ABC wins week, CBS' 'Survivor' leads all demos

Maybe Regis will get a little more time off next summer.

Quizzer “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” continued to fare better than expected in repeats last week, lifting ABC to narrow ratings victories in total viewers and adults 18-49.

According to Nielsen, the Alphabet web won the week of June 26-July 2 by a little more than a half-million viewers over CBS and by one-tenth of a ratings point over NBC in the key demo.

Compared with a year ago, ABC saw the biggest gains of any of the major nets in total viewers (up 34%) while CBS, led by summer phenom “Survivor,” posted the biggest gains in adults 18-49 (up 25%). (The corresponding week of a year ago included July 4 — typically one of the least-watched nights of the year.)

Even in repeats, “Millionaire,” which ran 3-1/2 hours of episodes that originally aired last August, is providing ABC with big timeslot gains. According to the net, “Millionaire’s” repeat installments have upped the delivery of viewers in its Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday hours by 100% (16.4 million vs. 8.2 million) and by 42% in adults 18-49 (4.4 vs. 3.1).

The quizzer returned to original episodes Thursday night and is skedded to air firstrun segs for the rest of summer.

As for “Survivor,” for the first time it topped the weekly demo charts in all key categories: viewers (23.98 million), adults 18-49 (9.6/31), adults 25-54 (10.6/32) and adults 18-34 (9.5/33). It was also No. 1 in kids (4.4/17) and just one-tenth of a ratings point out of the lead in teens (5.7/24).

In total viewers for the week, it was followed by Tuesday’s “Millionaire” (18.45 million) and Monday’s ABC news spec “The Search for Jesus” (16.56). In adults 18-49, distant runners-up were “Search for Jesus” (5.4/15) and the Wednesday post- “Survivor” seg of CBS’ “Everybody Loves Raymond” (5.3/15).

Broadcast nets’ adults 18-49 averages for the week of June 26-July 2: ABC, a 3.3 rating/11 share (up 22% in rating vs. the same week a year ago); NBC, 3.2/11 (up 14%); CBS, 3.0/10 (up 25%); Fox, 2.5/9 (even); UPN, 1.3/4 (up 86%); the WB, 1.0/3 (down 9%); Pax, 0.3/1 (even).

In homes: ABC, 6.9/13 (up 30%); CBS, 6.5/12 (up 7%); NBC, 5.9/11 (up 7%); Fox, 3.9/7 (up 3%); UPN, 2.1/4 (up 50%); the WB, 1.8/3 (down 14%); Pax, 0.8/2 (even).

Adults 18-49 averages for the top cable services: HBO, 0.9/3 (even), tied with USA, 0.9/3 (even); TBS, 0.7/3 (up 17%); TNT, 0.6/2 (down 25%), tied with Discovery Channel, 0.6/2 (up 50%).

Tuesday

NBC may have another Macy’s holiday perennial on its hands as the first broadcast of “Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular” helped the Peacock post the biggest adults 18-49 rating (prelim 2.8/11) by any net on a July 4 since 1996.

The fireworks spec was actually a dud in its first half-hour opposite “Millionaire” but surged by 70% in the demo (3.4 vs. 2.0) at 9:30 when the quizzer departed the airwaves. For its hour, “Fireworks” averaged a 2.7/11 in adults 18-49 and 8.85 million viewers.

“Dateline” followed at 10 with a dominant 3.6/14 in adults 18-49, winning its hour by 7 shares over ABC’s “NYPD Blue” repeat.

Monday

CBS took July 3 in total viewers (9.27 million) and adults 18-49 (3.1/10), winning the last five half-hours by each measure. Newsmag “48 Hours” (10.76 million, 3.6/11 in A18-49) was the night’s top show in both categories.

ABC’s “Once & Again” (4.67 million, 1.7/5 in A18-49) is repeating poorly, settling for less than one-third of what the ABC News spec “The Search for Jesus” scored in the 10 p.m. hour a week earlier (16.54 million, 5.7/16 in A18-49).

Sunday

NBC was the night’s surprise winner in adults 18-49 (3.2/12), edging ABC (2.9/11) behind strong numbers for repeat pic “Stargate” (4.1/13). It’s the Peacock’s fifth straight Sunday win in adults 18-49, the net’s best stretch since 1996.

