For the first time, KTTV won the primetime race in adults, men and women in all three key demographic categories while also pacing early fringe and prime access in the Nielsen demo ratings for May sweeps in the Los Angeles metro area.

The Fox-owned station essentially controlled the market weekdays from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. in the survey, with only Spanish-language KMEX putting up much of a fight. It was, across the board, the most dominant sweeps demo performance in the station’s history.

KTTV’s barrage began at 6 with “Home Improvement,” which tallied 4 ratings in adults, women and men 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54, putting it ahead of all three network O&O newscasts. At 6:30, “The Simpsons” was No. 1 in the key demos and posted a whopping 96% gain in adults 18-49 year-to-year.

The carnage continued into the access hour at 7 p.m., with the second run of “Home Improvement” smashing everything in sight in every demo — rising 79% in adults 18-34, 49% in adults 18-49 and 32% in adults 25-54 over May ’96.

Then at 7:30, “The Simpsons” plastered the competition, ranking at the top in all categories and increasing its audience by an average of about 33% in every adult, male and female demo category. Its 7 rating in adults 18-34 was better than “Seinfeld” and “Roseanne” combined.

In prime, KTTV topped the market across the board, growing 20% with adults 18-34, 18% with adults 18-49 and 16% in adults 25-54. The spillover from prime helped “Fox News at 10″ to another resounding demo victory, sweeping the adults/men/women 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54 categories and posting gains all around.

The station even did solid business with its morning tandem of “The Fox Morning News” and “Good Day LA.,” with both shows powering up to No. 2 for the first time and “Good Day” knocking off both “Today” and “Good Morning America,” also for the first time.

“Good Day LA” rose 100% in adults 18-49 and 25-54 and 160% year-to-year in adults 18-34 to narrow the gap with perennial market leader “The KTLA Morning News.”

As an exclamation point, KTTV’s 11:30 p.m. “MASH” rerun managed to knock off “Late Show With David Letterman” in every key adult, male and female demo.

Also enjoying an impressive May was KMEX, which boasted the city’s best evening news demo numbers —outdelivering all three English-language network O&Os at 6 p.m. and the two network newscasts at 6:30 p.m. for the fifth consecutive major sweeps period.

The station’s Spanish-language soap “Luz Clarita” was also a strong second to KTTV during the prime access hour, topping “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy!” in adults, men and women 18-34 and 18-49. Then at 11 p.m., KMEX’s news upended the three O&Os in adults 18-34.

KNBC continued to lay claim to most primary demos in the 11 p.m. news race, scoring wins in adults, men and women 18-49 and 25-54 and showing 17% year-to-year growth in women 25-54 while both KABC (-17%) and KCBS (-25%) registered declines.

But the station’s most dramatic demo improvement came in the performance of “Rosie O’Donnell” at 3 p.m. O’Donnell tied “Oprah Winfrey” in adults and men 18-49 and 25-54 and rang up huge gains in women 25-54, rising from a 1 rating in May ’96 to a 4 in May ’97 for a 300% jump. Rosie now ranks just a single rating point behind Oprah (5 to 4) in women 18-49 and 25-54, both shows’ core audience.

The “Rosie” numbers helped propel KNBC to large gains in women, jumping 200% among women 18-49 and 50% with women 25-54 as well as 100% with adults 18-49. It pulled the station into a tie in several demo categories with KABC.

KABC weathered the storm to rebound at 5 p.m. to remain relatively flat in the key demos with its May ’96 figures.

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