Morning Ratings Flash - Rick Kissell

ABC has scored big again with another celebrity interview, as a special edition of “Primetime” featuring a Diane Sawyer interview with Whitney Houston delivered a whopping 9.0/22 in adults 18-49 and 21.3 million viewers overall, according to preliminary nationals from Nielsen.

This is the second largest aud for any ABC program this season (behind “The Bachelor” finale) and the biggest 18-49 rating for any edition of any newsmag since Barbara Walters’ “20/20” interview with Monica Lewinsky in March 1999.

ABC, whose “My Wife and Kids” and “George Lopez” also led the 8 o’clock hour in adults 18-49, easily won the night. Only weak spot for the net was 10 p.m. drama “MDs” (3.0/7 in adults 18-49, 7.9 million viewers overall), which returned to the lineup with a thud.

NBC did OK but nothing special from 8 to 9 with its “Christmas in Rockefeller Center” (3.5/9 in adults 18-49, 12.1 million viewers overall). Its “Law & Order” dominated at 10 with a repeat (5.7/14 in adults 18-49, 15.9 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 5.7/14; NBC, 4.2/11; Fox, 3.4/9; CBS, 3.3/8.

In total viewers: ABC, 13.8 million; NBC, 12.9 million; CBS, 9.6 million; Fox, 7.7 million.

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