What Goes Down, Must Go Up: Network CPMs Rise, As Ratings Plummet

It's a return to the good old days of 1990s network TV: Network CPMs are rising near double-digit increases, while ratings on returning TV shows are falling by about the same rate.

CBS's long-running "Survivor" posted its worst fall premiere number ever--a Nielsen preliminary 4.9 rating among 18-49 viewers, almost a rating point and half less than the show did with a 6.3 a year ago; and nearly a full rating point off its 5.8 rating of this past spring's premiere edition.

This doesn't come as much of a surprise for many. "Survivor" has been trending down for years--and especially among younger audiences. The better news for the show was that it easily won its time period and that it pulled in 15.1 million overall viewers.

But there could be problems to come--once the season officially starts up next week. Thursday's debut ran against virtually an entire night of mostly reruns and some end of the season summer fare.

CBS won the night with a 3.9 rating/11 share. Fox was next at 2.6/8; NBC in third place, a 2.1/6; then Univision, a 1.8/5; ABC, a 1.6/5; and CW, a 0.8/2.



Interestingly, a rerun of CBS' "CSI" wasn't that far behind "Survivor," earning a healthy 3.9 rating at 9 p.m. "Survivor" was the best-rated show of the night.

Other notable performances included CBS's first-place win for a repeat of "Without a Trace" at 10 p.m., with a 2.9; a second-place finish at 9 p.m. for Fox's "Don't Forget the Lyrics" with a 2.9; and a second-place finish at 10 p.m. for the second hour of Univision's "Latin Grammy" special, which earned a 2.0.

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