Strike Takes Toll on TV Ratings

Reality programming cushions blow for Fox, NBC
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 30, 2008 2:54 PM CST
Production crew members protest the Writer's Guild strike prior to the 65th Annual Golden Globes, Sunday, Jan. 13, 2008, in Beverly Hills, Calif. This year the presentation will consist of an abbreviated...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – 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.