"On Sunday, "The West Wing" polled its highest 18-49 rating and overall total viewership since the series' live debate episode on Nov.6. "The West Wing" was up 26 percent in 18-49 versus the prior week and up 33 percent versus its lead-in. "
From Media Life:
"Matt Santos won the fake election last night, and he also delivered a victory of sorts for NBC’s once-mighty “West Wing,” which over recent weeks has sagged into one of the least-watched shows on the Big Four networks among adults 18-49.
The show, which also dramatized the death of Santos vice presidential candidate Leo McGarry, played by the late John Spencer, averaged a 2.4 Nielsen overnight rating last night.
That was up 20 percent over the 2.0 the show has averaged since the Winter Olympics ended in February. It’s the show’s highest-rated episode since November, even though it still placed fourth in its 8 p.m. timeslot and is well down from last year’s 3.3 season average.
That signals that there still could be some life in the seventh-year show leading up to May 14’s series finale. Though NBC said in January that this would be “Wing’s” last year, because of sinking ratings and high production costs, it was once one of the network’s highest-rated programs and was always a favorite of awards show voters such as the Emmys.
Critics, too, had commended the show in recent months for the compelling election storyline, in which Republican Arnold Vinick (Alan Alda) and Democrat Matt Santos (Jimmy Smits) battled to succeed two-termer Josiah Bartlet (Martin Sheen).
Writers said over the weekend that they’d originally intended to make Vinick the winner. But after Spencer’s unexpected passing, they felt it would be too sad to make Santos lose both the election and his running mate.
Coming episodes will deal with the White House transition and Santos finding a new VP. Next week’s episode may also see a bump in ratings, as former series stars Emily Procter and Rob Lowe return for McGarry’s funeral.
Last night’s episode grew 13 percent from its first half hour to its second, when it averaged a 2.6."
"CBS stayed on top at 8 p.m. with "60 Minutes" and "Cold Case" combining for a 9.4/15. ABC moved into second with "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," 6.5/11. "The West Wing" was third for NBC, beating out "The Simpsons," 4.8/8, and "The War at Home," 3.8/6, on FOX. A "Charmed" rerun came in at 1.7/3 for The WB."
From Media Week:
"NBC had a typical Sunday courtesy of Dateline (Overnights: #2, 6.0/10; Viewers: #3, 7.22 million; A18-49: #4, 1.7/ 6), The West Wing (Overnights: #3, 6.5/10; Viewers: #3, 8.34 million; A18-49: #4, 2.4/ 7"
Guide to TV Ratings here.