CBS left NBC, ABC and Fox sleeping with the fishes Sunday night when part one of its three-night mob miniseries “Mario Puzo’s The Last Don” blew away the Nielsen competition with an overnight 18.5 rating/28 share in the 37 metered markets.
That made “The Last Don’s” opener the highest-rated first installment of a CBS mini since “Scarlett” pulled a 21.0/31 on Nov. 13, 1994. However, the Danny Aiello-starrer ranked behind part one of NBC’s “Asteroid” (19.5/28).
The mini dominated the first night of the four-hour ABC mini remake of “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea,” which tallied a scant 8.2/12 in the overnights, and NBC’s airing of the feature “Timecop” (8.9/14) — with “Last Don” eclipsing the two combined.
Fox fared best opposite the CBS mob opera with “The X-Files,” which chalked up a 19 share for a distant second.
CBS estimates that 36 million viewers saw some part of “Last Don” on Sunday. In tandem with “60 Minutes” (13.5/26) and “Touched By an Angel” (14.4/23), it propelled CBS to its highest Sunday overnight numbers of the season — a 16.2/26 for the night.
NBC took second overall for the night with a 9.8/16, with Fox nosing out hapless ABC for third with an 8.7/14 to the Alphabet web’s 7.4/12.