Scheduling history: By the end of its run, House spent almost exactly half its run on Tuesday (seasons 1-3 and half of 4 and 5) and half on Monday (half of 4 and 5 and all of 6-8).
See (who saw) how it all began: Almost nobody! The show premiered pretty quietly on 11/16/04 with just 7.05 million total viewers and a 2.7/6 in the demo. While it held up pretty well across the next six weeks with nothing lead-ins, it remained in the upper 2's until it got a little help from its friends.
The best of times: The best of times, no doubt, was when House got to air after American Idol. In early 2005, it instantly doubled its pre-Idol audience and only went up from there. House peaked in early 2007, when it had three straight weeks with double digit demos (11.1, 10.2, and a regularly-scheduled series high 11.2 from 1/30/07 through 2/13/07). That run produced three of the series' five double-digit performances. The other two were the season 2 finale (10.2) and the official series high, a post-Super Bowl airing in 2008 when it posted 29.05 million viewers and a 12.9 demo.
The worst of times: Until a few weeks into the final season, the series lows for House remained at the very beginning. House had seven straight weeks to start its run in the upper half of the 2's (its lowest being a 2.5/7 on 12/28/04) and did not return to those depths till Halloween night 2011. In early 2012, the arrival of The Voice seemingly took a big chunk out of House's remaining audience, and the show returned from hiatus in March in the low 2's. It actually saw one episode on April 9 drop below the 2.0 threshold with a 1.9.
Then vs. now: House never returned to its post-Idol heights in its move to Monday, though I don't think anyone really expected that. The disappointment was in how precipitously this show fell apart in its four seasons on Monday. Three of those final four seasons saw a drop of 25% or more, and the biggest drop of all came in the final season, which is especially unfortunate since many once huge shows are able to slow/stop the bleeding in the final season. In the mid-aughts, House was a legitimate megahit program, retaining the American Idol audience as well as anyone ever has. By the end, it wasn't really even a hit anymore. The spike to a 2.9 for the series finale proved there were a few former fans interested in how it ended, but that number was still well under a third of the audience the show got in its best days.
Adults 18-49 info by season:
|3||2006-07||Tue 8:00, Tue 9:00||5.8||7.94||11.2||detail|
|4||2007-08||Tue 9:00, Mon 9:00||5.1||7.05||9.0||detail|
|5||2008-09||Tue 8:00, Mon 8:00||4.5||5.21||6.0||detail|
|8||2011-12||Mon 9:00, Mon 8:00||1.9||2.54||3.9||detail||D-|
|Premiere||Average||Finale||P -> F|
For more on The War of 18-49, my look at the history of primetime TV's veteran shows, see the Index.