Room at the top for trio of nets

ABC continues swoon as only 2 shows break top 30

CBS, NBC and Fox took turns beating up on ABC last week, as the Alphabet net remained out of the ratings race.

According to Nielsen Media Research, a different net led the April 7-13 frame in the key categories of adults 18-49 (Fox’s 4.1/12), adults 25-54 (NBC’s 4.7/12) and total viewers (CBS’ 11.5 million) — and in each case, ABC ran a distant fourth.

Meanwhile, the first full week of daylight-saving time combined with spring break for the college crowd to keep a lid on the ratings for all nets. Fox’s winning score in adults 18-49 was the lowest for a top-rated net since Christmas week.

The Murdoch net, up 30% or more across the board year-to-year, edged out NBC in adults 18-49 (4.1/13 vs. 3.9/12) while dominating for an 11th straight week in adults 18-34 (4.3/14) behind two blockbuster showings from “American Idol.”

Net’s Wednesday laffers “Bernie Mac” (best-ever 6.3/16 in adults 18-49) and “Wanda at Large” (5.9/15) ranked second and third for the week among comedies in the primary sales demo, behind only NBC’s repeat of “Friends” (6.5/20).

“Idol” (9.7/27 Tuesday, 9.4/25 Wednesday) comprised the week’s No. 2 and 3 programs in 18-49, edged out by CBS drama “CSI” (9.8/25), which also was easily the top draw in both adults 25-54 (11.7/26) and total viewers (26.45 million).

CBS, boosted on Monday by the men’s NCAA basketball tourney, won the week in men 25-54 and claimed four of the frame’s five most-watched programs. Net dominated Thursday, with rookie drama “Without a Trace” uncovering its second highest 18-49 score of the season (6.2/17).

The Eye’s “60 Minutes II” was the week’s top newsmag draw in adults 25-54 (4.2/9) and 18-49 (2.8/9).

NBC remains the most consistent net — placing first or second in most key categories without firstrun episodes of biggies like “Friends,” “ER” or the “Law & Order” franchise.

Tuesday’s “Cher Farewell Concert” (5.9/15 in adults 18-49) became the season’s top-rated music special, while the season finale of “Ed” dominated its Friday hour (3.9/13 in 18-49). Friday’s “America’s Most Talented Kid” (2.5/9) lost some steam, getting edged out by a repeat of ABC’s “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (2.6/10).

That was one of the few highlights for the Alphabet web, which delivered only two of the week’s top 30 shows among adults 18-49 — “The Bachelor” (5.4/14) and “NYPD Blue” (4.4/11) — and failed to win a night in the demo for a third straight week.

Net remains up vs. a year ago — thanks in large part to the Super Bowl — but is limping to the finish line for a second straight season.

One of its few recent bright spots appears to be Tuesday laffer “Lost at Home,” which in its second outing last week retained all its “According to Jim” lead-in.

UPN moved up to a tie with the WB among adults 18-34 (1.4 rating) and edged ahead of the Frog in total viewers — its best competitive finish since December.

Fox News Channel continued to lead the primetime cable race, topping second-place CNN by 40% in adults 25-54 and by 44% in total viewers. FNC was down 9% week-to-week in overall audience (4.13m vs. 4.52m), while CNN was off 16% (2.86m vs. 3.40m).

Lifetime, which delivered the week’s most-watched entertainment program on cable with the Monday movie “Homeless to Harvard” (5.67 million), was fourth for the frame in adults 18-49 and 25-54, and first in women 18-49 and 25-54.

A special Sunday episode of TLC’s “Trading Spaces” was the week’s top-rated cable program among adults 18-49 (2.7 national rating) — topping ABC’s “Dragnet” in the 10 o’clock hour.

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