UPN Wraps Up Dismal May SweepsBy Michelle
May 28, 2004 - 7:26 PM
None of the broadcast networks had particularly strong May sweeps ratings, but at UPN the picture is particularly bleak, as the network finished a distant sixth and last in all major demographic categories.
CBS and NBC split top honors for sweeps month, with the former earning the top spot among households and total viewers, while the latter brought in both top demographics, adults 25-54 and adults 18-49 demographics, according to The Futon Critic.
But while CBS and NBC's ratings remained close to their May 2003 sweeps numbers, UPN and the WB's ratings dropped dramatically - each down more than 20% - while ABC and FOX experienced drops closer to 10%.
Zap2It reported that the drops at ABC and the WB hit those networks the hardest.
"The networks have some work to do to get back those viewers, either by fewer repeats, year-round scheduling or - and this is a stretch - producing better shows," noted columnists Rick Porter & Daniel Fienberg, who noted that America's Next Top Model had given UPN a lift but added that "Over the past three seasons, only one drama series - "Star Trek: Enterprise" - has lasted longer than one year."
"UPN is finally beginning to look like a network with a purpose," wrote Fienberg and Porter, who thought that UPN might make a run at fifth place next season while The WB searches for direction.
Zap2It also ranked all the network programs. On a list dominated by the reality shows American Idol and Survivor as well as the two CSI series, Enterprise was ranked 151.
This ranking puts Enterprise behind UPN's consistent WWE Smackdown plus Girlfriends (138), Eve (139), Half and Half (146), All of Us (148) and The Parkers (149) as well as behind such shows as FOX's quickly cancelled Wonderfalls (143).