Auds crazy for ‘Carol,’ CBS laffers

Sketches deliver huge night for Eye

Nearly 30 million viewers were glad they had some time together with the “Carol Burnett Show” gang Monday night, as a reunion special delivered monster ratings for CBS.

One-hour spec at 10 also brought additional viewers to the Eye net earlier in the evening — including a surprising number of viewers too young to remember the original Burnett show. All four of CBS’ comedies drew their largest auds ever, making it the biggest non-sports turnout for a CBS Monday since May 1995 and putting an exclamation point on the net’s November sweeps victory in total viewers.

Still to be decided for the month is the battle between Fox and NBC for adults 18-49. Fox still led by a tick (5.1/13 to 5.0/13) heading into Tuesday night.

“The Carol Burnett Show: Show Stoppers,” which reunited Burnett, Vicki Lawrence, Tim Conway and Harvey Korman, dominated its hour with an average of 29.79 million viewers, a 9.5/23 in adults 18-49 and a 12.0/26 in adults 25-54.

Spec drew a bigger audience than anything CBS has aired Monday at 10 since a one-hour “Designing Women” in September 1991 and saw the biggest turnout for an Eye program on any night since the finale of “Survivor: The Australian Outback” in May.

CBS also scored big numbers with its comedy block: “King of Queens” (16.23m) and “Yes, Dear” (16.55m) drew their largest auds ever in the 8 and 8:30 timeslots, respectively, while “Everybody Loves Raymond” (24.26m, 8.8/20 in 18-49) and “Becker” (19.92m, 6.8/15) drew their best scores ever in both total viewers and key demos.

Elsewhere on the night, ABC was a solid second with “Monday Night Football” (17.96m, 7.9/20 in 18-49 for Buccaneers-Rams) and Fox was third behind “Boston Public” (12.37m, 5.7/14) and “Ally McBeal” (10.88m, 5.2/12). “Boston” finished just behind the CBS comedies in 18-49 (5.7 vs. 5.9) and won its hour in adults 18-34 (5.6/15).

And despite going up against “Carol Burnett,” NBC’s “Crossing Jordan” matched its best 18-49 rating in six weeks (5.0/12). Net finished fourth in 18-49 for the night.

With two nights to go in the sweep, the adults 18-49 standings are: Fox, 5.1 rating/13 share (up 9% in rating vs. a year ago); NBC, 5.0/13 (down 12%); CBS, 4.6/12 (up 21%); ABC, 3.9/10 (down 22%).

In total viewers: CBS, 13.85 million (up 14%); NBC, 12.66m (down 9%); Fox, 12.07m (up 22%); ABC, 10.66m (down 23%).

UPN and the WB are tied among adults 18-34 (2.0/6), repping an 11% gain for UPN and a 9% decline for the WB. And in persons 12-34, the WB leads with a 2.2/7 (down 12%) to UPN’s 2.1/6 (up 5%).

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