NBC HOLDS ONTO 1ST IN ROUND 1 OF SWEEPS

As the first week of May sweeps drew to a close Wednesday, CBS, Fox and ABC had good news in demos, while NBC will have to wait for its big guns, including “Invasion” and “The Odyssey.”

Through Tuesday, Nielsen has NBC in first place in households with a 10.6/18, which is off 17% from last year’s May sweeps at this time. CBS’ 10.5/18 is a 1% gain, while ABC’s 8.4/14 is off 6%. Fox is averaging a 7.8/13, up 13%.

In the key adults 18-49 demos, NBC is in first with a 6.8 rating. However, that is a 21% drop from the first six days of sweeps last year, when the Peacock had already aired “The Beast” and was averaging an 8.6 rating. CBS is in second with a 4.6, up 7%. Even ABC, which has had somewhat disappointing results so far this sweeps, is up 8% in adults 18-49 to a 5.5 rating, which ties it with Fox, which is up 15% compared with the first six days of last year’s May sweeps.

In adults 25-54, NBC is again way out in front with a 7.2 rating, but again is off 21% from last May. Look for those numbers to improve as sweeps progress. ABC is in second in adults 25-54 with a 5.9 rating, up 5%, and CBS is in third with a 4% increase to a 5.5. Fox is up 13% to a 5.4.

Tuesday night was fairly lackluster for the webs. ABC squeaked out a win with a 10.9/18 in households; it also won adults 18-49. However, in its third and final outing this season, “Soul Man” averaged a 9.5/16, off from its average of 11.1/19. It wasn’t helped by an 8 p.m. lead-in repeat of “Home Improvement,” which averaged an 8.7/15. At 9:30 p.m., “Spin City’s” 10.1/15 was its lowest rating to date for an original.

NBC finished second with a 10.2/15, although “Something So Right” (7.8/13) lost four share points from its “Mad About You” lead-in. An hourlong episode of “Frasier” averaged an 11.2/17. CBS averaged a 9.1/15.

Fox’s premiere of “The Mask” averaged a 9.4/16, well above Fox’s season average of 6.9/11 for its Tuesday-night movies.

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