The major television networks got a good look yesterday at the toll the 3-month-old writers strike has taken on ratings, Variety reports. Comparing last week to the same period in 2007, the top five networks lost an average 21% of viewers in the 18-49 age group. Fox topped ratings on the strength of American Idol, but was still off 15%.
CW fared the worst, with a 50% ratings drop from a year ago. ABC and CBS fell 23% and 26%, respectively. NBC, which had few hits among its scripted shows entering the strike, profited from its strategy of aggressively filling its affected slots with reality series and saw only a 7% drop. It stands second to Fox in overall ratings.