ABC takes week post-‘Survivor’

Weblets make waves in wake of reality show

One week after the “Survivor” tsunami passed through, CBS held up pretty well, and ABC reclaimed the ratings lead, but it was the youngest nets that really shined.

According to Nielsen estimates for the week of Aug. 28-Sept. 3, UPN and the WB each logged their best demo scores since May, while the former — boosted by a big turnout for the Source Hip-Hop Awards — also drew its largest weekly aud (4.15 million) since February.

The WB, led by its most-watched Wednesday and Thursday of the summer and its second-best Sunday, logged its largest overall weekly aud (2.70 million) since May.

And the latest network entry, Pax, topped its week-earlier premiere average (1.40 million) with its largest audience yet (1.57 million).

As for the big boys, ABC (3.2/10) bested NBC (3.0/9) in adults 18-49 with CBS a competitive third (2.8/9). Fox (2.7/9) re-mained in fourth despite winning the week’s last three nights.

The respective older and younger skews of original summer series “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” (ABC) and “Big Brother” (CBS) were reflected in their nets’ weekly figures.

Compared with the same week a year ago, ABC was up 13% in viewers (to 9.39 million) but down 6% in adults while CBS was off 9% in viewers (to 8.27 million) but up 12% in 18-49.

Tuesday’s “Millionaire” topped all primetime shows for the week in both adults 18-49 (5.6/17) and total viewers (21.72 mil-lion). The quizzer’s two other editions placed second and third in viewers and eighth and 10th in the key demo.

Broadcast nets’ adults 18-49 averages for Aug. 28-Sept. 3: ABC, a 3.2 rating/10 share (down 6% in rating vs. a year ago); NBC, 3.0/9 (down 9%); CBS, 2.8/9 (up 12%); Fox, 2.7/9 (even); UPN, 1.6/5 (up 23%); the WB, 1.1/3 (even); Pax, 0.4/1 (up 33%).

For the cable nets: ESPN, 1.2/4 (up 140%, no NFL game last year); HBO, 1.1/3 (down 8%); TNT, 0.8/2 (up 14%), tied with TBS, 0.8/3 (down 11%); Lifetime, 0.7/2 (up 17%).

Monday

ABC crushed the competish on Sept. 4 behind a strong season opener for “Monday Night Football” (22.91 million, 9.7/27 in adults 18-49), which was off by 1% and 6% from last year’s opener (23.06, 10.3/29). The Denver-St. Louis result tops 15 of last season’s 17 games in both categories.

In homes, its 15.3/27 was 5% behind last year’s 16.1/27 for Miami-Denver but 4% ahead of 1998’s New England-Denver game (14.8/24) — the last year the opener fell on Labor Day.

Sunday

Fox won a lackluster night in adults 18-49 (3.0/10), edging past ABC (2.9/9), which was the night’s easy winner in total view-ers (10.68 million).

ESPN’s premiere of Sunday night NFL action (9.98 million) placed second to only ABC from 8:30 to 11 p.m. ET (13.42 mil-lion). Compared with last season’s premiere (Pittsburgh-Cleveland, not on Labor Day weekend), the game was off by 11% in viewers (10.98 million).

CBS got a sizable football overrun (6.0/24 in 18-49 from 7 to 7:48 p.m.) but still could do no better than third in the demo on the night (2.8/9).

At 9 p.m., the WB’s “Jamie Foxx Show” delivered its second-best 18-49 rating (1.4/4) in 12 Sunday tries and also placed third in its half-hour in women 18-34 (2.0/6) and teens (2.5/9).

Saturday

Fox won for the ninth straight Saturday in adults 18-49 (3.0/11) while delivering its largest aud (8.05 million) since June 17.

NBC’s Olympic men’s basketball trials posted a mere 1.6/4 in homes, apparently the net’s lowest rating on record in the 8 o’clock hour.

