WABC-TV dusts N.Y. rivals in Nov. sweeps

Two weeks into the important November sweeps period, WABC-TV has a comfortable lead over all of the other Gotham outlets in total day ratings, while Tribune-owned WPIX-TV appears to be increasing its lead among independents , according to A.C. Nielsen statistics.

WABC-TV is currently tops in total day ratings with a 7.5/18, followed by WNBC-TV, which is averaging a 5.9/14. WCBS-TV is third among the Big Three affiliates, pulling in a 5.7/14.

WPIX, powered by a strong 5-8 p.m. block, is tops among the independents, averaging a 4.9/12 — equaling its year-ago ratings — to WNYW-TV’s 4.3/11, which is running two-tenths of a point below November of 1991.

WWOR-TV has the last spot in the market with a 3.3/8, down fourth-tenths of a ratings point from last year and a full rating point behind WNYW.

As has been the case in past sweeps outings, WABC’s dominance starts early in the day. “Good Morning America,” into “Live With Regis & Kathie Lee” into “Sally Jessy Raphael” give the station a commanding lead from the start, only to lose that position at 11 a.m. when the station is airing the network offering “Home.”

Up against “Sally” (10-11 a.m.) on WABC, WPIX’s telecast of “Vicki!” is posting a 2.0/8 — up from a 1.6/7 generated by the show it replaced for the entire November ’91 sweeps — while a combination of “Infatuation” and “That’s Amore” is accounting for a 1.2/5 at WWOR.

‘Price’ right for WCBS

Then the viewers shift to WCBS and “The Price Is Right.” The station keeps those viewers through “Channel 2 News at Noon.” Competition for WCBS between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. comes from WWOR with “The Richard Bey Show” (3.7/15) for an hour at 11 a.m. and “The News at Noon,” which is averaging a 3.8/14. Both of WWOR’s offerings in the time period are doing better than the programming in the timeslot last year.

WPIX’s telecast of “The Joan Rivers Show” is averaging a 2.0/8 at 11 a.m. with “Geraldo” picking up to a 3.7/13 at noon. “Joan” is off a tenth of a point and “Geraldo” is even with its performance last year.

WNYW’s “Good Day Street Talk” is averaging a 1.7/7 for the period, a share point higher than repeats of “A Current Affair” did in the spot last November.

Warner Bros.’ talker “Jenny Jones” is averaging a 4.0/14 at 1 p.m. to finish third behind soaps on ABC and CBS, with NBC finishing fourth in the market for the time period. “Jones” is one rating point and four share points higher than reruns of “Bonanza” that occupied the spot a year ago.

‘Povich’ provides punch

In the afternoon, WNBC’s “Maury Povich” is providing a 5.9/17 (4.9/14 in ’91) lead-in for “Donahue,” which is averaging a 6.3/15 (up two-tenths of a rating point) in the 4 p.m. timeslot.

Nonetheless, “Oprah” on WABC rules the afternoon roost with a 10.6/26 (down two ratings points and five share points from last year). WNYW’s “Tiny Toon Adventures” and “Batman” and WWOR’s telecasts of “Hunter” each finish third for the hour with 4.1/10 averages. WCBS’s combo of “Inside Edition” and “Hard Copy” at 4 p.m. is averaging a 3.6/9, up from the combo of “Candid Camera” and “Inside ,” which aired there last year.

The 5 p.m. news race goes to WABC, with WNBC second and WCBS third in the timeslot. “Montel Williams” on WNYW is accounting for a 4.1/9, the same ratings scored by reruns of “Different Strokes” in 1991.

However, WPIX’s younger-skewing block of off-network comedies kicks in at 5 p.m, putting the station in second place in the key 5-8 p.m. programming block behind WABC. WNBC is in third for the block, WWOR fourth, WCBS fifth and WNYW is sixth. WNYW maintains its 10 p.m. news lead, ahead of WPIX and WWOR, which is last for the timeslot. WABC is leading in the 11 p.m. news race, NBC is second and WCBS third.

‘Rush’ moving

In the late hours, “Arsenio” is averaging a 3.2/8 (off when compared to the full 1991 November sweeps rating of 5.3/14) at 11:30 p.m. on WWOR, though “Whoopi” drops to a 1.8/7 at 12:30 a.m. and “Rush Limbaugh” is doing a 1.3/6 at 1 a.m. (“Rush” moved to weekdays on WNYW this week.) “Whoopi” and “Rush” are running behind the programs they replaced.

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