It's October (already), but let's take a minute and think all the way back to July.
That's the last time the ratings services measured viewership throughout the entire country - those fateful sweeps periods we're always hearing about.Well, the July sweeps aren't taken particularly seriously by much of anyone - people are outdoors and watching less TV, most shows are in reruns - but let's see how Utah measures up against the rest of the country.
According to Nielsen Media Research, our Top 10 programs are quite similar to the national Top 10. Seven programs are on both lists - the differences come with a couple of Fox programs and a pair of NBC products.
Nationally, Fox's "The Simpsons" was No. 6 and "Married . . . With Children" was tied for No. 9. Neither show made Salt Lake's Top 10. Instead, we were watching "America's Funniest Home Videos" (No. 4) and "Full House" (No. 9).
And while the nation preferred "Empty Nest" (No. 4), we were watching "The Golden Girls" (tied for No. 5).
ARBITRON NUMBERS: Nielsen isn't the only ratings service out there - its chief competitor is Arbitron.
Arbitron's list of the Top 25 for July included all programming, not just prime time shows. And the top show was a local production - KSL's coverage of the Days of '47 parade.
Not only did the parade win, but it won big. It was No. 1 on both of Arbitron's lists - Metro (the Salt Lake metropolitan area) and ADI (Area of Dominant Influence, which includes the entire region.)
In the Metro numbers, KSL's parade coverage drew a 22 rating - seven points higher than the No. 2 program. In the ADI, the rating and the lead were both bigger - 24 for the parade, 16 for No. 2.
KTVX's simultaneous coverage of the Days of '47 parade did not make either list's Top 25.
KSL's 10 p.m. news was No. 2 in Metro, No. 3 in ADI.
KUTV's 10 p.m. tied for No. 13 in Metro and tied for No. 11 in ADI.
Remember, these shows are on the same list with prime time hits like "Cheers," "Cosby" and "Roseanne."
KTVX didn't make the Top 25 with any of its news broadcasts, but dominated the 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. time slot with its game shows. "Jeopardy" tied for 18th on both lists, and "Wheel of Fortune tied for 19th (ADI) and 21st (Metro).
SALT LAKE AT A GLANCE: According to Nielsen, here's how we stack up against the rest of the country.
Salt Lake is the No. 41 market, comprising .64 percent of the nation's total households.
We're well below the national average for cable penetration (the percentage of homes wired for cable TV). Nationally, 58.9 percent of the homes are cable ready; locally, it's just 46.6 percent.
We're also lower than average for pay-cable penetration (premium channels like HBO and Showtime). Across the United States, 29 percent of the homes pay extra for a movie channel; locally, just 20.6 percent of us do.
But we're still ahead of the national average on VCR penetration - 75.9 percent of our homes have VCRs, compared to 69.8 nationally.
Most surprisingly, we're way below average on the amount of time we spend watching TV. The average American family has the TV set on 44 1/2 hours a week; the average Utah family is tuned in just 31 1/2 hours a week.
Obviously, Mr. Spud's house was not included in the survey. His TV-watching time alone probably would have pushed Utah above the national average.
NIELSEN'S NATIONAL JULY TOP 10: 1. "Cheers," NBC; 2. "Roseanne," ABC; 3. "The Cosby Show," NBC; 4. "Empty Nest," NBC; 5. "60 Minutes," CBS; 6. "The Simpsons," Fox; 7. (tie) "Miss Teen USA," CBS and "Unsolved Mysteries," NBC; 9. (tie) "A Different World," NBC and "Married . . . With Children," Fox.
NIELSEN'S SALT LAKE JULY TOP 10: 1. "The Cosby Show," NBC; 2. "Unsolved Mysteries," NBC; 3. "60 Minutes," CBS; 4. "America's Funniest Home Videos," ABC; 5. (tie) "Cheers," NBC; "The Golden Girls," NBC; "Miss Teen USA," CBS; and "Roseanne," ABC; 9. "Full House," ABC; 10. "A Different World," NBC.