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ABC sked continues to deliver

NBC wins key demos as Alphabet improves

ABC continued to build much-needed momentum heading into the new season, drawing the largest primetime audience for a second straight week.

In addition to big premieres for laffers “8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter” and “Life With Bonnie” on Tuesday (Daily Variety, Sept. 19), the Alphabet also scored with “Monday Night Football” and the “Miss America” pageant Saturday.

It was a three-way network battle for the week in key demos, meanwhile, with NBC’s 3.8 rating in 18-49 edging out Fox and ABC, which tied with a 3.7, according to Nielsen. The Peacock rallied for victory on Sunday behind the “54th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards,” which ranked as the week’s No. 2 show (19.99 million viewers, 8.1/20 in 18-49).

CBS ran fourth for the week in 18-49 despite airing the No. 1 program — the premiere of Thursday’s “Survivor: Thailand” (23.05m, 9.6/28). Net was held down by puny Wednesday numbers for the Latin Grammys kudocast.

Twelve of the fall’s 34 new big six series bowed during the Sept. 16-22 frame, with the most impressive perfs coming from the WB’s “Everwood,” ABC’s comedy duo of “8 Simple Rules” and “Bonnie,” and Fox’s Friday drama “John Doe.”

In addition to “Everwood,” the WB had a great week with the premieres of the returning “7th Heaven,” “Reba” and “Charmed” — with the latter actioner moving to Sunday and helping the net conjure up its strongest numbers ever on the night. For the week, the Frog placed fourth in viewers 12-34 (ahead of CBS) and first in teens.

Sunday

The Emmys kudocast easily took the night for NBC, grabbing its second-largest aud in six years (Daily Variety, Sept. 24).

HBO’s “The Sopranos” held up very well in its second week of the season, averaging 11.21 million viewers (off 19% from its preem) and a 6.2/14 in adults 18-49 (down 15%). It was second to the Emmys in most categories, but topped the awards show in men 18-49 (6.7/15).

Two-hour preem of “Charmed” combined with “Gilmore Girls Beginnings” to give the WB its strongest Sunday ever in all key categories, including total viewers (5.2 million). Net placed second to the Emmys from 8 to 10 in adults 18-34 (2.6/7).

Saturday

ABC easily won behind “Miss America” (12.02m, 3.8/12), which matched its year-ago 18-49 rating and saw some of its best male demos in three years.

CBS’ “Big Brother 3” hit Saturday highs with its penultimate episode (7.93m, 3.2/12 in A18-49).

Friday

Series preem of Fox’s “John Doe” led the 9 p.m. hour (9.79m, 4.4/15 in 18-49) and grabbed the highest 18-34 rating for any series bow on a Friday (3.9/15) in four years.

The WB fared only so-so with its comedy premieres “What I Like About You” (1.8/8 in adults 18-34) and “Greetings From Tucson” (1.1/4), but the second-season bow of “Reba” matched series highs in some demos.

Thursday

“Survivor: Thailand” opened to boffo numbers for CBS, while the net’s “Big Brother” followed with its best scores of the summer (14.57m, 6.4/17) and ABC’s “Push, Nevada” struggled in its first Thursday outing (Daily Variety, Sept. 19).

The WB’s comedy lineup already looks a bit shaky, although the preem of “Do Over” (1.3/4 in A18-34) did improve slightly on “Family Affair.”

Wednesday

Fox received solid but unspectacular tune-in for its revamped lineup, which includes the new “Cedric the Entertainer Presents” and “Fastlane” (Daily Variety, Sept. 20). “Cedric” was easily the week’s No. 1 program in Nielsen’s-defined African-American households (a 24.2 rating), building on lead-in “Bernie Mac” (18.9).

UPN’s “The Twilight Zone” (4.58m, 2.0/5 in A18-49) opened well, holding much of the lead-in from the season preem of fading “Enterprise” (4.89m, 2.3/7).

Tuesday

“8 Simple Rules” (6.1 rating in adults 18-49) and “Bonnie” (6.0) gave ABC its highest-rated hour of scripted series programming since the season preem of “NYPD Blue” in November. Net’s “Push, Nevada” placed second with a special preview seg (4.2/11 in 18-49).

Although “Simple Rules” easily topped Fox’s season preem of “That ’70s Show” in 18-49 (6.1/19 vs. 5.2/16), the latter won in the younger 18-34 demo (6.7/22 vs. 4.7/16).

Premiere of MTV’s “Real World XII” won its 10 p.m. hour in adults 18-34 (3.4/10) and teens (2.3/11).

Monday

ABC easily took the night, although another blowout on “Monday Night Football” produced subpar ratings (17.83m, 7.8/22 in A18-49), and the WB’s combo of “7th Heaven” and “Everwood” opened very well (Daily Variety, Sept. 18).

Jenna Elfman starrer “Obsessed” (4.94m, 1.5/4 in A18-49) scored for Lifetime, grabbing a 6 share in women 18-49 and a 7 in women 25-54.

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