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[09/26/06 - 12:00 AM]
NBC Jumps 18 Percent Over Premiere Week Last Year, Ranks #2 in 18-49 for the Opening Week of the 2006-07 Primetime Season

[via press release from NBC]

NBC JUMPS 18 PERCENT OVER PREMIERE WEEK LAST YEAR, RANKS #2 IN 18-49 FOR THE OPENING WEEK OF THE 2006-07 PRIMETIME SEASON

THE PEACOCK DELIVERES YEAR-TO-YEAR GAINS ON FIVE NIGHTS OF THE WEEK

'ER' RANKS #4 FOR THE WEEK IN 18-49, 'THE OFFICE,' 'NBC SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL,' THE 'LAW & ORDER' DRAMAS, 'STUDIO 60' AND 'DEAL OR NO DEAL' ALSO AMONG NBC'S STARS IN WEEK ONE

BURBANK, Calif. � September 26, 2006 � With an 18 percent increase in adults 18-49, NBC was the most-improved network in primetime versus premiere week last year, averaging a 4.0 rating and 11 share in 18-49 and 11.1 million viewers overall for the week of September 18-24, according to in-home viewing figures from Nielsen Media Research. NBC ranked #2 for the week in the key demographic of adults 18-49.

Versus last season's premiere week, NBC this week was up 18 percent in adults 18-49 (4.0 vs. 3.4), up 12 percent in adults 25-54 (4.6 vs. 4.1) and up 12 percent in total viewers (11.1 million vs. 9.9 million).

Excluding sports from each year's averages, NBC posted gains this week of 9 percent in adults 18-49 and 7 percent in total viewers.

Significantly, NBC posted year-to-year premiere week gains on five nights of the week in 18-49 � Monday (+16%), Wednesday (+3%), Thursday (+2%), Friday (+55%) and Sunday (+96%).

Primetime averages for the week of September 18-24 in adults 18-49 were ABC (4.4/12), NBC (4.0/11), CBS (3.9/11), Fox (3.1/8), Univision (1.8/4), CW (1.2/3) and Telemundo (0.4/1). In overall total viewers the weekly averages were CBS (13.0 million), ABC (12.3 million), NBC (11.1 million), Fox (7.5 million), Univision (3.5 million), CW (2.8 million) and Telemundo (0.9 million).

NBC highlights for the week of September 18-24:

* On Thursday, "ER" opened its 13th season with the #4 ranking of the week in adults 18-49 and 25-54. "ER" won its time period decisively in 18-49, 25-54 and total viewers over debuting rival dramas, both of which benefited from sizable lead-in advantages. To win the hour, "ER" built on NBC's rating from the previous hour by 89 percent in 18-49, while CBS' debuting "Shark" declined by 47 percent versus its "CSI" lead-in and ABC's "Six Degrees" declined by 51 percent versus its lead-in from "Grey's Anatomy."

* Also on Thursday, the third season debut of "The Office" posted its biggest increase ever on its "My Name is Earl" lead-in. "The Office" was up 23 percent in 18-49 versus NBC's performance in the time period on premiere Thursday last year. The second-season premiere of "My Name is Earl" increased 27 percent in 18-49 versus NBC's year-ago premiere Thursday performance in its slot.

* On Monday, the season premiere of "Deal or no Deal" and the series debut of "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" combined to give NBC the first nightly win of the 2006-07 season in adults 18-49, total viewers and other key measures. Versus the opening Monday night of last season, NBC was up 16 percent in 18-49 and 24 percent in total viewers. The nightlong victory in total viewers was NBC's first on a premiere Monday since 1994.

* The premiere of "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" delivered NBC's highest adult 18-49 rating in the Monday 10-11 p.m. ET hour with series programming since September 2005.

* On Tuesday, the eighth-season premiere of "Law & Order: SVU" won its time period by all key measures, topping the debut of CBS' "Smith" by 44 percent in 18-49 rating and the season premiere of ABC's "Boston Legal" by 53 percent.

* Also on Tuesday, the sixth-season premiere of "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," in its new night and time period, jumped 29 percent in 18-49 rating versus its year-ago premiere on Sunday night.

