’20’ bigger than ’60’

NEW YORK — ABC’s “20/20” bested “60 Minutes” as the top-rated newsmag during the February sweeps, but the venerable CBS program maintains a comfortable season-long margin.

During the four Fridays it aired last month, “20/20” earned an average 13.9 household rating and 25 share, compared with a 13.4/23 for “60 Minutes.” In total viewers, “20/20” led by about half a million, marking the first time “60” has finished second among newsmagazines during a February sweeps. ABC’s “Prime Time Live” came in third, followed by the Tuesday and Friday editions of “Dateline NBC.”

But “60 Minutes” remains tops for the season to date, with a 13.4/22 vs. “20/20’s” 12.9/23, and ABC’s February win was aided by heavily promoted interviews by Barbara Walters of Elizabeth Taylor and Mia Farrow.

Six of the 12 segments aired on “60 Minutes” were foreign stories, and the second half-hour of the Feb. 23 installment was preempted by NBC’s top-rated “Schindler’s List.”

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