‘Miss America’ ratings tumble

Fox's Friday sitcoms take beating

Miss America, your ratings tiara is slipping.

Saturday’s “Miss America Pageant” on ABC attracted a 10.3/18 in Nielsen’s 40 metered markets, repping a steep 20% decline from last year’s overnights.

Meanwhile, “Frasier” has taken over the “Seinfeld” timeslot with credible but uninspiring results, and Fox’s Friday sitcoms have taken a ratings pummeling as well.

“Frasier” moved into the “Seinfeld” half-hour last Thursday and averaged a national Nielsen 12.2 rating, 20 share in homes and an 8.9/25 in adults 18-49 with a rerun episode. Those figures dropped from NBC’s 8:30-9 p.m. results (with a rerun of the “Friends” season finale), marking the first time in more than six years that an NBC series in that slot has failed to build on Nielsens from the previous half-hour.

In Friday overnights, Fox’s “Living in Captivity” (a composite 3.5/6 in the metered markets) dropped 17% from its poor previous-week premiere rating and 8:30’s “Getting Personal” (3.6/7, down 20%) followed suit despite mostly rerun competition, putting those shows in immediate danger of being yanked from the sked.

In Thursday nationals, NBC entered the post-“Seinfeld” era with a 5-share win in homes and a 9-share victory in adults 18-49, managing scores of 11.3/19 and 8.2/24, respectively.

Compared with the same Thursday last year, NBC’s “Seinfeld”-less lineup was down 16% in homes and 15% in adults 18-49; this year’s lineup included a one-hour “Friends” rerun (11.5/20 in homes) and two “Frasier” reruns (12.2/20 and 12.0/19 in homes). More momentum may be lost when rookie “Jesse” and sophomore sitcom “Veronica’s Closet” join that sked this week, but NBC’s Thursday lead still looks safe.

” ‘Frasier’s” failure to equal NBC’s 8:30-9 p.m. rating is a first for the Peacock in the Thursday 9 p.m. slot since April 30, 1992, when the “Cosby” finale led into “Cheers.” Not once in its four seasons in that 9-9:30 slot did “Seinfeld” fail to build on its lead-in from the 8:30-9 p.m. half-hour.

The Peacock faced some feisty competition that night, as the premiere of ABC’s Thursday movie, a fifth network run of “Lethal Weapon 3” (8.1/14 in homes, 4.9/15 in adults 18-49), earned the Alphabet’s best Thursday 18-49 average since New Year’s Day college football coverage.

At 10 p.m., the season premiere of CBS’ “48 Hours” (10.0/18 in homes, 4.0/12 in adults 18-49) equaled its best Thursday homes rating of the past 15 months.

Sept. 17 results also featured the WB’s first-ever Thursday network lineup, which averaged an okay 2.4/4. Key WB affil WGN in Chicago bumped that lineup to 11 p.m. for baseball and news. Last year, a similar WB urban-sitcom sked premiered as an established Wednesday lineup with a 2.9/5.

Past WB inaugural-night results have been: for Wednesdays, 1.9/3; for Sundays, 2.0/4; for Mondays, 2.8/5; and for Tues-days, 5.0/8.

Each household rating point represents an estimated 994,000 homes, or 1% of the country’s TV households. Each adults 18-49 rating point reps 1.239 million viewers, 1% of the U.S. total. A share is the same sort of percentage, except it measures only the homes or viewers watching TV during the timeslot involved. Nielsen’s 40 metered markets cover 60% of the country.

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