Peacock nabs 10th triumph in past 11 weeks
HOLLYWOOD — Step in step with each other, NBC and CBS again topped the primetime rankings last week in a frame that included the first four days of the May sweep.According to Nielsen estimates for the week of April 22-28, the Peacock used first-place finishes Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday for another rather easy victory in adults 18-49 (4.6/13). It’s the net’s 10th triumph in the past 11 weeks in the key demo. The Eye, which won in total viewers for the fifth straight week, was a solid second in demos thanks in part to its usual strength Thursday (“Survivor,” “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”), and nice boosts Wednesday (two-hour “Amazing Race”) and Sunday (“Everybody Loves Raymond” clip show and mini “Living With the Dead”). NBC’s “ER” (23.78 million) and CBS’ “CSI” (23.50m) were a close 1-2 for the week in total viewers, while “ER” (10.9/27) and NBC’s “Friends” (10.7/29) were in a close battle as the week’s top draw in adults 18-49. ABC was represented in the top 20 by two episodes of matchmaker reality skein “The Bachelor,” including eye-popping numbers for the skein’s Thursday finale (Daily Variety, April 29). That combined with a strong Saturday showing from “Armageddon” to deliver the net’s second-strongest week in adults 18-49 (3.5/10) and adults 18-34 (3.1/10) in three months (behind only Academy Awards week). Fox, which tied ABC for third in adults 18-49, saved most of its fireworks for the weekend. Saturday’s two hours of “Cops” and Sunday’s regulars produced winning results. The WB again moved past UPN in total viewers and most key demos. “Lethal Weapon 4″ boosted the net to its largest aud on a Sunday in three years (3.5 million). Lifetime was last week’s most-watched basic cable net in primetime (1.88 million), followed by TNT (1.68m) and Nick (1.51m). Most popular program was, again, MTV’s sensation “The Osbournes” (7.78m). Sunday CBS won a sweep Sunday in key demos for the first time since May 2000 as “Living With the Dead” opened to the net’s best 25-54 (6.8/14) and second-best 18-49 pic rating (5.8/14) this season. Fox, which tied CBS for first in 18-49, saw “The Simpsons” and “Malcolm in the Middle” deliver their best teen ratings in 14 months. Then, “The X-Files,” with an episode directed by David Duchovny, nabbed a solid 4.6/11 in adults 18-49 (12% above its recent three-week average). An NBA overrun (8.56m, 3.9/13 in 18-49) and two episodes of “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” (averaging 14.39m, 4.8/11) kept NBC a solid third. Saturday A full night of “Cops,” including the reality show’s milestone 500th episode, gave Fox the night in adults 18-49 with its best non-World Series Saturday average (3.9/13) in one year. Opposite all firstrun competish, a third airing of “Armageddon” won the night for ABC in adults 18-34 (3.5/13) and teens (5.1/17), and gave the net its second-best 18-49 score for a Saturday pic in more than a year (3.7/12). CBS ran third in demos but won in total viewers with its “50 Years From Television City” (11.19m, 2.7/9 in 18-49) and “The District” (10.02m, 2.6/8). Friday As it has virtually all season, NBC cruised to victory on the night. “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (14.46m, 5.2/16 in 18-49) again dominated at 10, and has won in 18-49 every week it has aired this season — the only primetime series that can make that claim. Repeat of November’s “Carol Burnett Show: Show-Stoppers” reunion spec wowed again, winning its 8 p.m. hour in viewers (11.53m) and key demos. It topped second-place “Providence” on NBC by 19% in adults 18-49 (3.2/11 vs. 2.7/10). Fox collared fairly tame scores for its spec “When Animals Invade Your Home” (2.4/9 in 18-49). “Reba” again proved why it’s the WB’s comedy anchor — more than doubling the lead-in of “Raising Dad” in adults 18-49 (1.6/5 vs. 0.7/2). Thursday NBC won the night by all key measures and was down just slightly year-to-year despite increased competish from ABC. ABC’s “The Bachelor” was the week’s No. 3 show in women 18-34 (11.2/25), behind only two episodes of “Friends.” And even the hour-earlier “Bachelor” spec called “Women Tell All” ranked 10th (5.8/14). Wednesday It was a strong night for CBS, as a “Survivor: Marquesas” clip show (12.54m, 4.8/15) combined with a two-hour seg of “Amazing Race” (9.56m, 4.5/12) to lift the net to a competitive second-place finish in 18-49 (4.6 vs. NBC’s 4.9). The Eye actually won the night in adults 18-34 (4.0/12). Special documentary-style episode of “The West Wing” featuring comments from former Presidents Carter, Ford and Clinton delivered lower-than-usual scores for the series (15.65m, 5.3/14). “Law & Order” at 10 was the night’s top show (19.15m, 6.7/18). “According to Jim” looked good in its return to the ABC sked, building on its repeat “My Wife and Kids” lead-in by 25% (3.2/9 vs. 2.8/9). Frog’s “Felicity” is posting strong ratings as it nears its series finale, this time improving upon its “Dawson’s Creek” women 18-34 lead-in (3.9/12 vs. 3.7/11). Tuesday Fox and the WB looked the best thanks to all-original lineups. The former won the night in 18-49 (3.9/11), while the latter was tops in its core demo of femmes 12-34 (3.9/12). NBC’s “Watching Ellie” (6.90m, 2.8/8 in 18-49) and ABC’s “Philly” (8.12m, 2.9/7) both sunk to lowest-yet numbers with their season finales. Monday Penultimate episode of “The Bachelor” (13.14m, 5.7/14 in 18-49) dominated the 9 o’clock hour in key demos April 22, but NBC still prevailed on the night in 18-49.