NBC's ''60s' sweeps net to the top

“The ’60s” has given NBC a warm, nostalgic flashback to the kind of dominance the Peacock enjoyed over the previous three seasons.

Though less than a blockbuster, “The ’60s” has earned the season’s highest 18-49 average for a multiple-parter, enough to put NBC a full ratings point ahead of the Feb. 1-7 primetime Nielsens competition and still further ahead in averages for the first five nights of the February sweeps.

On Monday of this week, part two of “The ’60s” faded to a 13.4 rating, 21 share in homes and a 10.0/24 in adults 18-49, but that 10.0 is still the second-best 18-49 rating for any net movie or multiple-parter since April’s “Merlin,” trailing only “The ’60s, Part 1.”

Family fare

Over its two nights, the retro family drama has averaged a 14.3/22 in homes — second among this season’s multiple-parters, behind November’s “Temptations” (14.5/22) — and a 10.7/25 in adults 18-49 — highest for a net multi since “Merlin.”

Through Monday of this week, five-nights into the four-week February sweeps, NBC leads adults 18-49 averages with a 7.4 rating, 20 share (up in rating by 6% vs. results for the same period last year), followed by Fox, 5.7/15 (down 8%); ABC, 4.3/11 (up 13%); and CBS, 3.8/10 (down 48% from its year-ago Olympics-boosted numbers).

In households, it’s NBC, 10.9/18 (up 5%); CBS, 9.6/15 (down 35%); and ABC, 7.4/12 (up 10%) tied with Fox, 7.4/12 (down 9%).

Peacock power

With “The ’60s” on its side, NBC finished the Feb. 1-7 week with its second-best rating and second biggest lead of the season to date, behind only the figures earned the week of the Golden Globes.

Adults 18-49 averages for the Feb. 1-7 week were NBC, 6.3/17 (down 11%); Fox, 5.3/14 (down 12%); ABC, 4.8/13 (up 4%); CBS, 3.8/10 (down 33%); WB, 1.8/5 (even); UPN, 1.3/3 (even); Pax TV, a 0.3 rating.

Monday

“The ’60s” mellowed considerably on Feb. 8, down 11% in homes and 13% in adults 18-49 from “The ’60s” rowdier Sunday homes rating. That was still strong enough to lead NBC to a nightlong 4-share win in homes over CBS and a 5-share win in adults 18-49 over Fox.

The WB’s “7th Heaven” stole the night’s headlines with that netlet’s best numbers ever.

Against “The ’60s,” CBS heavyweight “Everybody Loves Raymond” (10.2/15 in homes, 4.9/11 in adults 18-49) dropped 5 shares in adults 18-49 vs. last week.

ABC remains fourth on Mondays in adults 18-49 with its new combo of “20/20″ (8.9/13 in homes, 3.9/10 in adults 18-49) and a movie (“Courage Under Fire,” 7.1/11 in homes, 3.5/9 in adults 18-49).

Sunday

“The ’60s, Part 1″ earned the season’s best movie or multiple-parter ratings in adults 18-49 and 25-54, as well as teens and total viewers.

CBS’ 7-9 p.m. strength kept that net first for the night in homes.

It was a big night for decade-themed fare, with Fox’s “That ’70s Show” achieving its highest homes rating to date.

ABC scored a moral victory by equaling its year-ago homes rating with the Pro Bowl. That NFL all-star contest had suffered falloffs of 13%, 17% and 7% the previous three years.

The WB earned its highest Sunday homes rating since Oct. 5, 1996, with “Sister, Sister” scoring its best 18-49 rating since switching over to the WB in the fall of 1995. At 9 p.m., though, recent addition “Zoe, Duncan, Jack & Jane,” facing “The ’60s,” suffered a biggest-yet 34% drop from the previous half-hour’s homes tally.

Saturday

Adam Sandler’s “Happy Gilmore” and a “Best Commercials” spec teed off on the competition, winning the night by 6 shares in adults 18-49 and tying CBS atop the leader board in homes (Daily Variety, Feb. 8). Previously, ABC non-sports programming had not won a single Saturday half-hour in homes this season.

It was ABC’s highest-rated Saturday in adults 18-49 with non-sports programming since Feb. 4, 1995 (“Encino Man” and “Marshal”).

NBC’s extra “Pretender” at 8 p.m. suffered that series’ lowest firstrun rating ever, and NBC dropped to a third-place tie with CBS in nightlong 18-49 averages.

Friday

NBC barely held onto the Friday lead, as “Providence” slipped 11% below its previous lowest 18-49 rating (Daily Variety, Feb. 8).

CBS marched to its best Friday non-sports rating since November 1997 with “Miss USA.” Despite its weakest homes rating ever, the pageant equaled year-ago adults 25-54 results, and that was after switching to the lower-viewership night of Friday.

Thursday

NBC led the opening night of the sweeps by 15 shares in adults 18-49, despite the return of Fox’s Thursday “shockumentaries” (Daily Variety, Feb. 8). NBC beat the combined Fox-ABC-CBS 18-49 rating, while second-place Fox beat the combined ABC-CBS rating.

Fox beat NBC 9-10 p.m. among men 18-49 and 18-34 with “World’s Most Shocking Moments Caught on Tape.”

ABC’s “Netforce” stumbled to a two-night 7.1/11, the worst rating for a firstrun net multiple-parter since “Medusa’s Child” in November 1997.

“Netforce” still snagged ABC’s best Thursday 18-49 rating in two months.

Wednesday

ABC won another Wednesday, paced by the second-best 18-49 ratings this season for “Dharma & Greg” and “Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place.” “Pizza” delivered a 2% gain on its adults 18-34 lead-in from “Dharma.”

At Fox, “Beverly Hills, 90210″ dropped to its lowest firstrun rating since Nov. 27, 1996.

“60 Minutes II” continues to cool in homes, but its demographics are holding up. Last week’s fourth episode was down just 13% in adults 18-49 vs. the Jan. 13 “60 II” premiere. At 10 p.m., “Chicago Hope” sutured up its best 18-49 rating since September.

Tuesday

With two-thirds of ABC’s lineup in rerun, NBC earned its easiest Tuesday regular-sked 18-49 win of this season.

CBS took its third-straight Tuesday in homes (excluding the night of the State of the Union speech) with the highest-rated “JAG” rerun ever and another strong Tuesday film, “Family Blessing.” The Eye has finished first or second on 17 of 20 Tuesdays this season.

Fox’s “King of the Hill” earned its best 18-49 rating since Sept. 15.

Monday

“Vanished Without a Trace” led Feb. 1 results for NBC’s first Monday win since August (Daily Variety, Feb. 3).

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.

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