CBS takes weak week

CBS has survived Labor Day viewer defections and shaky new-series performances to squeeze out a primetime Nielsens win for the Aug. 30-Sept. 5 week, the net’s seventh win in nine weeks (including a tie).

ABC continues to dominate in adults 18-49, now having won that demographic seven weeks in a row. ABC also finished a close second in households last week despite giving up three hours of its weekend schedule to low-rated public-affairs programming.

The week’s adults 18-49 averages were: ABC, a 5.3 rating, 17 share; NBC, 4.6/ 14; CBS, 4.5/14; Fox, 3.9/12.

The most impressive premiere of the week belonged to NBC’s “John Larroquette Show,” which hit the highest rating yet for a ’93-94 rookie in a special showing last Thursday, and then joined the Tuesday schedule this week with a 12.5/20.

The Tuesday “Larroquette” score gives NBC its closest finish in that slot behind “Roseanne” (15.7/23) using regular programming since Aug. 6, 1991 (with “In the Heat of the Night”).

At 9:30, NBC lost some momentum with “The Second Half” (10.9/17), which premiered against a special “Roseanne” rerun (15.7/25).

NBC’s night also saw an unimpressive “Saved by the Bell” rerun (7.1/12) lose 12% compared to last week’s “Bell” numbers, while Fox’s second Tuesday “Roc” (5. 9/10) improved by 4% on its rating last week.

On Monday of the current week, ABC kicked off the ’93 edition of “Monday Night Football” (20.7/36) with the second-highest rating for that series since Dec. 3, 1990.

Numbers were down across the board this night due to the Labor Day holiday and telethon preemptions, but CBS breezed in households, while Fox finished just a share behind among adults18-49. Fox’s premiere of “Daddy Dearest” has started a little slowly, holding onto just 76% of its “Married … With Children” lead-in. That’s Fox’s second-weakest perf in the post-“Married” slot since March 28.

The weblet’s previously high-flying “Martin” and “Living Single” lost lots of audience to the holiday, but still led that 8-9 p.m. hour among adults 18-49.


Fox led in adults 18-49 while CBS swept the night in households.

The Eye’s “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman” won its hour in households for the first time in six weeks and the “Gunsmoke” vidpic earned CBS’ second-highest Saturday 9-11 p.m. share in the 17 weeks since “Gunsmoke” last filled the Saturday-night air.


ABC romped on Friday, equaling its second-highest Friday rating in 17 weeks and winning the night by 8 shares among adults 18-49.

Fox’s “Brisco County Jr.” slowed by 19% in its second try in the 8-9 p.m. hour, putting it a full 2 rating points below what “America’s Most Wanted” averaged in the slot last season.

NBC roused strong viewer interest with “The Awakening Land,” which rose to the Peacock’s best Friday 8-10 p.m. share since the NBA playoffs.


NBC led in adults 18-49, though its special 10-11 p.m. sitcoms lost the night in households to ABC.

A 9:30-10 p.m. preview of “The John Larroquette Show” scored big — the highest rating so far for a new fall series, as well as NBC’s highest premiere numbers since “I’ll Fly Away” soared to a 15.4/24 Oct. 7, 1991.

NBC also got its first Thursday slot winfrom “Mad About You,” and “Wings” climbed to its highest rating since that series went into summer reruns. CBS continues to flutter at 10 p.m. with “Angel Falls,” last week plunging 19% below its unimpressive previous-week premiere numbers.

ABC won the night in households due in part to the “Crash Landing” rerun telefilm, which equaled ABC’s best Thursday 8-10 p.m. share in 11 weeks.


NBC won easily in households (its easiest Wednesday win with regular programming since April 15, 1992), but ABC still takes the night among adults 18 -49.

CBS’ new fall entry “The Trouble With Larry” improved in rating by 7% over its weak premiere but “Larry” is still short of survival ratings levels.

NBC’s Brokaw-Couric news mag “Now” isn’t particularly strong in young-adult demos (a 14 share among adults 18-49 last week), but in households it’s given NBC its first three-week string of 20 shares (or better) from regular programming in the slot in more than three years.

ABC’s two extra helpings of “The Commish” last week served up mixed numbers. Wednesday’s episode equaled ABC’s lowest share that hour in five weeks, while Tuesday’s captured ABC’s second-best slot share in five weeks.


The nets got an advance peek at what the night’s 8-8:30 fall competition might shape up like, as all four regular combatants were repped in some form for the first time.

The results from a rerun “Saved by the Bell” vidpic and the arrival of “Roc” on the night suggest those new Tuesday entries will make things tougher for ABC’s youth-appeal lineup.

Against the new competition, ABC last week got its worst Tuesday 8-8:30 p.m. share from regular programming in nine years.

Then the 8:30-9 p.m. share was ABC’s worst from regular programming in at least 11 years and possibly ever.

The prime benefactor of these developments looks to be CBS’ “Rescue 911,” which took advantage of the splintered kids audience to earn the most convincing “Rescue” timeslot win since Jan. 1, 1991. And “Rescue” did it with plenty of young adults, pulling

ut a slot-dominating 21 share among adults 18-49.

Fox could do no better than fourth with the season premiere of “Roc,” but the new Tuesday arrival did manage to equal Fox’s highest share ever in that slot.

And the 9-10 p.m. season premiere of “America’s Most Wanted” also set Fox slot records for rating and share.,

“Saved by the Bell” topped the combined teen scores of the three competing services.


ABC’s two-hour preview of “Missing Persons” narrowly won its slot and the night against mostly rerun competition (Daily Variety, Sept. 1). “Day One” also contributed its highest rating since June 21.

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