NBC dominates Monday night

HOLLYWOOD — Count on seeing more “ER”/”Third Watch” crossovers after this week’s edition produced record-high ratings for the latter on Monday.

According to Nielsen, Monday’s “Third Watch” episode, featuring “ER” regular Sherry Stringfield in a storyline that began four nights earlier on the hospital drama, dominated its 9 o’clock hour in adults 18-49 (7.0/16), adults 18-34 (6.5/17) and total viewers (17.23 million).

It even topped the Eye’s “Everybody Loves Raymond” in every category except overall aud.

This is the best delivery to date for a regularly skedded episode of “Third Watch.” Only a special Thursday premiere episode in September 1999 has fared better.

NBC dominated the night by all key measures, including a 5-share victory over runner-up CBS in adults 18-49 (6.2/16 vs. 4.3/11). The 6.2 is the Peacock’s highest on a Monday without sports help since the May 1999 series finale of “Mad About You.”

Losing ‘Fear’

And in a rarity, “Fear Factor” (5.5/16) was actually the net’s lowest-rated show of the night in the demo, lagging behind “Third Watch” and 10 o’clock’s “Crossing Jordan” (5.9/15).

The big night has helped NBC pad its lead in adults 18-49 through five nights of the four-week May sweep. NBC leads with a 5.0 rating/14 share (even vs. last year) and is followed by CBS, 4.2/11 (up 2%); ABC, 3.8/10 (up 6%); Fox, 3.5/10) (down 17%); the WB, 1.5/4 (up 25%), tied with UPN, 1.5/4 (down 6%).

CBS leads in total viewers (13.78 million), with NBC second (12.69m).

On Monday, CBS felt the pinch from both NBC and ABC, whose night devoted entirely to Gilda Radner stole away some of the Eye’s core women 25-54 aud, as well.

Eye’s anchor laffers “King of Queens” (11.46m, 3.5/10 in 18-49) and “Everybody Loves Raymond” (17.55m, 5.9/14) both fell to firstrun season lows.

An 8 p.m. “Gilda Radner’s Greatest Moments” spec (10.27m, 3.6/10) actually drew more overall viewers than the two-hour, heavily promoted movie, “Gilda Radner: It’s Always Something” (a disappointing 9.08m, 3.9/9).

Fox, with “Ally McBeal” limping to its series finale, finished fourth in 18-49 (3.6/9).

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