Several new dramas spiked in the ratings Sunday opposite baseball on Fox, but the night’s strongest performer was CBS’ behind-the-scenes movie “Surviving Gilligan’s Island.”
According to prelim nationals from Nielsens, “Gilligan’s” won the 9-11 block in all key demos, including the best 18-49 rating for a single-part CBS movie (5.7/13) since “Fail-Safe” in April 2000. Movie also became the first program to top an original seg of ABC’s “The Practice” in 18-49 (prelim 6.2 to 6.0) since NBC’s premiere of “Titanic” last November.
Strong perf boosted the Eye web, which also won the night in total viewers, to its strongest demo finish on a Sunday (second-place 4.6/11 in 18-49 and first-place tie with ABC in 25-54) since the Super Bowl on Jan. 28.
ABC was tops in adults 18-49 (5.2/12) and — with no young-skewing entertainment programming on Fox — moved on top in 18-34 (4.3/12).
The Alphabet’s “Alias” (prelim 11.7m) again ranked as the No. 1 new show on the night in 18-49 (prelim 5.2/11) and 18-34 (4.5/11), nearly matching its premiere-week rating in the latter (4.7/12). It grew by about 20% week to week in the demos.
Opposite “Alias,” NBC’s new “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” hit new highs (prelim 14.5m, 5.1/11 in 18-49), finishing just a tick behind the ABC drama and CBS movie in 18-49 and winning its hour in total viewers. And at 10, “UC: Undercover” (prelim 11.6m, 4.1/10) was up week to week by 21% in 18-49 and by 3 million viewers overall, hitting new highs in female demos.
NBC also fared very well with “Weakest Link” at 8, as the quizzer hit season highs (13.7m, 5.4/13).
News wasn’t good at CBS, where its freshman Sunday drama, “The Education of Max Bickford” (prelim 11.5m, 2.6/6 in 18-49), ran fourth for the 8 o’clock hour in demos and slipped below every firstrun episode of “Touched by an Angel” to air in the hour over the previous five seasons.
ABC’s winning night also included the best 18-49 score (prelim 4.7/12) since last November for the “Wonderful World of Disney” franchise. Net preem of animated theatrical “The Emperor’s New Groove” (prelim 12.8m) won in all key adult demos as well as teens and kids.
Reliable national numbers weren’t available for Fox’s weekend baseball action, but through Sunday the net’s four primetime games were averaging a 7.0/11 in metered-market overnights, an 8% gain over last year (6.5/10).
In Gotham Sunday, the Yankees’ game at Oakland on Fox (4:45-8:15 p.m. EDT) did twice the rating of the Jets’ home contest against the Dolphins on CBS (14.4/24 vs. 7.2/14) and contributed to the best overnight rating of the postseason for Fox (7.7/14).
Overall, though, the NFL enjoyed its highest-rated Sunday since returning to action three weeks ago, with CBS generating a 9.7/19 for its doubleheader, and Fox an 11.9/24 for its single game.