The major success story of the February sweeps to date has been CBS’ three-day “Classic Weekend” retrospective events, two of which propelled the web to win Week 22. For that week, ended Feb. 17, CBS edged NBC, 12.9/21 to 12.8/21 – with ABC at 11.8/19.
Saturday (Feb. 16) saw the “All In The Family 20th Anniversary” log a 14.7/25 for its 90 minutes, boosting CBS to its best Saturday score (11.2/20) since the World Series (with “Family” earning a 27th-place tie for the week). Sunday (Feb. 17) saw the two-hour “Very Best Of The Ed Sullivan Show” place second for the week with a 21.3/33 as CBS swept the night and took the week.
On Monday (Feb. 18), the 90-minute “Mary Tyler Moore 20th Anniversary” posted a 17.6/26 to keep up the CBS barrage. It was not enough to win the night (NBC’s “Love, Lies & Murder-Pt. 2” came on strong, 20.5/30, to give NBC a winning 18.4/27 for the night). But CBS took Tuesday as “Rescue 911” (16.1/25) won its time period before the “Sins Of The Mother” movie logged a 14.5/23.
As a result, CBS had a great chance to turn in an upset sweeps win (through Tuesday, it was leading NBC 12.9 to 12.8 in Nielsen and trailing NBC 12.7 to 12.9 in Arbitron) – but it still has the winning “Grammy Awards,” plus ratings for the “Miss USA Pageant” and the four-hour “And The Sea Will Tell” to air before sweeps are over.
The other achievement of note was the dramatic comeback of “Love-Pt. 2” Monday after a 15.5/25 for “Pt. 1” on Sunday, giving the NBC miniseries an 18/28 average for its four hours of airtime, making it the third-best mini this season so far (behind “Stephen King’s It,” 19.6/31, and “The Big One: The Great Los Angeles Earthquake,” 18.3/28.)