Nets were thankful for high weekend ratings

Best young adults results in three years

With the networks serving something besides leftovers this past Thanksgiving weekend, viewers flocked back to the webs and gave them their best Thanksgiving weekend young adults results in three years.

Because the November sweeps extended over the Thanksgiving holiday for the first time in years, the nets programmed those traditionally low-viewership nights with renewed aggressiveness and generated a 5.0 ratings average in adults 18-49 last Thursday-through-Sunday, up 14% vs. last year’s 4.4.

ABC won its fourth straight week in adults 18-49 (including a tie) mostly because of three “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” segs that ran earlier in the week, but also because the theatrical pix “Forrest Gump” on Thursday and “Jingle All the Way” on Friday improved on ABC’s slot averages despite holiday distractions.

It’s the first time ABC’s led four straight weeks in the 18-49 demo since April 1995.

CBS edged ahead in homes for the week when it wrapped the Thanksgiving weekend with its vidpic “One Special Night,” the Eye’s top-rated film in two years.

Adults 18-49 averages for Nov. 22-28 were: ABC, a 5.8 rating, 16 share (up 16% vs. the same week last year); NBC, 5.6/15 (up 17%); Fox, 4.3/12 (down 22%); CBS, 4.2/11 (down 2%); UPN, 1.5/3 (up 36%); WB, 1.4/4 (down 26%); Pax TV, 0.3/1 (even).

UPN topped the WB in the key 18-49 race for the first time in-season since April 1998.


On Nov. 29, ABC’s first Monday without “Millionaire” in four weeks, the Alphabet saw its 18-49 average drop 22% compared with last week (6.2 vs. 8.1), and that was despite almost identical football numbers from this week’s Green Bay-San Francisco matchup (a 13.1 rating, 21 share in homes, 7.5/20 in adults 18-49).

Football’s schedule mate, “20/20” (7.3/12 in homes, 3.3/9 in adults 18-49), managed barely one-third last week’s “Millionaire” 18-49 rating in that hour (9.2).

Fox’s “Ally McBeal” (9.9/14 in homes, 8.5/19 in adults 18-49) beat football in the 18-49 standings for the fifth time in six weeks.


With no “Millionaire” to contend with, Sunday pix on the rival nets flourished (Daily Variety, Nov. 30). CBS’ “One Special Night” warmed to the season’s best homes rating for any movie on any net, and NBC’s “Men in Black” tracked down the season’s top 18-49 theatrical film rating. “Men,” a pricey acquisition for NBC, lost that hour in adults 18-49 to Fox’s “X-Files.”

In its three airings to date, ABC’s “The Santa Clause” has wrapped up the three best Nielsen scores ever for a theatrical pic “Wonderful World of Disney.” Last Sunday, though, “Clause” didn’t help ABC’s “Snoops,” which equaled its most inept 18-49 rating to date despite its second-strongest lead-in.


Perennial Thanksgiving weekend treat “Home Alone” teamed with new NBC Saturday regular “World’s Most Amazing Videos” to capture the Peacock’s highest non-baseball Saturday 18-49 average since Jan. 3, 1998.

Figure skating is off to a wobbly start this season, with CBS’ “Ice Wars” slipping to its lowest household marks in its seven airings to date.

Football fumbled to ABC’s worst 18-49 rating for an in-season Saturday since March 6.


All of Friday’s specials clicked, including NBC’s two-hour “Providence,” which won the night for the Peacock (Daily Variety, Nov. 29). With strong films all around it, CBS rookie “Now and Again” fell to weakest-yet Nielsens.


Thanksgiving distractions helped send “Friends” to its lowest-ever firstrun homes rating and “ER” to its lowest since September 1994, but NBC still ruled Thursday (Daily Variety, Nov. 29).

CBS’ Shania Twain concert spec made the night interesting by beating NBC’s “Just Shoot Me” in adults 18-49 and nearly tripling the Eye’s 18-49 slot average this season (a 6.9 rating vs. a 2.4).

The WB’s “Charmed” was cursed with its two lowest homes ratings to date.


“Millionaire” went out in style, amassing ABC’s highest homes rating in the slot since Feb. 17, 1993.

Up against “Millionaire,” “Dateline” reported its poorest rating on any night of the week since Friday July 3, 1998 (not counting a special post-baseball edition in October).

Holiday distractions sent the WB into a tie for its lowest Wednesday homes average since April 30, 1997.


With an increase of 1.7 million viewers vs. the previous Tuesday, “Millionaire” hit ABC’s second best total viewer tally in the Tuesday 8-9 p.m. hour since 1993. The smash game show also led into “Dharma & Greg’s” most watched seg ever.

“Buffy” and “Angel” earned the WB’s best Tuesday teen ratings this season, while UPN’s struggling sked skidded to that netlet’s lowest Tuesday firstrun homes rating ever.


Oakland-Denver football failed to impress Nov. 22, but “Millionaire” kept ABC in the money (Daily Variety, Nov. 24).

Each household rating point represents an estimated 1 million homes, or 1% of the country’s TV households. The share is also a percentage, but measured against only the homes in which TV is being watched during the slot involved.

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