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Olympics help CBS fringe rates

CBS Winter Olympics ratings gold carried over into daytime and fringe periods , according to Nielsen figures for Feb. 14-18, the web’s first full week of coverage.

Boosted by the Olympian lead-in, “Late Show With David Letterman” scored its best rating since premiere week, while the CBS morning program easily topped ABC and NBC’s breakfastcasts. The Eye web’s regular daytime lineup also notched its 259th consecutive weekly win, moving within one week of five full years as the top-rated daytime network.

The only daypart not significantly affected by the Olympics, in fact, was Saturday morning, where the Fox Children’s Network capitalized on CBS preemptions to capture another huge share among kids in the age 2-11 demographic.

“Late Show” delivered a 7.6 rating, 25 share — a performance topped only by the 7.8/25 the show averaged during its Aug. 30 premiere week. Not surprisingly, numbers were down for both “Nightline” (4.8/13) and “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” (3.9/12).

The Eye web’s Olympic latenight show, hosted by Pat O’Brien, also put up solid numbers with a 3.8/20, compared to a 1.7/9 for “Late Night With Conan O’Brien.”

The morning show earned some exposure for CBS’ regular “CBS This Morning” anchor duo of Harry Smith and Paula Zahn, rolling a 5.8/24 to top both “Good Morning America” (4.2/17) and “Today” (4.0/16).

Daytime averages were CBS, 6.3/23; ABC, 4.6/16; NBC, 2.9/11. ABC did tie CBS among women 18-49, where each averaged a 3.6 rating, compared to NBC’s 2.2. The Peacock web’s talk block is clearly dragging, with “Leeza” (1.6/7) and “Jane Whitney” (1.0/4) bringing up the rear of the daytime standings.

The only time period to elude CBS, in fact, was Saturday morning, as the Fox Children’s Network equaled the combined average of CBS (4.8) and ABC (3.8) among kids. FCN pulled in a huge 8.6 rating in the children’s demographic, posting the top seven shows, led by “X-Men.” Household averages were Fox, 3.9/14; CBS, 2.8/ 11; ABC, 2.3/10. NBC also recorded its highest rating (3.1) among its target teen demographic since early November.

CBS weekend afternoon Olympic coverage peaked on Feb. 20, drawing a 13.3/30, comparable to figures for a weekend NFL telecast.

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