* "Deal or No Deal" scored NBC's highest non-Olympic 18-49 rating in the Tuesday 8-9 p.m. ET slot in nine months.

* On Wednesday, the two-hour season premiere of "The Biggest Loser" was up 29 percent in 18-49 rating versus NBC's performance on premiere Wednesday last year. "Biggest Loser" grew dramatically from its first half-hour to its last, increasing by 48 percent in 18-49 rating and by more than 2.2 million viewers overall.

* NBC won Friday night in 18-49, with a 55 percent increase in the demo versus its premiere Friday average last year. "Deal or No Deal," "Dateline" and "Law & Order" all won their time periods in adults 18-49 and other key measures.

* "NBC Sunday Night Football" was up 11 percent in adults 18-49, up 15 percent in total viewers and up 14 percent in households versus last year's comparable game on ABC's "Monday Night Football" on September 26, 2005.

Ratings reflect "live plus same day" data unless otherwise noted.

Additional NBC highlights for the week of September 18-24:

On Monday, September 18 from 8-10 p.m. ET, the season premiere of "Deal or No Deal" (5.0/13 in 18-49, 15.8 million viewers overall) won its highly competitive two-hour time by virtually all key measures, including adults 18-49 and total viewers. From its first to its final half-hour, "Deal" surged by 50 percent in 18-49 rating (to a 6.0/14 from a 4.0/11) and by 4.7 million viewers overall

Monday at 10 p.m. ET, the premiere of "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" (5.0/13 in 18-49, 13.4 million viewers overall) achieved NBC's highest 18-49 rating in this hour with series programming since September 26, 2005 and highest overall viewership total in the hour with series programming since November 21, 2005. "Studio 60" ranked #2 in its time period in adults 18-49 and most key demos and #1 in adults 18-34 (tied).

NBC won Monday night, averaging a first-place 5.0/13 in 18-49 and 15.0 million viewers overall for the night. Versus the opening night of last season, this was up by 16 percent in adults 18-49 (5.0/13 vs. a 4.3/11 on September 19, 2005). In total viewers, the year-to-year increase was 24 percent, or more than 2.8 million viewers overall (15.0 million vs.12.1 million). This nightlong victory in total viewers was NBC's first on a premiere Monday since 1994.

Tuesday, September 19 at 8 p.m. ET, "Deal or No Deal" (3.4/10 in 18-49, 10.8 million viewers overall) scored NBC's highest non-Olympic 18-49 rating in this time period since December 20, 2005. "Deal or No Deal's" 3.4 was up 26 percent in 18-49 versus NBC's non-sports season average in the time period last season (a 2.7). "Deal" grew by 27 percent from half-hour to half-hour in this highly competitive time period.

Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET, the sixth-season premiere of "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" (4.0/10 in 18-49, 11.6 million viewers overall) jumped 29 percent in 18-49 rating versus its year-ago premiere on Sunday night (a 3.1/7 on September 25, 2005). This marked the series' highest rating since Sunday, Nov. 6, 2005. "Criminal Intent" ranked #2 in the hour in 18-49, topping the season premiere of CBS' "The Unit" (3.4/9) and Fox's "Standoff" (3.2/8). "Criminal Intent" built on its lead-in by 18 percent in 18-49 rating.

Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET, the eighth-season premiere of "Law & Order: SVU" (5.2/14 in adults 18-49, 14.5 million viewers overall) was #1 in its time period by all key ratings measures. In adults 18-49, "SVU" topped the series debut of CBS' "Smith" by 44 percent (5.2 vs. 3.6) and the season premiere of ABC's "Boston Legal" by a 53 percent margin (5.2 vs. 3.4). From half-hour to half-hour, "SVU" built by 0.4 of a rating point while "Smith" declined by 0.1 and "Boston Legal" dropped by 0.3.

On Wednesday, September 20 from 8-10 p.m. ET, the season premiere of "The Biggest Loser" (3.1/9 in 18-49, 7.2 million viewers overall) was up 29 percent in 18-49 rating versus NBC's performance in this time period on premiere Wednesday last year (3.1 vs. a 2.4 on September 21, 2005). "The Biggest Loser" grew dramatically from its first half-hour to its last, increasing by 48 percent in 18-49 rating (to a 3.7/10 from a 2.5/8) and by more than 2.2 million viewers overall (to 8.5 million from 6.2 million).

Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET, the premiere of "Kidnapped" averaged a 2.8/8 in 18-49 and 7.6 million viewers overall.

On Thursday, September 21 at 8 p.m. ET, the second-season premiere of "My Name is Earl" (3.8/11 in 18-49, 8.9 million viewers overall) improved by 27 percent in 18-49 versus NBC's rating in this time period on premiere Thursday last year (3.8 vs. 3.0). It was also up 27 percent in 18-49 versus NBC's 2005-06 season average for the time period (excluding sports).

Thursday, from 8:30-9 p.m. ET, the third-season premiere of "The Office" (4.3/11 in 18-49, 9.1 million viewers overall) posted its biggest build ever on an "Earl" lead-in, gaining 16 percent in 18-49 rating. "The Office" was up 23 percent in 18-49 versus NBC's performance in this time period on premiere Thursday last season (4.3 vs. 3.5) and was up 26 percent versus NBC's 2005-06 season average for the slot (4.3 vs. 3.4, excluding sports). In this highly competitive time period, "The Office" ranked #2 among men 18-49 and 25-54 and #1 among men 18-34. Despite moving to the lower-viewership 8:30 p.m. time period (from 9:30 p.m. last season), this was the highest-rated episode of "The Office" since March 2 in adults 18-49 and since February 2 in overall viewers.

Thursday from 9-10:01 p.m. ET, "Deal or No Deal" averaged a 3.6/9 in 18-49 and 10.3 million viewers overall. From half-hour to half-hour, "Deal" built by 12 percent in both 18-49 rating (to a 3.8/9 from a 3.4/8) and in overall viewership (to 10.9 million from 9.7 million).

Thursday from 10:01-11 p.m. ET, the season premiere of "ER" (6.8/18 in 18-49, 15.6 million viewers overall) ruled its time period against the premieres of rival dramas, both of which benefited from sizable lead-in advantages. "ER" built on NBC's rating from the previous hour by 89 percent in 18-49, while CBS' debuting "Shark" declined by 47 percent versus its "CSI" lead-in (to a 4.1 from a 7.7) and ABC's "Six Degrees" declined by 51 percent versus its lead-in from "Grey's Anatomy" (to a 5.4 from an 11.0). From half-hour to half-hour, "ER" increased in 18-49 rating by 0.3 of a point, while at the same time, "Shark" declined by 0.4 of a point and "Six Degrees" fell by 1.5 points.

Entering its 13th season, "ER" was up 6 percent in 18-49 rating and up 1.2 million overall viewers versus its premiere one year ago. "ER" ranked #4 out of 90 primetime programs on the broadcast networks last week in adults 18-49 and adults 25-54.

On Friday, September 22 from 8-9 p.m. ET, "Deal or No Deal" (3.4/12 in 18-49, 11.7 million viewers overall) won the hour in 18-49 and total viewers, matching NBC's highest 18-49 rating in the time period since March 31. "Deal" was up 62 percent in 18-49 rating versus NBC's premiere Friday performance in the time period a year ago (3.4/12 vs. 2.1/7).

Friday at 9 p.m. ET, "Dateline NBC" (3.2/10 in 18-49, 8.7 million viewers overall) ranked #1 in adults 18-49, improving on NBC's premiere Friday performance in this hour last year by 28 percent in 18-49 (3.2/10 vs. 2.5/8). "Dateline" matched NBC's highest 18-49 rating in this time period since March 17.

Friday at 10 p.m. ET, the 17th season debut of "Law & Order" (3.6/11 in 18-49, 11.1 million viewers overall) won the hour in adults 18-49, adults 18-34 and adults 25-54. "Law & Order" was up 71 percent in 18-49 versus NBC's year-ago premiere Friday performance in the time period (3.6/11 vs. 2.1/6). This was NBC's best performance in the time period in adults 18-49 since the Winter Olympics in February.

