“The Jacksons: An American Dream” turned out to be a thriller for ABC, moonwalking to a 21.6 rating, 32 share in Nielsen overnight markets. That performance enhanced the alphabet web’s lead in the November sweeps.
If those numbers come close to holding up nationally, the three-hour opener has a chance of being ABC’s highest-rated miniseries in years (surpassing “Stephen King’s It,” which averaged a 19.6/31 over four hours in November 1990).
NBC ran second from 9-11 p.m. with its two-hour “Donahue” 25th anniversary special, which called in a 15.5/22, while CBS was third with the telefilm “When No One Would Listen” (12.0/17).
Sunday’s numbers also bode well for part two of “The Jacksons,” as the audience built throughout the night, from a 25 share at 8 p.m. to a 36 in its final half-hour. The miniseries concludes tomorrow.
Seeing an opportunity to win its first November survey since 1978, ABC has also scheduled another “Matlock” movie for Thursday from 8-10 p.m. and will bump the low-rated series “Civil Wars” on Nov. 25–the final night of the Nielsen sweeps–to make room for the special “The Best of the Hollywood Palace.” Through Friday’s national Nielsens, ABC was averaging a 12.7/21, followed by CBS (12.3/ 20) and NBC (11.8/19).