ABC won the night in total viewers over CBS (10.59 million vs. 8.89), with repeat episodes of “Millionaire” (15 million) and “The Practice” (11.88 million) taking each half-hour from 9-11.

Fox’s “The Simpsons” won its half-hour in adults 18-49 (3.5/14) by 5 shares despite a fourth-place finish in total viewers (6.76 million). The toon vet has ranked as the net’s top Sunday program in the demo for all six weeks of summer, reversing an in-season trend that saw lead-out “Malcolm in the Middle” consistently build on its “Simpsons” lead-in.

Saturday

NASCAR’s Pepsi 400 stock-car race helped CBS win a Saturday in both total viewers (7.77 million) and adults 18-49 (2.8/13) for the first time since April 1 (NCAA basketball semifinals).

ABC placed second in viewers and tied Fox for second in adults 18-49 (2.3) behind solid repeat numbers for telepic “Tidal Wave.” Pic topped its 8-10 p.m. movie competition, NBC’s repeat of “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective,” by 49% in viewers (7.91 million vs. 5.32 million) and by 14% in young adults (2.4/11 vs. 2.1/9). “Tidal” also ranked No. 1 in viewers during its two hours.

Friday

In a rarity, CBS won a night in adults 18-49 (2.5/10) and adults 18-34 (2.3/11) despite a third-place finish in viewers (6.56 million). Leading the way was a rebroadcast of a 1997 “Dukes of Hazzard” reunion pic (7.18 million, 2.8/10 in A18-49), which was at or near the top of most demo columns from 9 to 11.

The Eye’s win in adults 18-49 was its first on a Friday since Dec. 3 (“A Charlie Brown Christmas”).

ABC’s “20/20″ was the night’s top show in viewers (10.19 million) and adults 18-49 (3.2/11).

Thursday

ABC again easily topped NBC in total viewers (11.63 million vs. 10.14), but NBC reclaimed the night among adults 18-49 (4.9/16 vs. ABC’s 3.8/12).

A repeat of the most-watched “ER” episode of the season (from Feb. 17) resulted in the drama’s best numbers in six weeks (11.44 million, 5.3/16 in A18-49). Seg, which featured the aftermath of the stabbing of two characters, topped ABC’s “20/20: Downtown” by 4 shares in adults 18-49.

UPN’s “WWF Smackdown!” got pinned to its lowest adults 18-49 rating (2.7/9) since April 13, while the firstrun “Kiss of Death” delivered Fox’s largest Thursday pic aud (6.95 million) since March 17 (“Tombstone”).

Wednesday

“Survivor’s” fifth episode slipped slightly below the previous week in both total viewers (23.98 million) and adults 18-49 (9.6/31), but it did set new marks in adults 25-54 (10.6/32), teens (5.7/24) and kids (4.4/17).

CBS could not keep the momentum going the whole night, though, as the final half-hour of a special episode of “Falcone” finished an embarrassing 9 shares out of first in adults 18-49.

Tuesday

ABC edged NBC in adults 18-49 (3.8 vs. 3.7) on June 27 as “Millionaire” rebounded from a soft effort the previous week to post its best ratings for a repeat episode (18.45 million, 5.0/17 in A18-49).

Fox laffer “Family Guy” held up best to “Millionaire” at 8 p.m., topping the quizzer by 4 shares in adults 18-34 (4.3/16 vs. 3.4/12). The reverse order was true among adults 18-49, with “Millionaire” besting “Family” by 4 shares (4.5/16 vs. 3.3/12).

At 10, NBC’s “Dateline” drew its biggest adults 18-49 rating (5.2/15) of the summer, topping second-place “Judging Amy” (2.9/8) by 7 shares.

Monday

Thanks to the June 26 ABC News spec “The Search for Jesus,” ABC won a Monday in both total viewers (13.91) and adults 18-49 (4.6/13) for the first time since May 1 (celeb “Millionaire,” “Arabian Nights”). It was the largest aud for a Peter Jennings-hosted spec since April 1993 (report on Waco raid).

Among adults 18-49, the spec surprisingly did better with men (5.5/16) than women (5.4/14). And in adults 18-34, the gap was even wider, with men 18-34 (4.1/13) besting women 18-34 (3.2/10).

Because of “Search’s” relatively older skew, though, other nets were able to shine on the night among younger viewers: CBS won in adults 18-34 (3.3/11), the WB in teens (2.0/8) and Fox in kids (1.4/6).

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