HOLLYWOOD — Many Americans appeared to say “enough’s enough” when it comes to Sept. 11 anniversary coverage, as preliminary estimates for Wednesday indicate below-average primetime viewing levels.
According to Nielsen, 59% of the nation’s households were watching television during primetime on Wednesday, with most of that programming devoted to memorial events and news related to the terrorist attacks of last year. This level is below the roughly 61% who watched TV on Monday and Tuesday of this week and well below the 69% who tuned in on the evening of Sept. 11, 2001.
Nielsen on Thursday did not issue national ratings for any Wednesday program or for President Bush’s brief speech to the nation at 9 p.m. ET., but overnight and preliminary national figures reveal what clicked and what didn’t with auds on the night.
Auds draw to ‘9/11’ rerun
Viewers again gravitated toward the CBS documentary “9/11,” as a rebroadcast of the March movie averaged more than 12 million viewers, according to prelim nationals. That topped the estimated 9.2 million who watched NBC’s “Concert for America” special and the nearly 9 million for ABC News’ coverage during the same 9:15-11 p.m. time period.
At 8, CBS’ “60 Minutes II,” which featured an exclusive Scott Pelley interview with President Bush aboard Air Force One and in the Oval Office, placed second to special ABC News coverage.
The WB, which on Wednesday offered up a much different viewing option with the coming-of-age theatrical “My Dog Skip,” delivered a solid 4.0 rating/6 share in overnights — double its delivery of the previous week.
No Nielsen ratings information was immediately available for the morning news programs or any of the additional news programming that preempted the day’s soaps and syndicated series, but the evening newscasts on ABC, CBS and NBC each delivered lower overnight averages on Wednesday than they did on either Monday or Tuesday.