‘ER’ leads Peacock to demo sweeps win

NBC eyes move ahead of CBS with 4 nights left

“ER” has sewed things up for NBC, as the show’s best ratings in nearly a year helped the net score a dominant demo victory on the final Thursday of the sweep and assured its fourth straight November triumph in the key young-adults category.

NBC will prevail in adults 18-49, moving ahead of CBS by 10% with four nights left to be counted (projected 4.5/13 to 4.1/12). The Eye web, which long ago locked up the sweep crown in total viewers, remains in position for its first-ever November triumph in 25-54, on top of NBC by 4% (projected 5.3/13 to 5.1/13).

According to Nielsen nationals for Thursday, NBC scored its most decisive demo triumph since premiere week, topping second-place CBS by 33% (9.6/24 to 7.2/18). The Peacock also moved on top in 25-54 (9.7/22), while CBS held on in total viewers (20.8 million).

Leading the way was a powerful perf by “ER” (11.5/29 share in adults 18-49, 23.41 million viewers overall), which stitched together its strongest scores since last December and the highest 18-49 rating for any telecast on any net since the season premiere of “Friends” on Sept. 25.

Episode, featuring a catastrophic helicopter crash at County General Hospital, topped second-place CBS drama “Without a Trace” (5.1/13 in 18-49, 15.74m) by 125% in 18-49.

Night was a strong one all around for NBC, with “Friends” (9.4/26 in 18-49, 20.66m) leading at 8 and both “Will & Grace” at 9 (8.5/21 in 18-49, 16.38m) and “Scrubs” at 9:30 (7.1/17 in 18-49, 12.83m) delivering their timeslots’ best results since Sept. 25.

CBS was led by “CSI” (9.4/23 in 18-49, 26.64m), which was again the most-watched program overall, and by “Survivor” (7.0/19, 19.90m), although the latter hit a season low in 18-49.

ABC showed the most year-to-year growth on Thursday and posted its best non-sports scores on the night since February courtesy of specs “The Bachelor: After the Final Rose” (3.3/9 in 18-49, 9.27m) and “Peter Jennings Reporting: The Kennedy Assassination” (3.7/9 in 18-49, 11.70m).

On Friday, NBC (3.2/10) and ABC (3.1/10) were in a virtual tie for the night’s 18-49 lead, while CBS led in total viewers (10.7 million), according to prelim Nielsen results.

Peacock was strong at both 8 with a “Dateline” report on Michael Jackson (first-place 3.4/11 in 18-49, 11.2 million) and at 10 with “Third Watch,” which led in 18-49 (3.6/11) with its best Friday showing yet.

ABC was solid throughout the night, led at 9 by an easy 18-49 victory for “Hope & Faith” (prelim 3.6/11), while CBS was paced by “Joan of Arcadia” in 18-49 (prelim 2.8/9) and by “JAG” in 25-54 (slot-leading 4.1/11).

The first “Vibe Awards,” toasting urban hooks and looks, performed well for UPN, notching the net’s best adults 18-34 delivery on a Friday (prelim 2.1/8) since it first programmed the night in October 1998. It tied NBC’s “Miss Match” for the 18-34 slot lead at 9:30 (2.5/9).

Fox led in 18-49 on Saturday (prelim 2.9/9) as “Cops” and “America’s Most Wanted” took each half-hour, while CBS led the night in total viewers, paced by “The District” (10.4 million).

ABC’s original “Wonderful World of Disney” pic “Eloise at Christmastime” (prelim 2.4/8 in 18-49, 9 million) won from 8 to 10 in women 18-49, teens, kids and total viewers with the net’s best showing on the night since premiere week.

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