Ad Alert: TVB Accesses TV Season

Fox's TV show HouseNo matter what cable networks may tell you about the depressing broadcast TV season, the Television Bureau of Advertising wants you to know that broadcast accounted for 486 of the top 500 rated shows.

Only 16 cable programs made it into the top 500 shows in the most popular advertising buying demographic--adults 18-49. The best was ESPN's "Monday Night Football," which came in at 59th place with a 4.7 average rating through 14 telecasts--tied with the likes of a Fox "Back To You" episode.

Still, ESPN's "MNF" did beat out shows such as CBS' "Survivor: Micronesia" and ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," both of which earned a 4.6 rating.

Twelve of cable's top 16 shows were sports programming--including "The 2008 NBA AllStar Game" on TNT at 190th place and ESPN's NBA Playoffs Conference Finals game at 254th place.

MTV scored the best non-sports cable show this season--"The Hills Live Aftershow" last December, which earned a 2.4 rating among 18-49 viewers. USA Network posted a 1.8 average rating for seven episodes of its drama/comedy "Psych." It came in at 417th place.

The best-rated single TV show of the year was no surprise--Fox "Super Bowl XLII," which took in a 37.5 rating, the second-best-rated TV show in history. The best-rated single non-sports program was a special episode of Fox's "House," which ran after the Super Bowl and earned a 13.5 rating.

The "American Idol" Tuesday edition tallied the best ratings for a series. Through 19 episodes, it earned an 11.5 rating.

Hurt by a mid-season writers' strike and general viewer defections, broadcast networks collectively lost around 12% of their 18-49 viewers versus a year ago, while ad-supported cable networks gained single-digit percentage growth.

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