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‘Hospital’ gets well; ABC wins ayem, CBS daytime

The return of Luke and Laura boosted ABC’s “General Hospital” to its highest single-episode rating in more than 21/2 years on Oct. 29, highlighting Nielsen daytime and fringe ratings for the Oct. 25-29 week.

CBS nevertheless ran its daytime win streak to 243 weeks and notched its ninth-consecutive latenight win thanks to “Late Show With David Letterman.”

ABC took the morning crown for the ninth-straight time with “Good Morning America,” while the Fox Children’s Network dominated the Saturday-morning race with record numbers for Saban Entertainment’s “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” and “X-Men.”

The heavily promoted “General Hospital” reunion drew an 8 rating, 27 share last Friday — the show’s biggest number since Feb. 15, 1991. “GH” averaged a 6. 6/23 for the week, ranking second behind CBS’ “Young and the Restless” (8.4/31).

Overall daytime averages were CBS, 6.1/23; ABC, 4.9/18; NBC, 3.0/12. ABC led among women 18-49 with a 3.8 rating, followed by CBS (3.4) and NBC (2.0).

“Late Show” delivered a 6.1/18 from 11:30-midnight to edge “Nightline” (5.6/ 16) and “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” (4.7/13). For their full hours, Letterman and Leno drew a 5.6/19 and 4.0/12, respectively.

Letterman retains a big lead among key demos, including a 3.6 rating last week among women 18-49, to “Tonight’s” 2.3. “Late Night With Conan O’Brien,” meanwhile, posted a 1.6/8, with a 9 share in young-adult demos.

“Good Morning America” (4.4/20) continues to be up compared to the same period last year, leading “Today” (4.0/18) and “CBS This Morning” (2.8/13). The ABC and NBC breakfastcasts tied among adults 18-49, with a 1.7 rating each, to CBS’ 1.0.

Fox’s huge Saturday win, aided in part by sports preemptions on ABC, included the top six programs among kids 2-11, led by “Power Rangers” and “X-Men,” which scored whopping 40 and 35 shares, respectively, in that demo.

Overall averages showed FCN with an 8/28 among children and 3.9/14 in households. CBS (5/18) and ABC (4/14) trailed by substantial margins in terms of both kids and households, where the averages were a 2.8/10 and 2.7/9.

Football dominated weekend sports, with CBS’ early pro game tackling a stellar 17.9/34 last Sunday, while ABC averaged a big 7.9/20 with its college doubleheader.

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