Justice prevails for CBS Tuesdays

'Amy' gavels huge numbers, 'Smallville' takes flight

With “Judging Amy” scoring its best timeslot numbers ever, CBS’ legal-eagle Tuesday lineup soared to new heights this week — guiding the net to its first victory on the night among young adults in nearly eight years.

The WB’s “Smallville” also looked large Tuesday, retaining most of its week-earlier premiere audience and teaming with “Gilmore Girls” to give the Frog net its own Tuesday drama powerhouse.

According to Nielsen, CBS won the night in adults 18-49 (4.7/13) and adults 25-54 (6.3/15) in addition to its routine victory in total viewers (17.1 million persons). It’s the net’s first Tuesday triumph in adults 18-49 with its regular sked since November 1993.

Dramas “JAG” (17.88m, 4.6/13 in 18-49), “The Guardian” (16.01m, 4.3/11) and “Judging Amy” (17.56m, 5.3/15) each dominated their hours in overall audience and scored some season highs in the process.

‘JAG’s’ edge

“JAG” is having a great year, now drawing more viewers this season, for example, than ABC’s “The Practice.” It grabbed its second-largest aud ever — ranking as the night’s most-watched show — and won its hour in adults 18-49 and 25-54.

“The Guardian,” the season’s most-watched new drama, has been a key player in the night’s tough middle hour — performing significantly better than “60 Minutes II” a year ago and providing a stronger flow into “Amy” at 10. It hit season highs across the board.

And at 10, “Amy” opened up even more distance between itself and ABC’s “Philly,” topping the latter by a best-yet 39% in 18-49 and winning the hour by all key measures. It delivered its largest Tuesday audience ever (trailing only its Sunday preview episode in September 1999), matched its 18-49 series high, and was the night’s top draw in adults 25-54 (6.7/16) and women 18-49 (7.3/19).

Twentieth Century Fox Television topper Dana Walden, whose studio produces “Amy” with CBS, said the skein seems to be firing on all cylinders.

“It’s a rare mix of the warmth of a family show with the drive of a franchise drama,” she said. “Whatever’s going on in the country right now, this show is striking a chord with viewers.”

The Tuesday turnouts rep a big improvement on the night for CBS. Last season — with “JAG,” “60 Minutes II” and “Judging Amy” — the Eye net finished fourth on Tuesdays in both 18-49 and 25-54.

At the WB, “Smallville” (7.34m, 3.4/9 in 18-49) retained about 90% of its premiere aud and topped its hour in men 18-34 (4.3/12) while placing second in women 18-34 (3.9/10).

The young-Superman saga won its hour in Los Angeles and was second in New York.

Lead-in “Gilmore Girls” also did very well, topping UPN’s “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” in total viewers (6.39m to 5.68m) and matching it in adults 18-49 (2.7/7). “Gilmore” topped its hour in viewers 12-34 (3.4/11) and was second in women 18-34 (3.8/11).

“Buffy,” which continues to provide UPN with sizable year-to-year gains, ran second in its hour in adults 18-34 (3.4/10), besting the WB’s “Gilmore” (2.8/9) by 21%.

NBC ran second on the night by most measures, led by “Frasier” (12.95m, 5.4/14 in 18-49) and rookie laffer “Scrubs” (11.04m, 5.4/13). Net’s “Emeril” hit a low in 18-49 (2.5/7), falling to sixth in its slot.

A repeat of Fox’s “That ’70s Show” won the night’s opening half-hour in 18-49 (4.5/13) even though it didn’t appear in most TV listings due to baseball. Net’s other repeats on the night didn’t fare nearly as well.

ABC’s transitional lineup of two segs each of “Dharma & Greg” and “Spin City” produced week-to-week gains, while 10 o’clock drama “Philly” was up slightly.

Net hopes to improve its fortunes on the night when “NYPD Blue” returns Nov. 6.

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