Tenth 'Apprentice' episode draws 19.2 million viewers, closes Adults 18-49 gap with 'CSI'
By Reality TV World staff, 03/16/2004
The Apprentice'smost controversial contestant might have been booted the previous week, but according to the final Nielsen ratings, NBC's new hit reality show remained strong as it narrowed the field to only six contestants by booting Philadelphia resident Heidi Bressler.
Despite airing versus a new original episode of CBS' CSI, the March 11 tenth episode of The Apprentice drew 19.2 million overall viewers and a 9.7 rating, 23 share in the Adults 18-49 demographic.
While the first-run CSI episode was up 33 percent (2.5 rating points) versus the prior week's encore telecast, The Apprentice dropped a mere 0.1 of a rating point versus its week-ago result, demonstrating that the program clearly seems to have found it's own loyal audience -- an audience no doubt comprised significantly of channel-changing 8PM CBS Survivor viewers, but a loyal audience none the less.
The Apprentice finished a close second to CSI in the 9PM hour's Adults 18-49 breakdown but soundly beat the established CBS drama among younger adults of both sexes, winning among Adults 18-34, Men 18-34, and Women 18-34.
Last night's The Apprentice improved the 9 PM hour for NBC by a lavish 54 percent in Adults 18-49 versus what NBC had been averaging before Apprentice became a regular in the hour -- a result that must be leaving CBS czar Les Moonves (who watched Survivor producer Mark Burnett sell Apprentice to NBC) increasingly fuming with each telecast.