'Temptations' belts out winner for Peacock

In the big Sunday showdown between Oprah Winfrey’s ”David & Lisa,” Fox’s ”The Lost World: Jurassic Park” and CBS’ Chuck Norris action pic, viewers were unable to resist NBC’s ”The Temptations.”

Part 1 of ”Temptations” has emerged as the unlikely winner in a big-guns shootout marking the first Sunday of the November sweeps.

ABC’s ”David & Lisa” failed to contend, finishing with barely one-third the 18-49 audience of the comparable year-ago Winfrey pic ”Before Women Had Wings.” Meanwhile, Fox’s ”Lost World” failed to equal that net’s year-ago regular-sked nightlong numbers.

According to preliminary national Nielsens, ”Temptations, Part 1” crooned a 15.0 rating, 23 share in homes and a 9.9/23 in adults 18-49, giving it the second-best homes rating and best 18-49 score of any movie aired on the nets this season, with the possible exception of Fox’s cable-bypassing ”The Lost World: Jurassic Park.”

Due to a football overrun, reliable fast nationals weren’t available for that dinopic, but it appears headed toward the range of a 12.7/18 in homes and a 9.9/22 in adults 18-49. That’ll probably be good enough to win the night in the 18-49 demo, but with numbers that fall far short of the 23.3/36 in homes and 18.4/43 in adults 18-49 earned by the May 7, 1995, broadcast debut of ”Jurassic Park.” These ”Lost World” results probably stand as a disappointment for Fox, given the huge investment the News Corp.-owned net made to get broadcast rights ahead of the pic’s cable exposure.

Doesn’t compare

ABC’s ”David & Lisa” (7.9/12 in homes, 3.8/9 in adults 18-49) also couldn’t approach comparable earlier programming, such as predecessor Winfrey pics ”The Wedding” (16.2/25 in homes, 8.8/21 in adults 18-49 last February) and ”Before Women Had Wings” (18.7/27 in homes, 11.2/23 in adults 18-49 November 1997).

Sunday’s CBS Chuck Norris pic ”Logan’s War” (11.4/17 in homes, 4.9/11 in adults 18-49) also got beat up by ”The Temptations.”

Based on Nov. 1 prelim results, ”Temptations” belted out a 34% increase in adults 18-49 over the comparable year-ago NBC movie, ”House of Frankenstein, Part 1” (8.7/13 in homes, 7.4/15 in adults 18-49).

These top-of-the-chart ”Temptations” numbers rep a major turnaround for NBC and its longform department. It’s been a rocky fall for the Peacock, with no film prior to ”Temptations” generating anything better than a 6.1/15 in adults 18-49 (”Goldeneye,” Sept. 27) and only one previous NBC movie winning its slot in that demo (the previous week’s ”Thirst”).

Other problems across the NBC sked had just a week earlier dropped the Peacock into fourth place in households for week, a particular embarrassment coming just as NBC was changing entertainment division heads.

Sweeping start

Now with this ”Temptations” success, NBC is off to a comfortable lead four nights into the November sweeps, and, based on prelim weekend results, appears headed to an easy households victory in Oct. 26-Nov. 1 weeklong results (though Fox is in position to possibly steal the week in adults 18-49).

Based on weekend prelims, NBC is running roughly even with its year-ago 18-49 sweeps results after four nights, while CBS is up by about 5%, Fox is down slightly and ABC is way off, trailing year-ago 18-49 results by about 40%.

An ABC highlight was Sunday’s web debut of the live-action ”101 Dalmatians” (9.5/14 in homes, 5.7/14 in adults 18-49), the top Disney pic 18-49 rating since ”The Santa Clause” in November 1997.

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