‘Idol’ gives Fox thrice the power

'ER,' 'Friends,' 'Will & Grace' garner strong numbers for NBC

HOLLYWOOD — A triple scoop of “American Idol” kept Fox on top of the primetime heap for a third straight week in the primary young-adult demo.

The hot music talent show, comprising 17% of the net’s sked, continues to dominate everywhere it airs while having a halo effect on the scripted shows that surround it.

CBS, despite third-place finishes in demos, was easily the most-watched network overall, while NBC was again the most balanced of all nets — placing first or second in all key measures.

According to Nielsen Media Research estimates for the week of April 21-27, Fox prevailed in adults 18-49 (4.6/13) for the 11th time in the past 16 weeks. Net’s three editions of “American Idol,” including a one-hour spec on Monday, placed in the week’s top 12, led by Tuesday’s hour (No. 4, 9.6/27), which again defeated its combined ABC-CBS-NBC competish.

Fox claimed nine of the week’s top 20 programs overall, with shows airing before or after “Idol” on the sked — such as Tuesday’s “24” (5.8/15) and Wednesday’s “That ’70s Show” (5.7/18), “Bernie Mac” (6.0/15) and “Wanda at Large” (4.9/12) — also making the list.

A repeat of “The Simpsons” was Sunday’s top show in 18-49 (5.5/15), and the premiere of limited-run reality skein “Mr. Personality” opened well Monday (Daily Variety, April 23), although it faded in its second try.

NBC’s “ER” (10.1/26) was the week’s No. 1 program in adults 18-49 for the first time since December (Daily Variety, April 28), capping a strong Thursday for the Peacock that also included a dominant showing by “Friends” (9.9/30) and a potent “Will & Grace” (9.3/23), featuring a guest appearance by Madonna.

The Peacock, which won the week in adults 25-54 and women 18-49 was second in 18-49, 18-34 and total viewers, also received more winning perfs from the “Law & Order” franchise. Wednesday’s mothership (6.4/17), Friday’s “Special Victims Unit” (5.0/16) and Sunday’s “Criminal Intent” (5.2/13) all led hours in 18-49.

Net’s Tuesday comedy block is ailing, though, with anchor “Frasier” (3.2/8 in A18-49) falling behind a repeat of ABC’s “According to Jim” (3.5/9) and “Watching Ellie” (2.7/7) not competitive at 9:30.

CBS ran third in both 18-49 and 25-54 despite its comfortable advantage in total viewers, which came courtesy of Sunday movie “A Painted House” — the net’s most-watched single-part telepic in more than three years (18.28m) — and timeslot victories on both Saturday and Sunday for the two-part series finale of nine-year drama “Touched by an Angel.”

“CSI” was again strong on Thursday, ranking as the night’s and week’s top program in both adults 25-54 (11.1/25) and total viewers (25.22m).

ABC, fourth in most categories and third in adults 18-34, had a solid Wednesday behind “The Bachelor” (6.2/15 in A18-49) and the series premiere of the reality show that follows it on Wednesday, “Extreme Makeover” (5.6/15).

Net also took Saturday in demos with “Forrest Gump” (2.9/10 in 18-49) and delivered the week’s top newsmag in Thursday’s “Primetime” (5.2/13 in adults 18-49), which moved ahead of CBS drama “Without a Trace” in the demo (4.3/11) for just the second time.

The WB ranked fourth for the week among persons 12-34 and women 18-34 — behind only Fox, NBC and ABC — and was only a tick out of fourth in adults 18-34.

The 150th episode of “7th Heaven” (3.1/9 in A18-49, 8.28m) did well on Monday, while the one-hour series finale of “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” didn’t do much against tough competish on Thursday (1.0/3 in A18-34), but it did beat out ABC’s “All-American Girl.”

UPN was again well off its year-ago pace and fell further behind the WB in the 18-34 demo. Net’s “Platinum” (1.0/3 in A18-34) isn’t making much noise on Tuesday, retaining 66% of its lead-in from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”

TNT ended Fox News Channel’s five-week run as the most-watched basic cabler. The Turner net, boosted by NBA playoff action, finished on top for the frame in adults 18-49 (1.2 national rating), adults 25-54 (1.2) and total viewers (2.74 million).

Fox News was still up more than 140% year-to-year in both total viewers and adults 25-54, while fellow newsie CNN fell to 12th place in overall primetime viewership (1.05 million) and was up 30% vs. last year.

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Scene News from Variety