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Fox rebounds; CBS wins homes

'Billboard Music Awards,' 'Greed' bring adults to Fox

With Wednesday’s “Billboard Music Awards” and the first Friday try for “Greed” both nailing solid Nielsens, previously ratings-poor Fox suddenly finds itself as rich in adults 18-49 viewers as any competing net in Dec. 6-12 primetime Nielsen averages.

CBS will take its second week in a row in households, cheered by Sunday yulepic “A Season for Miracles,” the third-highest-rated movie in homes on any network so far this fall.

Nielsen will issue official Dec. 6-12 averages today, and if projections based on preliminary weekend results hold, Fox will earn its first share of the 18-49 lead this season, a big morale boost for a net that’s struggled through most of the fall.

Keys to the Fox surge include Wednesday’s “Billboard Music Awards” (12.1 million viewers and a 5.3 rating, 15 share in adults 18-49), which topped Fox’s season-long Wednesday 18-49 average by 29%. Also boosting the Murdoch net was a surprising 18-49 slot win from the first Friday “Greed” (9.7 million viewers, 4.0/12 in adults 18-49).

NBC could have comfortably won the week in adults 18-49 had the Peacock not stumbled over the weekend with punchless results from its revamped Saturday lineup.

CBS’ “Season for Miracles” (a prelim 22.2 million, 6.3/15 in adults 18-49) blew away NBC vidpic “Twister” in viewers. The only movies so far this fall to top “Season” in households have been CBS’ “One Special Night” and ABC’s “Tuesdays With Morrie.”

Fox dominated Sunday in the 18-49 demo, leading every half-hour from 7-10 p.m., according to prelim Nielsens.

It was a downbeat week for ABC. Without “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” or any breakout performer like last week’s “Tuesdays With Morrie,” ABC skidded to third for the week in both homes and adults 18-49.

In fact, each of the Big Four was down significantly last week vs. year-ago results, as Christmas distraction mounts and cable continues to lure away viewers.

Projected Dec. 6-12 adults 18-49 averages are: Fox, a 4.5 rating (down 6% vs. the same week last year); NBC, 4.4 (down 14%); ABC, 4.3 (down 10%); and CBS, 3.5 (down 8%). ABC and CBS hit season-low marks.

Fox’s average could round down a tenth and NBC’s could round up a tenth when Nielsen issues official standings today, so a Fox-NBC tie is possible, as is an NBC victory.

No such doubt exists in homes, where CBS (a projected 8.5 rating, down 2%) should easily top NBC (7.9, down 9%), ABC (7.5, down 10%) and Fox (6.3, down 6%).

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