Where Did the Ratings Go?

Networks, still shaking off writers strike, hoping big names' May return is cure
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 24, 2008 6:43 PM CDT
Teri Hatcher, Nicolette Sheridan, Felicity Huffman and Marcia Cross are shown in a scene from "Desperate Housewives".   (AP Photo/ABC, Craig Sjodin)
camera-icon View 4 more images

(Newser) – Television shows hoping for welcoming arms after a strike-imposed hiatus are out of luck: Viewership is down sharply for scripted shows, in many cases more than 10%, the Hollywood Reporter notes. The exception appears to be CBS’ Monday night lineup, which is up after returning ahead of most other shows last month, leading perhaps to a new maxim: hurry back.

“What this shows is that the sooner your recover from a strike the better the chances you have for keeping your viewers,” one insider said. That’s not good news for shows that won’t return until the fall. An unlikely semi-success are NBC’s Thursday-night comedies, which are down from pre-strike levels but up over last year, thanks to no competition from Grey’s Anatomy. (Read more TV ratings stories.)