Sweep sorrow for ABC, NBC

Peacock wins households

With three nights of the November sweeps tabulated, preliminary Nielsen results suggest that big declines are coming so far at ABC and NBC.

Those Nielsen prelims also show some marginal progress for the sinking Saturday rookie “Fantasy Island” and Friday’s troubled freshmen “Trinity” on NBC and “Brimstone” on Fox.

In numbers that will be adjusted somewhat by Nielsen, NBC, as expected, leads the sweeps after three nights, with a prelim households average of a 10.0 rating, 17 share (down 6% from last year’s rating at this point), followed by CBS, 8.4/15 (even); Fox, 6.3/11 (up 13%); and ABC, 5.8/10 (down 22%).

In the key adults 18-49 demographic, it’s NBC, 6.5/19 (down 12%); Fox, 4.0/12 (up 3%); CBS, 3.8/12 (up 3%); and ABC, 3.1 /10 (down 14%).

Saturday prelims showed Halloween distractions dropping each of the Big Four to double-digit percentage losses vs. year-ago 18-49 results. Fox edged CBS for first in that demo (3.9/13 vs. 3.5/11) but CBS led easily in homes (7.8/15 vs. Fox’s 6.2/12).

ABC’s “Fantasy Island” (3.5/8 in homes, 2.4/7 in adults 18-49) remains in serious trouble, but was up 14% over its previous-week 18-49 rating, if these prelim numbers hold.

Heated race

In Friday prelims, CBS gave ABC a good scare, using Halloween specials to almost grab the 18-49 win (4.6/15 for ABC, 4.5/15 for CBS).

At 8 p.m., Fox’s second try with “Brimstone” (4.3/8 in homes, 2.6/9 in adults 18-49) improved by a tenth of a point over its unimpressive premiere 18-49 rating last week, but the new drama remains deep in fourth that hour and down 26% from year-ago slot results.

It’s the same story at 9 p.m. for NBC’s “Trinity” (5.7/10 in homes, 2.7/9 in adults 18-49), up 17% over last week’s poor 18-49 numbers, but also still fourth in the slot in adults 18-49, 31% behind NBC’s year-ago results that hour.

An original cast reunion brought best-yet Friday overnights to UPN’s “Love Boat” (3.9/7).

Breaking out

NBC pulled out of a disheartening slump Thursday, crushing the competition with a 17.3/27 in homes and a 13.1/35 in adults 18-49.

That Thursday lineup finished just 9% behind the comparable year-ago 18-49 average, despite the departure of “Seinfeld” and the Peacock’s general loss of momentum.

Fox was a distant second, despite its best Thursday numbers since April 23, thanks to “Magic’s Biggest Secrets Revealed” (9.7/15 in homes, 6.2/16 in adults 18-49).

ABC News notes its coverage of Thursday’s space shuttle launch earned the best ratings in overnight Nielsens, with a 6.3/18 from 1:30-2:30 that afternoon, topping NBC’s 5.7/17 and CBS’ 4.9/14.

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’s measured against only the homes or viewers watching TV during the timeslot involved.

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