NBC scores another easy demo victory

NBC has extended its summer dominance of the primetime Nielsens in July 21-27 results, achieving its highest rating in five weeks and finishing first or second every night of the week in the important adults 18-49 demographic.

The NBC winning streak largely reflects the Peacock’s ongoing Thursday strength, as well as its summer dominance of Mondays and Tuesdays, both keyed by “Dateline NBC.”

CBS slipped last week to its lowest rating ever in a week not disrupted by the July 4 holiday, political conventions or the Olympics. The worst-rated “Dr. Quinn” ever on Saturday contributed to the CBS slippage.

The week’s adults 18-49 averages were: NBC, a 4.5 rating, 15 share (down in rating by 69% vs. results for the same week last year, when NBC aired the Summer Olympics); ABC, 3.4/11 (up 10%); Fox, 3.2/11 (up 39%); CBS, 2.8/9 (up 12%); UPN, 1.6/5 (up 60%); WB, 1.1/3 (even). NBC has won this demo 25 of the past 26 weeks, losing only Oscar week to ABC.

Counting only the 15 hours programmed by Fox, that network rose to second place in adults 18-49 last week. For the rerun season, Fox is up by 11% vs. year-ago 18-49 results and is the only established net to show gains in that comparison.

Monday

The Fox reality special “UFOs: The Best Evidence Ever Caught On Tape” won its hour by 3 shares among adults 18-49, leading Fox to an upset win in that demo on Monday, July 28. It’s the first time in the six weeks NBC has aired its Monday sitcom schedule that the Peacock has lost the night in that demo.

ABC took July 28 in homes with the vidpic “Lies of the Heart” (8.9/16), the Alphabet’s highest-rated Monday movie in 12 weeks.

Fox’s “Roar” (5.4/9) slipped to third for its hour in adults 18-49 behind NBC and ABC reruns, off by 10% from last Monday’s 18-49 results. “Roar” did, however, improve by 8% in homes.

In the battle of sitcom lineups, NBC’s foursome (an average 6.0/11 in homes, 3.8/12 in adults 18-49) prevailed by 2 shares in adults 18-49 while CBS’ quartet (6.4/12 and 3.0/10) was 1 share better in homes.

Sunday

Fox maintained its Sunday lead in adults 18-49, winning the four half-hours from 8-10 p.m. CBS led in homes, but tied for second in adults 25-54 and tied for third in adults 18-49.

The Eye’s “In the Best of Families” earned the highest first-episode households rating among the five rerun multiple-parters aired on the nets so far this summer, but just the third-highest in adults 18-49.

Saturday

Fox swept its four half-hours in adults 18-49. CBS won the night in homes but was last in the 18-49 demo.

The Eye’s “Dr. Quinn,” which has always underperformed in the summer, collapsed last week, landing fourth its hour in homes with its lowest rating ever. In fact, the venerable Jane Seymour drama was fourth among women 25-54, an astonishing defeat in “Quinn’s” strongest saleable demo. For the rerun season to date, though, “Quinn” is down a fairly routine 6% vs. year-ago household figures.

ABC’s “The Practice” filed respectable numbers in the courtroom drama’s first try in its planned fall slot, just 2 shares out of first in adults 18-49. It was also ABC’s best performance that hour with series programming in 11 tries.

Friday

ABC’s “20/20” won another Friday for the Alphabet, exactly doubling the household results of its closest pursuer, “Nash Bridges.”

NBC’s “Homicide,” which has never rerun well, returned to the sked with its lowest rating ever and NBC’s worst in that slot on a non-July 4 Friday since Jan. 1, 1993 (Orange Bowl).

Thursday

NBC ruled Thursday, as usual. ABC’s “Politically Incorrect,” is looking increasingly incorrect for primetime. Last week, trying the 9-10 p.m. hour, “Incorrect” tumbled to ABC’s worst rating in that slot in the ’90s and probably ever.

Wednesday

ABC kept ahead in adults 18-49, but NBC’s switch from sitcoms to a movie put the Peacock ahead in households for the first time on a Wednesday since the NBA Playoffs. NBC’s film “Lying Eyes” topped the Wednesday sitcom lineup’s 18-49 average for its last three tries by 15%.

A weary-looking “Murphy Brown” joined CBS’ Wednesday sked in its planned fall slot, dropping 16% of its adults 25-54 lead-in from “The Nanny” while audiences increased on all three competing webs. Still, that’s CBS second-best retention in the slot in eight weeks. From 9-11 p.m., CBS’ “Coast to Coast” and “Before Your Eyes” matched the 18-49 rating of the previous four week’s “Wayback Wednesday” films in that time period.

Tuesday

NBC increased its Tuesday dominance of ABC this summer, outscoring the Alphabet’s lineup for a 10th week in a row in adults 18-49. It was also NBC’s biggest Tuesday margin over ABC with all regular programming in place in the nearly 10-year history of peoplemeter measurement.

Monday

“Dateline” kept NBC first on Monday, July 21 (Daily Variety, July 23).

Each rating point represents an estimated 970,000 households, or 1% of the country’s TV homes. The share is the same sort of percentage, except that it’s measured against only the households in which TV is being watched during the timeslot involved.

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