Fox tops Monday night with ‘Die Hard’ rerun

The unlikely combo of baseball’s All-Star Game and the rerun film “K-9” led CBS to its easiest primetime Nielsens weeklong win since March 22-28.

Meanwhile, Fox Broadcasting Co. is out of the gate first this week, winning Monday with its highest film rating ever, a 10.7 from the third run of Bruce Willis’ “Die Hard.”

CBS breezed through the July 12-18 week, as the baseball All-Star Game clubbed the Eye’s best Tuesday share since “Queen” aired Feb. 16, and “K-9” equaled the net’s best non-sports Saturday 9-11 p.m. share in the nearly 5 1/2 years since Jan. 23, 1988 (“A Country Music Celebration”).

CBS even won the week among adults 18-49, something it hadn’t accomplished since March 22-28. The weeklong averages were: CBS, 5.0 rating, 16 share; ABC, 4 .7/15; NBC, 4.4/14; Fox, 3.6/12.

The evening news race didn’t turn out as well for CBS, with the Dan Rather-Connie Chung broadcast slipping deeper into last place, due in part to some disruptions for the All-Star Game. Compared to the same week a year ago, CBS’ newscast was up a modest 4%, while NBC’s had surged by 12% and ABC’s by 15 %.

And compared with the first week of the Rather-Chung teamup, May 31-June 4, CBS was down last week by 9%, while NBC was up by 20% and ABC by 4%. CBS News officials said earlier this week that they’re unconcerned about the slide, but the news has brought up the rear for three consecutive weeks.

The nets traditionally have made little fuss over the July sweeps, but programming has been somewhat aggressive this July, and CBS is touting its wide lead in that heretofore unheralded competition.

After 12 days of the Arbitron period, net averages are CBS, 9.8/19; ABC, 8.6/ 16; NBC, 8.0/15. After 11 days of the Nielsen period it’s CBS, 9.8/19; ABC, 8.4/ 16; NBC, 7.8/15.

“Die Hard” gave Fox a rare Monday win this week, its first ever without the help of political-convention coverage on the competition. “Die Hard’s” 10.7/18 reps Fox’s best film numbers ever, breaking the previous record set by “Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead” (10.3/15) last Feb. 21.

ABC actually equaled Fox’s nightlong rating this Monday but couldn’t keep up during the five half-hours head-to-head with “DieHard.” ABC also ended the night 8 shares behind among adults 18-49.

ABC was competitive thanks to the second part of its “Thorn Birds” rerun (11. 7/20), which equaled ABC’s best Monday 9-11 p.m. share since May 10. Sunday’s first part ran second in households, third among adults 18-49.

Also on Monday, NBC’s all-sitcom lineup, two each of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,””Blossom” and “Mad About You,” equaled NBC’s worst Monday share (15) since last August’s Republican National Convention. But it still beat CBS’ fourth-place lineup and finished second for the night among adults 18-49.

Sunday

CBS capped its easy July 12-18 weeklong win with a Sunday sweep and a victory among adults 18-49.

NBC stayed third for the night, though its extra “I Witness Video” in the 7 p.m. hour (its fall time period) equaled the net’s best non-sports, non-“Cheers” share in that slot since last Dec. 27.

Saturday

CBS enjoyed its highest Saturday nightlong share since May 22, thanks to “K-9 .” Even better, a young audience followed “K-9” home, giving CBS a rare Saturday adults 18-49 victory.

NBC finished second in households by reactivating “Super Bloopers,” which grabbed NBC’s best share that hour since the first run of the “Bloopers” hour May 15. The last time something on NBC besides “Bloopers” did better than last week’s 15 share in that slot was Dec. 19 (the Bob Hope Christmas spec).

Friday

ABC, buoyed by the best “20/20” share since April 9, won Friday by 10 shares. Fox was easily second among adults 18-49, topping the listless NBC and CBS lineups by 4 shares each in that demo. NBC’s return of the ’89-90 series “Mancuso FBI” skewed old but captured the Peacock’s best share in the 8 p.m. Friday hour in four weeks.

ABC’s reunion tour of “Perfect Strangers” slid back to fairly average slot levels, losing 4% of its “Dinosaurs” lead-in rating after having enjoyed a 5% improvement the previous week.

“Brooklyn Bridge” is still taking its toll on CBS’ ratings averages, bringing the web its steepest Friday 8:30-9 p.m. dropoff since Sept. 11.

Thursday

NBC still leads by 3 shares among adults 18-49, but in households ABC is solidifying its lead, thanks mostly to “PrimeTime Live,” which achieved its highest share since March 11 last week.

Wednesday

ABC breezed in adults 18-49, winning the night by 5 shares (though the “Buddies” pilot dropped 27% off its “Home Improvement” lead-in, ABC’s shakiest perf in that slot since Nov. 11). “Improvement” was the week’s top-rated program for the fourth week in a row.

NBC prevailed in households with the best “Unsolved Mysteries” share since Feb. 3.

CBS’ “Johnny Bago” got creamed in a special Wednesday 9-10 p.m. showing. CBS hasn’t earned a worse share that hour in at least 11 years. (“Bago” skews younger than CBS’ usual fare.)

Tuesday

CBS’ All-Star Game coverage improved on its year-ago score by 5%; it still rated second-worst for the summer showcase since 1969 (15.1/42, the last year the game was televised during the daytime). NBC counterprogrammed effectively with Danielle Steel telefilm rerun “Kaleidoscope,” which was the Peacock’s best for that slot in the nine weeks since May 11’s “Academy of Country Music Awards.”

Monday

Fox won among adults 18-49 with “Weekend at Bernie’s,” while CBS won in households with the first slot wins since May 3 for “Love and War” and “Northern Exposure” (Daily Variety, July 14).

Each rating point represents an estimated 931,000 households, or 1% of the country’s TV homes. The share is the same sort of percentage, except that it’s measured against only the households watching TV during the timeslot involved.

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