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Webs win with election

Viewership for the Big Three’s prime time election coverage was up 19% over the results posted in 1988, according to Nielsen overnight ratings, with ABC leading the way with a 25% increase for itstelecasts election-to-election.

Using comparative figures, the three networks combined accounted for a 42.5 rating, 58 share in metered markets, up from the 35.8/53 generated in 1988.

The national statistics–delayed by Nielsen due to difficulties separating national from local coverage–generally flatten out a bit and should give the Big Three about a 17% increase from 1988.

Meanwhile, Fox Broadcasting Co.’s “Comedy Party”–four episodes of the weblet’s comedies, including an original “The Simpsons”–edged NBC’s election coverage to finish third from 8-10 p.m., with an 11.5/16 to the Peacock’s 11.4/ 15.

According to overnight statistics, ABC earned an 18.4/25 from 8-11 p.m., 25% higher than 1988. The ’92 statistics include ratings from 28 people-meter-recorded cities compared to only 17 four years ago.

CBS followed ABC with a 12.2/17, up 26% from 1988, while NBC’s ratings for the full night were up 4% to an 11.9/16.

Fox’s comedy lineup successfully counterprogrammed election matters early, as “The Simpsons” finished second to ABC’s election coverage with a 13.9/19, but Fox’s fortunes faded as the night went on.

Fox originally intended to air its two new Tuesday-night dramas, “Class of ‘ 96” and “Key West,” on election night, but delayed a scheduled Oct. 27 premiere until December or January to provide more promotion time. It was the first time Fox has aired Tuesday programming.

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