Neilsen Ratings ranks West Wing #1/Will ER be #1 Again? : LUSENET : ER Discussions : One Thread

The Neilsen ratings have come out, and West Wing topped Millonaire to be the number one show for the week.

After four consectutive years as the number #1 show (even during the Lucy/Carter soap opera in season 5), ER was pushed down as the fourth most watched show for the 1999-2000 season, according to AC Neilsen. The three installments of Millonaire held the #1, #2, and #3 spots.

With Millonaire showing no sign of slowing down, and the West Wing winning Emmys, getting so much press and a heavy audience to boot, What will it take for ER to regain the Number #1 spot?

-- T LEM (, October 12, 2000


I also read an article a few weeks ago (I can't remember from where) that stated that ER was on the decline because it had poorer viewership on it's repeats than other dramas (the example given was The Practice). The author argued that historically dramas have a lower repeat audience, however they noted that ER had gone from always being in the top 10 (even when repeating) in the first five seasons to often not cracking the top 25 in the past season. I think the West Wing will be tough competition because it is a newer drama and has more storyline possibilities. Plus with the emmy buzz they will attract more viewers. What can the writers at ER do? Creative story telling (even that may not be enough) and better character development. ER is at a crossroads. Most of the cast is new, and due to the number of exits last year little time has been spent on character development. For example, Dr. Dave could be a really interesting character. We see how brash he can be and procedure oriented (much like Chen in season one), but viewers were starting to see him really caring about some of his patients. Let us see him start to grow up. Chen has some interesting possiblities with this new pregnancy, and while Abby is probably my least favorite character she too could be developed into being a complex and interesting character. Character development is the key. Right now the only character I'm invested in is Carter (and perhaps Luka). Unless something changes ER will have a tough time trying to hold viewers. Sorry for being so long winded....

-- Emma (, October 12, 2000.

Well the main reason "West Wing" was #1 was because "ER" wasn't on last wee. This week WW wasn't on but "ER" is so hopefully "ER" will be number 1 next week. Actually I shouldn't say hopefully because I'm pretty sure it will be. Hey, what can I say, I'm being optimistic. For those who may want to know WW got a rating of 16.9 or something like that last week. I think "ER" will beat that.

-- Cammie (, October 12, 2000.

The advantage that "THE WEST WING" has over "ER" is simply that it's new. I like both shows, but "WW" really is not any better now than "ER" was at its best. Believe me, once President Bartlett serves two terms like "ER" has (ie 7 or 8 years), people will want to see him out of office, too. :-) Besides, for "ER" to no longer be the #1 drama would not be a disaster by any means. Remember, this show has been #1 for an amazing 6 years. To no longer be #1 is no shame. Obviously, if the writers do enough to keep us even mildly interested in the characters, millions of people will keep watching. I see definite trouble two years from now, though, when the contracts of the big stars start coming due. I really cannot imagine Noah Wyle, Anthony Edwards or Eriq La Salle wanting to sign on until 2004. No doubt when they agreed to sign on until 2002 they had good reason to expect that the show would be going off the air after the 8th season - that is about the natural lifespan for an hourlong TV show (except Law and Order which will still be producing new episodes after we're all dead). There are still interesting things the show could do, such as do an episode filmed on location in Croatia which is something they've thought about doing. And this year, for the first time since the middle of season 5, they don't have to exhaust their creative energies on entrances and exits for characters (Doug, Jeanie, Carol, Lucy... and then all those new ones last year). I expect this season will be better than last year for that reason, but I certainly don't expect "ER" to be considered the hottest show around any more.

-- Tracy (, October 12, 2000.

I'd like to correct the above thread, "ER has been number one for an amazing 6 years". I like everybody else is a major fan of ER. But ER has not been number one for 6 years.

Year 1 (1994 - 1995) - Rank 5 (Roseanne was the number one show for the year) Year 2 (1995 - 1996) - Rank 1/ Year 3 (1996 - 1997) - Rank 1/Year 4 (1997 - 1998) - Rank 1/Year 5 (1998 - 1999) - Rank 1/Year 6 (1999 - 2000) - Rank 4 (Millionaire was the number one show for the year)

So ER has only been the number one show for 4 consectutive years ( 1995 - 1999)

-- T Lem (, October 12, 2000.

No, ER has been the number one DRAMA for six years. Comedies have been the actual #1 shows.

-- Tracy (, October 12, 2000.

The whole point of the thread was ER being knocked out of the number 1 spot as the most watched show in North America. Being number one over comedies, game shows, news magazines, etc..

They can say they were the number #1 drama for six years, but they are no longer the number #1 show in North America. That distiction belongs to "Millionaire".

-- T Lem (, October 12, 2000.

But I think the original gist of the discussion here was about the West Wing's popularity. There has been some speculation that The West Wing may become the most popular drama on TV, eclipsing ER.

-- Tracy (, October 12, 2000.

Last night on Leno NW commented on how he used to walk through the NBC halls and now there are only ER and Friends posters stuck in the back while West Wing and Law and Order is all over the place. He said it "frightened" him, (smiling, of course).

-- Elaine (, October 12, 2000.

I am a fan of both WW and ER. The reason WW is #1 is because of the characters and the amazing writing for that show. Arron Sorkin is incredible. Truthfully, this is something that ER has lacked recently (although this last season was much improved over the season before.)

If ER wants to get back to the top, the writers will have to step it up a bit, and improve both character developement and storylines. (It seems like Carter is the only storyline they work at, the rest are pretty flimsy)

Thats just my 2 cents...... Jay

-- Jay (, October 12, 2000.

I am huge fan of both ER and the West Wing and I am thrilled that the WW was the #1 show for last week. I think ER could still beat it in the ratings (at it's best, it doubles the ratings of every other show on television) but I hope WW can keep up it's popularity. What I would absolutely love the most is if ER and WW were on the same night because they both rock!

-- Kat (, October 12, 2000.

Jay, I would like to congratulate you for the courage to say what you did, and heartily agree. West Wing now, new, has what ER made us fall in love with at the beginning, good dialogue, thought provoking storylines, and new insight into an area that touches most of our lives. I love ER, and hope that WW challenges the writers back to the high standard they haves set for themselves.

-- Deb (, October 13, 2000.

I love West Wing!!!! It is the best thing on TV since X-Files.I especially love the character of Josh Lymon, played by Bradley Whitford. He is a hottie!!

-- Mindy Haltiwanger (, February 06, 2001.

Time to take ER off the air. Never seen a show so full of crap. Too many idiot characters. Most not interesting. When something does get interesting, the cut out to one of the idiot character plots. Take the stupid show off the air already. Why is it that commercials for the show always proclaim every week that this is a "very powerful episode"?

-- nobody (, May 31, 2001.

Since I can't start a new thread, this seemed to be as good a place as any to post this. I just read on Yahoo! that Noah Wyle has signed a three-year extension and Sherry Stringfield is going to come back for the next three seasons. For all those naysayers, it looks like ER will keep on keeping on. And if it's not something you enjoy, turn the channel. No one is forcing you to watch it!

-- Diana (, June 05, 2001.

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