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2004-05 Ratings History -- ABC Builds a Desperate Home in 2nd Place; NBC's Home Floods to 4th


Written Housing They Mystery of Ratings Rebounds by Bridger Cunningham

The 4th year of every decade seems to redefine the network's structure. This season, ABC rode the current from a dismal 4th to 2nd, and NBC took the reverse route from 1st to 4th as their house of sitcom cards collapsed.  Per this season breakdown, NBC placed 3rd for scripted material, but FOX pushed ahead due to sports (not in this table).  CBS towered to third, and FOX became ABC's sunken living room in a close 3rd.  So how did ABC reverse the decline of the early 2000's?  Leave it to the splashy introduction of Desperate Housewives.  The cellar flooded as WB's soil into 6th place, and UPN bolted the stable support of America's Next Top Model's wonder lining.


Trending Hot -- If it had a house in the title or theme, it became a hit.  Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, House, Desperate Housewife, Wifeswap, Supernanny....  ABC reclaimed creative thunder as it became Lost in Grey's Anatomy.  Reality TV remained a red-hot presence, albeit the wives ruled the households.  Multiplicity in Procedural Dramas succeeded as Law and Order spawned 3rd spinoff Trial By Jury and CSI spawned a 2nd relative living in New York.

Trending Tepid -- Continuation series delivered mixed fortunes.  Boston Legal gained considerable hype, NCIS trended in the middle, and Joey became critically panned.  Soaps found a desperate renaissance with mixed results leading to ABC's soapy success, FOX heralding an average delivery with OC and failing with Malibu Shores.

Trending Cold -- Sitcoms became the trend of the past as Everybody Loves Raymond ended after 9 seasons.  Changes in tastes left little space for 30-minute entries.  WB became a relic along with NBC, with UPN with not much space to gloat.  Freshman dramas with locations in the name saw a sour season as well with lackluster Nielsens toured by Dr. Vegas, LAX and Hawaii.

Source -- http://www.angelfire.com/tv/JustTV/0405tvreview/season0405finaladultstotals.html