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CBS's 'Survivor: Palau' finale averages 20.8 million viewers, but still trails ABC's 'Housewives'


By Reality TV World staff, 05/19/2005 

Despite airing versus an even more powerful ABC Sunday night lineup, CBS's Sunday night finale of Survivor: Palau performed slightly better than December's Sunday finale of Survivor: Vanuatu, but once again failed to generate the big ratings pop that previous Survivor finales have typically drawn..

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Airing from 8:00-10:10PM ET/PT, Survivor: Palau's May 15 finale averaged 20.80 million viewers, a 11.4/17 rating/share in households, a 7.8/18 rating/share in the Adults 18-49 demographic, a 9.2/20 rating/share in Adults 25-54, and a 5.4/14 rating/share in Adults 18-34. The Survivor finale also placed near the top of the week's May ratings sweeps-fueled rankings, ranking 5th in total viewers (behind only American Idol's two broadcasts, CSI, and Desperate Housewives), 5th in Adults 25-54, and 7th in Adults 18-49.

As in December, Survivor: Palau defeated ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition in viewers and most key demographics (losing only in Adults 18-34, 5.7/16 versus 5.0/14). however the finale's second hour again placed second behind a new episode of Desperate Housewives, which won the 9-10PM ET/PT time period in both total viewers (25.3 million versus 21.7 million) and Adults 18-49 (11.0/24 versus 8.3/18).

Compared to Survivor: Vanuatu's finale, Survivor: Palau's finale was up 5% in viewers and households, 7% in Adults 25-54, 4% in Adults 18-49 and 2% in Adults 18-34.

While Survivor: Palau's finale delivered better numbers than Survivor: Vanuatu's finale, May's original Desperate Housewives episode also fared better than the show's December original episode broadcast, resulting in Desperate Housewives actually winning the shows' rematch by a larger margin in both total viewers and Adults 18-49.

Despite airing versus far stiffer competition from ABC's new overnight Grey's Anatomy hit, Survivor: Palau's reunion show also performed slightly better than last winter's Survivor: Vanuatu reunion show which had aired versus ABC's much weaker Boston Legal series.

Airing from 10:10-11:01PM ET/PT, Survivor: Palau's reunion show averaged 15.48 million viewers, a 9.1/15 rating/share in households, a 6.5/16 rating/share in the Adults 18-49 demographic, a 7.6/17 rating/share in Adults 25-54, and a 4.6/12 rating/share in Adults 18-34. While lacking some of the strength of its finale lead-in, Survivor's reunion show also ranked in the week's key Top 20 rankings, placing 17th in total viewers, 13th in Adults 25-54, and 12th in Adults 18-49.

Compared to last season's reunion show, this season's Survivor reunion show was up 1% in viewers, households, and Adults 25-54 and even in Adults 18-49.

Unlike last season, the much more challenging Grey's Anatomy competition caused Survivor's reunion show to finish second in the time period, trailing Grey's in both viewers (18.33 million versus 15.48 million) and Adults 18-49 (8.0/19 vs. 6.5/16).

However the biggest loser in CBS and ABC's titanic heavyweight showdown wasn't a show that aired on either network. Instead, that "honor" belonged to Survivor producer Mark Burnett's NBC The Contender reality-boxing series. Airing from 8-9PM ET/PT, Burnett's already struggling The Contender series delivered a series low 5.32 million viewers.

Survivor's two Sunday night broadcasts combined with Tuesday's The Amazing Race 7 finale and Thursday's penultimate Survivor: Palau episode to litter the week's ratings rankings with CBS reality shows, with all four of the CBS reality offerings ranking among the week's Top 17 in total viewers, Top 13 among Adults 25-54, and Top 12 among Adults 18-49.

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