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2007-08 Ratings History -- The WGA Strike Inflicts Permanent Damage on the Ratings Landscape; FOX is 1st.

Written Ruing Political Complaints by Bridger Cunnungham

 It is often stated Youtube's formation in 2006 was the crack in the iceberg which started the never-ending Nielsen downturn.  Is that a fair statement, considering the 2007-08 WGA Strike inflicted damage to viewing patterns by straddling the interior of the season from November 2007 - February 2008.  The results?  Reality TV became America's savior (whether they wanted it to be or not) as it was the only platform delivering original programming during the disruption.  This aided not only American Idol to be America's hero, but also for FOX to reach 1st Place during its 22nd season on the air.  Nearly every scripted show had its episode order truncated, and newer shows endured the doubled effects as many were scrapped until the following season.  This season educated the general populous they could survive without their television shows, a negative effect of strikes which networks are still paying for 10 year later.


Trending Hot -- FOX's limited scheduling positioned it nicely to assume the golden 1st Place prize as American Idol and Reality TV were in demand.  Reality TV proliferated to the point networks took a critical view of their stock and cleared out the turkeys.  ABC delivered a stunning class of freshman shows from Samantha Who?, Pushing Daisies and Dirty Sexy Money.  Procedural dramas made CBS' vice of choice, dramas for ABC, singing for FOX and sophisticated laughs for NBC.  CW's vice of choice?  People accidentally leaving their televisions on CW without realizing it.

Trending Tepid -- Sitcoms were the out trend in the 2000's, albeit a larger number of them were offered to viewers in 2007.  ABC held signs of promise and scripted programming moving the network in the right direction, but the strike killed that movement before it had a chance to develop.  Incidentally, CBS also experienced a funk as it tied for 2nd with ABC for the season (thanks to Football), and had a rare anomaly of holding its first season without a top-10 hit since the 80's.

Trending Cold -- The dreary ratings continued on ABC for a 4th year in a row, sending executives into a panic.  CW's 2nd season didn't distinguish itself any differently than the 1st as ratings delivered embarrassing lows.  Perhaps the only network to benefit from the strike, CW watched as its competitors fight each other like pigs, only to do a mudslide and often match CW on odd evenings.

Source -- http://rashreport.com/pdfs/presspass/hreporter_20080522.pdf