NBC won Friday night in adults 18-49, with a 55 percent increase in the demo versus its premiere Friday average last year (3.4/11 vs. 2.2/7).

On Saturday, September 23 at 8 p.m. ET, "Dateline NBC" (1.9/7 in 18-49, 6.3 million viewers overall) reported the network's highest 18-49 rating in the hour since April 1 and highest overall viewer total since May 13. At 9 p.m., an encore "Law & Order; SVU" (2.0/6 in 18-49, 6.9 million viewers overall) locked up NBC's top 18-49 rating and highest viewer total in the slot since April 1. At 10 p.m., an encore telecast of Wednesday's premiere episode of "Kidnapped" (1.9/6 in 18-49, 6.6 million viewers overall) retained 95 percent of its lead-in from the "SVU" rebroadcast.

On Sunday, September 24, the "NBC Sunday Night Football" telecast of the Denver Broncos versus the New England Patriots averaged a 6.1/15 in adults 18-49, 15.6 million viewers overall and a 10.0/16 household rating and share from 8:21-11: 11 p.m. ET.

Versus the comparable telecast of ABC's "Monday Night Football" last year on September 26, 2005, "NBC Sunday Night Football" this week was up 11 percent in adults 18-49 (6.1 vs. 5.5), 15 percent in total viewers (15.6 million vs. 13.6 million) and 14 percent in households (10.0 vs. 8.8). After four games, "NBC Sunday Night Football" is averaging a 12.2/20 in households, 10 percent higher than ABC's "MNF" after four games in 2005 (11.1/19, averages include Thursday night season openers). Every "NBC Sunday Night Football" game has out-rated the respective ABC "MNF" games from 2005 by at least 8 percent in households and by at least 7 percent in total viewers.

"NBC Sunday Night Football rated 35 percent higher than NBC's 8:30-11 p.m. household rating for the same night last year, featuring the season premieres of "The West Wing," "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" and "Crossing Jordan" (10.0 vs. 7.4), 91 percent higher in adults 18-49 (6.1 vs. 3.2) and 38 percent higher in total viewers (15.6 million vs. 11.3 million).

Also on Sunday, "Football Night in America 2" from 7:30-7:58 p.m. ET averaged a 1.9/6 in 18-49, 4.7 million viewers overall and a 3.1 rating, 6 share in households. "Football Night in America 3" from 7:58-8:13 p.m. delivered a 3.3/9 in 18-49, 9.0 million viewers overall and a 5.6/10 in households. From 8:13-8:21 p.m., "NBC Sunday Night Football Pre Kickoff" averaged a 4.2/11 in 18-49, 11.6 million viewers overall and a 7.1/12 in households. Note: "Football Night in America" from 7-7:30 p.m. ET was sustaining programming and does not figure in the nightly or weekly primetime averages.

For Sunday night, NBC averaged a 5.3 rating in 18-49, 13.6 million viewers overall and an 8.7/14 in households. Versus premiere Sunday last season (Sept. 26, 2005), NBC was up 33 percent in adults 18-49 (5.3 vs. 4.0), up 19% in total viewers (13.623 million vs. 11.473 million) and up 13% in households (8.7/14 vs. 7.7/12).





  [september 2006]  
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W
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F
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· BIGGEST LOSER, THE (NBC)
· BOSTON LEGAL (ABC)
· BOSTON LEGAL (ABC)
· CROSSING JORDAN (NBC)
· CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION (CBS)
· DATELINE NBC (NBC)
· DEAL OR NO DEAL (NBC)
· ER (NBC)
· FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA (NBC)
· GREY'S ANATOMY (ABC)
· KIDNAPPED (NBC)
· LAW & ORDER (NBC)
· LAW & ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT (USA)
· LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT (NBC)
· MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL (ESPN)
· MY NAME IS EARL (NBC)
· OFFICE, THE (NBC)
· SHARK (CBS)
· SIX DEGREES (ABC)
· SMITH (CBS)
· STANDOFF (FOX)
· STUDIO 60 ON THE SUNSET STRIP (NBC)
· SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL (NBC)
· UNIT, THE (CBS)
· WEST WING, THE (NBC)





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