Powered by i.TV
October 7, 2015

TV Viewers No Longer Tuning In on Thursday Nights

by Jean Bentley, posted Oct 25th 2010 2:10PM
'The Big Bang Theory' airs on Thursdays at 8PM on CBSCould the era of Thursday night "Must-See TV" be over?

Once the premier night for advertisers to shill their high-profile products and the weekend's movies, fewer and fewer people are turning on their TVs on Thursday nights. During the first four weeks of the fall television season, only 48.5 million people have tuned in on Thursdays -- 2.2 million people and 4.3 percent fewer than last year, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Among the coveted 18- to 49-year-old demographic, Thursday is the fifth-most-watched night of television every week -- a far cry from the 1990s "Must-See TV" heyday.

But TV viewing is down on every night, not just Thursdays. Some experts, like NBC Universal President of Research Alan Wurtzel, believe people are watching the same amount of TV, just in different ways -- online, DVRs -- that aren't recorded by Nielsen. "Tectonic upheavals in technology have affected consumer behavior, and it's happened so quickly," he told the WSJ. Ratings measurement systems haven't been able to keep up with the changing technology.

Others attribute the decline to the high quality of programming on all nights -- the big shows don't all air on Thursdays like they have in the past, said CBS Corp. Cheif Research Officer David Poltrack.

Though the networks do have hope they will be able to revive the night -- CBS moving its hit sitcom 'The BIg Bang Theory' to Thursdays at 8PM is one example -- according to the WSJ, the combined night-of audience for the four most-watched broadcast networks' Thursday shows is down 14 percent compared to last year.

When do you watch TV on Thursdays?
Thursdays817 (37.1%)
Later, via DVR or online1256 (57.0%)
I don't132 (6.0%)

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum


Filter by:

I watch CBS on Thursdays, which in my neck of the woods airs one hour earlier. So, TBB @ 7pm, CSI @ 8pm, and Mentalist @ 9pm. I watch those over the air because you can't watch most of those online, legally. On Hulu, I then watch Community, The Office, Outsourced, and Bones.

I don't have cable, so I watch more TV programs online than I do over the air. The networks are pretty stupid if they are not taking this viewership into account. In fact, by watching shows on Hulu, I've stumbled across some that I've never even heard of before, such as Terriers, which is on FX. This is my favorite show of the new season, and I would never even have come across it without the ability to view shows online.

October 30 2010 at 4:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Thursday used to be my only night to watch network tv.... though I only watched Bones and CSI. However, when Booth's blonde girlfriend is on screen, I can't watch the show, I change the station, she is so much the antithesis of what makes that show great. The females 'squints' are so beautiful without being blonde and pale, and it makes them so much more attractive. That blonde is so typical of the tv 'star' that she's unattractive, even repulsive, at least to me. I hope Booth sees through her shallowness and gets with Brennan, whom he is really drawn to. CSI is still a great show, though I think they 'jump the shark' everytime they introduce a serial killer - its a cheap ploy to keep the plots going.

October 27 2010 at 10:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Neilson was ever reliable in the first place. it's only 100% correct if 100% of households in the US had 2-5 per family. I agree that the problem is there's TOO much. there's Bones, Community, 30 Rock, The Vampire Diaries, Fringe, Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice.. and that's just the ones I watch, i'm sure there's people who want to watch those and also like things like The Big Bang Theory. TV networks have started fighting against each other on purpose, and then one or both of them lose. they need to learn to utilize things like SATURDAYS and get rid of all these reality shows that cost less and make real shows get canceled and stop trying to put every show on the same night.

October 26 2010 at 3:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

As long as Bones is on Thursday, TV viewers will be tuning in! Bones is simply the BEST SHOW ON TV!
Booth & Brennan FOREVER!!!!

October 26 2010 at 9:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i download everything in 720p quality from btn, and watch whenever i please, without ads

October 26 2010 at 1:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
O Nikos

Way too vague of a poll question... How about an option for watching some key shows on Thursday and some on DVR?

October 26 2010 at 12:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I hated the move of BBT to Thursday nights. It belongs on Monday night when I need the laugh more than I do the night before the weekend starts.

October 25 2010 at 6:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Thursdays are actually my favorite night of the week! Community, 30 Rock, The Office, Bones, Fringe and CSI (though I'm really behind on it) are all great shows, but I can only watch one at a time so I'm forced to hulu The Office, Bones and CSI. The real problem here is that the nielsen rating system isn't keeping up with technology, but I guess I'm preaching to the choir here on a TV blog...

October 25 2010 at 6:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You people are idiot's not to be watching Fringe.THAT is the only show worth watching on Thursday night,the rest is crapola,especially the "housewives".

October 25 2010 at 4:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"Community" is the only show that airs on Thursdays that I watch (either on Thursdays, or later, online).
Is this the place to talk about how much I miss Parks and Recreation?

October 25 2010 at 4:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Follow Us

From Our Partners