 of the NBA playoffs and MLB or it was too many original offerings on cable, including the premieres of HBO’s Game of Thrones and USA’s Burn Notice: The Fall of Sam Axe, but the broadcast networks took a serious beating last night. How bad was it? The highest-rated network in adults 18-49, ABC, drew a 2.0/6 demo rating. That’s with an all-original lineup.
Series were down across the board. ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition was low in its return from a two-month hiatus to make room for Secret Millionaire. The veteran reality series pulled in a 1.9/5, down 21% from its last fresh episode Feb. 20. Desperate Housewives (2.7/7) was down 7% from its last original two weeks ago to tie its series low. Brothers and Sisters (1.7/4) was down 6% from last week’s two-hour episode and is also tied as a series low.
Following 60 Minutes (1.3/5), which was down 41% from last week, when CBS’ primetime was boosted by Masters golf overrun, The Amazing Race (2.3/7) was down 21%. Undercover Boss (1.9/5) posted the steepest decline for any program last night, 39%, for a series low. CSI: Miami (2.2/5) held well under the circumstances, down only 4%. CBS (1.9/5, 9.5 million) finished No. 1 in total viewers for the night and tied for second place in 18-49 with Fox.
Following reruns at 7 PM, 7:30 PM and 8 PM, a new American Dad (2.2/6) on Fox was up 38% from its last original March 27, but that episode aired in the much-less-trafficked 7:30 PM slot. At 9 PM, a new Family Guy (3.0/9) was down 9% from last week but still ranked as the top program of the night in the demo. The Cleveland Show (2.3/6) was down 4%.
NBC’s America’s Next Great Restaurant (1.2/3) was flat vs. last week, while Celebrity Apprentice (2.5/6) didn’t get a bump from all the publicity surrounding star Donald Trump’s potential presidential run. The reality series was down 17% from last week for a series low.