NBC continued its Monday-night reign with unscripted power duo "American Gladiators" (4.3 preliminary Nielsen rating among adults 18 to 49) and "Deal or No Deal" (4.4, the highest-rated show of the night), followed by an original "Medium" (3.4). NBC also won in total viewers.
Despite dominating at 8 p.m., "Gladiators" was down another few ticks this week, which has to give NBC executives some pause. The series keeps winning hours, yet keeps losing (a slight number of) viewers. This is the third week for "Gladiators" in its Monday time period and you want to see ratings stabilization right ... about ... now. If the show holds its number next week, chances are "Gladiators" will at minimum enjoy a fair-sized run. If the show's rating drops into the 3s, it's worry time.
Speaking of which, second-place Fox's "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" (3.6) is in its second week in its 9 p.m. time period and continues to drop (down 14%). Fox points out that "Terminator" improved the slot by 70% compared to last year. Lead-in "Prison Break" was down slightly (3.1).
Fourth-place ABC's "Dance War" (2.6) also continued to dip, followed by "Notes From the Underbelly" (1.6) and "October Road" (1.9).
In third place, CBS had comedy and "CSI: Miami" repeats, earning a 3.1 average for the night. In fifth, The CW had comedy repeats (0.7).
Sunday: You Know There's a Writers Strike When...
CBS stocks its Sunday night schedule with a news special called "Global Warming: The Melting Polar Ice Caps" that in turn earns a mere 1.7 rating.
And you really know there's a writers strike when that "Polar Ice Caps" special was the highest-rated non-sports programming for its time period.
"Ice Caps" beat everything at 7 p.m. except Fox's presentation of the NFC Championship game, New York Giants at Green Bay Packers, which earned a massive 18.4 preliminary rating.
ABC was second for the evening with repeats and a two-hour "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" (3.8). CBS was third with the news special, the season finale of "The Amazing Race" (3.1) and repeats. NBC was fourth with "Dateline" (1.2) and a movie. The CW had repeats, "CW Now" and an original "Life Is Wild" (0.2—and not canceled, remember?).
Saturday: Cops and Movies
Fox won easily with "Cops" (2.0 and 2.3) and "America's Most Wanted" (2.4) over competing repeats and movies.
Friday: Immortal CBS Dramas
This deep into the writers strike, how is it CBS still manages to still have originals of its entire Friday night scripted lineup? The alternative crime dramas were the three highest-rated shows of the night: "Ghost Whisperer" (2.7), "Moonlight" (2.4) and "Numb3rs" (2.6).
Fox was second with repeats. NBC was third with "1 vs. 100" (1.8), "Friday Night Lights" (1.8) and "Las Vegas" (2.0). The CW was fourth with "Friday Night Smackdown" (1.5). ABC was fifth with repeats and "20/20" (1.8).