Friday

A third run of Brad Pitt pic “Seven” tallied Fox’s best Friday adults 18-49 rating (3.1/12) since April 20 and its first win on the night in both adults 18-49 and viewers (7.47 million) since Jan. 28, when “Greed” was at its peak.

Nearing the end of its first season, ABC’s “Making the Band” rocked to its best adults 18-49 rating in six weeks (2.9/10), and won its time period in adults 18-34 (3.0/12), teens (3.1/16) and kids (1.9/9).

Thursday

NBC (4.8/14) won in 18-49 with its largest advantage over ABC (4.0/12) on a night with a firstrun “Millionaire” since the night of the big Peacock season finales May 18. “Millionaire” slipped to a 14 share in adults 18-49 and an 11 share in adults 18-34.

“Will & Grace” topped “Millionaire” by a best-yet 20% in adults 18-49 (5.5 vs. 4.4) while UPN’s “WWF Smackdown!” bested a firstrun “Millionaire” in adults 18-34 for the first time (3.7 vs. 3.3). Wrestling skein also delivered its largest overall aud (8.22 million) since June 8.

Contributing to ABC’s easy win in total viewers (13.16 million) were the largest aud in 11 weeks for “Whose Line Is It Any-way?” (9.27 million) and a strong perf from “Hopkins 24/7” (12.08 million, 4.2/13 in A18-49), which topped “ER” in both cate-gories.

A double-dose of “Charmed” gave the WB its best Thursday of the summer in viewers (3.42 million) and adults 18-49 (1.4/4), a 40% boost over its summer demo average (1.0/3).

Firstrun made-for “Ali: An American Hero” became Fox’s lowest-rated Thursday pic of the season (3.39 million, 1.5/5 in 18-49). Net dropped to sixth in viewers and fifth in adults 18-49, just ahead of the WB (1.4/4).

Wednesday

CBS was a thriver without “Survivor” on this night as “Big Brother” stepped in at 8 p.m. and delivered its best adults 18-49 rating (4.7/15) on any night when it didn’t follow “Survivor.” That combined with an OK score from firstrun theatrical “Dear God” (3.0/9) to allow CBS to edge past NBC (3.6 to 3.5) for its 14th straight Wednesday demo victory.

The departure of “Survivor” from the night helped other shows rebound, especially ABC’s comedies. “The Drew Carey Show” and “Spin City” each won their half-hour in adults 18-49 with their best scores in six and 10 weeks, respectively, while the 8 o’clock hour’s “Two Guys and a Girl” (2.4/8) and “Norm” (2.6/8) scored higher than at any time during “Survivor’s” run even though they kept the net in fourth place behind “Big Brother” (4.7), Fox comedies (3.0) and NBC’s “Dateline” (2.8).

The premiere of ABC News’ six-part documentary series “Hopkins 24/7” (8.48 million, 3.7/11 in 18-49) fared well, about on par with “20/20’s” averages for the summer (9.78, 3.7/11).

Tuesday

ABC easily won the night in viewers, led by the largest Tuesday aud for “Millionaire” (21.72 million) since June 13.

NBC stayed on ABC’s heels in 18-49 (3.7 to 3.9) as the first “Access Hollywood” primetime spec averaged a 2.7/8 in the demo — the Peacock’s best score in the hour since July 18 (a “Will & Grace” marathon).

UPN’s Source Hip-Hop Awards averaged 5.27 million viewers, a 2.2/6 in adults 18-49 and a 5.3/19 in teens, improvements over the netlet’s in-season Tuesday averages of 134%, 144% and 253%, respectively. UPN also points out that the kudocast’s whopping 26.6 rating among African-American teens is higher than any sports or entertainment spec of the last year, including the Super Bowl (26.5).

Monday

ABC’s “Battle for Bighorn” golf spec, pitting Tiger Woods against Sergio Garcia, averaged a 7.6/13 homes rating Aug. 28, up 10% from last year’s match between Woods and David Duval (6.9/12). Net won the night in total viewers (9.92 million) but was just third in 18-49 (3.3/10).

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