Baseball bunts, Perot ad scores

Game One of the National League Championship series looked marginal in Tuesday’s ratings, while a half-hour Ross Perot political pitch crossed the plate with rather respectable numbers of its own.

As usual, early-inning prime time baseball coverage opened the door to competitors, such as ABC’s Tuesday lineup, which saw the Brand/Falsey drama “Going to Extremes” cruise to its best numbers in three weeks, stemming a gradual slide since the show premiered.

Home of the Braves

Atlanta-Pittsburgh’s first go-round caught a 12.1 rating, 21 share, improving by three share in the national Nielsens over its metered-market appeal–reflecting the Braves’ broad appeal in the South thanks to its national expo sure on TBS.

The numbers were better than last year’s first Tuesday playoff game but significantly lower than the start of Atlanta-Pittsburgh last year, which slid in with a 14.0/24 on a Wednesday, a less difficult night.

Perot, meanwhile, captured a 12.2/20 with his ad, reaching nearly 16.6 million viewers. The independent candidate, who paid $ 380,000 for the time, will take another half-hour on ABC tomorrow before the newsmagazine “20/20.”

Buoyed by baseball competition, ABC again crossed the plate with stellar numbers for its established comedies and saw “Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper” build off its “Full House” lead-in in key female demographics while losing only 2% of its household rating. “Extremes” (12.0/21) came in third in its hour but was first among key-adult demos.

Hot ‘Dateline’

ABC averaged a 27 share for the night vs. CBS’ 21 and an 18 for NBC, which saw “Dateline NBC” (12.4/22) score its best numbers since April 14. It bears noting, however, that the web has surpassed that level several times with other programming during that period.

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