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NBC ‘Sunset’ shines

Soap beats 'Port' for 1st time in key demo

NBC’s way-out-there sudser “Sunset Beach” continues to pick up ratings momentum, last week surging to its best Nielsen numbers since the show’s January 1997 premiere.

The Aaron Spelling-produced soap attracted 2.58 million viewers for the week of Aug.10-14, up 13% from the same week a year ago. More significantly, “Sunset” also outshined another fledgling sudser, ABC’s “Port Charles,” in women 18-49 — the first time that’s happened since “Port” bowed in June 1997.

“Sunset’s” rise comes as the show’s producers continue to churn out storylines –such as tidal waves and helicopter rescues — which are well beyond over-the-top, even by zany daytime standards. NBC plans to give the show a promo push by airing a primetime seg Aug. 28 at 8 p.m.

ABC big with women

Overall, ABC’s daytime dramas still ranked first among the key women 18-49 demo for the week, snagging a 2.5/18. CBS (2.4/18) finished second, followed by NBC (2.2/17). In total viewers, the Eye easily won the week with an average audience of 5.94 million viewers, while NBC ranked second with 3.85 million sets of eyeballs and ABC slipped to a rare third-place showing, attracting only 3.59 million viewers.

Daytime viewing may have been impacted by live coverage Aug. 13 of a memorial service for American’s killed in the recent terrorist embassy bombing.

In other fringe ratings news, NBC’s “Today” racked up its 138th consecutive ratings win, attracting 5.51 million viewers. That’s more than ABC’s “Good Morning America” (2.84 million) and CBS’ “This Morning” (2.53 million) combined.

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