'Shoot Me' builds on 'Friends'

The CBS Friday vidpic “Dallas: War of the Ewings” has come up dry, pumping out a mere 7.8 rating, 14 share in homes and a 4.3/12 in adults 25-54, according to preliminary nationals from Nielsen Media Research.

That’s up 10% from CBS’ week-earlier 25-54 average in the slot with “Unsolved Mysteries” and “Nash Bridges,” but a disappointment for a film that could have been CBS’ first big gun of the May sweeps.

“War of the Ewings,” in fact, fell 42% in homes and 46% in adults 25-54 vs. a previous “Dallas” reunion pic aired Nov. 15, 1996 (13.4/22 in homes, 7.9/20 in adults 25-54, CBS’ target demo). That earlier “Dallas” telefilm, “J.R. Returns,” easily won its slot in both measures, but “War of the Ewings” was third in both.

Friday’s results could be adjusted considerably when Nielsen updates them Monday, but it’s unlikely “Ewings” will come much closer to meeting expectations.

NBC made things a little tougher for the “Dallas” pic by airing a competing drama, “Law & Order” (8.4/15 in homes, 4.0/13 in adults 18-49, NBC’s target demo) in the 9-10 p.m. hour, though “Law” fell a bit short of slot averages there for regular “Dateline NBC.”

ABC won Friday in adults 18-49 while NBC led in homes.

NBC started the sweeps Thursday with its usual dominating victory, averaging a 19.3/31 in homes and a 15.2/40 in adults 18-49. The best news came at 8:30, where “Just Shoot Me” built on its 18-49 lead-in by 4%, the biggest build ever by regular programming in that slot behind a firstrun “Friends.”

ABC stumbled right from the start of the sweeps, as Thursday’s “Champions on Ice” skatecast (5.4/9) fell 39% below ABC’s year ago 18-49 marks for that sweeps’ opening night. ABC also slipped 9 shares behind Fox for the night in adults 18-49. ABC and Fox are fighting down to the wire to see who finishes second this season in the key 18-49 demo.

NBC had skating problems of its own Saturday. Preliminary Nielsens show the Peacock’s three-hour “Ultimate Four” skatecast managing just a third-place 5.6/11 in homes and a fourth-place 2.3/7 in adults 18-49. That 18-49 score is barely half the 4.2/15 18-49 average of NBC’s last regular-sked Saturday and it’s the Peacock’s lowest for an in-season Saturday since March 2, 1996.

Fox easily won Saturday in adults 18-49 with a 4.0/14 while CBS’ 7.0/14 led in homes.

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