Peacock, Eye nets roll to rating victories

Primetime leaders NBC and CBS scored easy victories last week, with weekend movies powering the Peacock in the key young adult demo and Jerry Bruckheimer crime dramas propelling the Eye in total viewers.

According to Nielsen’s in-home viewing estimates for the week of Dec. 15-21, NBC prevailed by a comfy 15% over CBS in adults 18-49 (3.8/11 vs. 3.3/10), with Fox (3.1/9) edging past ABC (3.0/9) for third.

Peacock did it despite airing repeats of key skeins including “Fear Factor,” “ER,” “Friends” and its “Law & Order” franchise. Net got a nice finishing kick with repeat movies on Friday (“National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”) and Sunday (“Titanic”) bookending a sequel to the former, “Christmas Vacation 2,” on Saturday.

The four-hour “Titanic” rebroadcast sailed off with strong numbers (4.3/12 in 18-49, 11.16 million viewers overall), ranking as the second-highest-rated feature film in a year on any net among adults 18-49.

‘Morgan’ potential

NBC also received an encouraging perf from freshman comedy “Tracy Morgan,” whose Tuesday 18-49 score (3.4/10) matched the deliveries last week of two other leadoff laffers — CBS’ “Yes, Dear” and ABC’s “My Wife and Kids.”

CBS, without “Survivor” for the first time this season, dominated in total viewers (12.38 million) and remained competitive in demos — tying NBC for the week’s 25-54 lead (4.3/11) — behind firstrun segs of “CSI,” “CSI: Miami” and “Without a Trace.”

“CSI” was the week’s No. 1 program (7.9/22 in 18-49, 24.70m) and the other Bruckheimer skeins also ranked in the top 10. For “Trace,” it hit a series high in adults 25-54 (7.9/20) and total viewers (19.35m), retaining a solid 77% of its “CSI” 18-49 lead-in opposite a repeat of “ER.”

For the season, the Eye net has surpassed Fox for second place in adults 18-49 (3.9/11), within shouting distance of NBC (4.2/12).

Fox scored twice with “The Simple Life,” which was the top-rated program on Tuesday and Wednesday in key demos, and was encouraged by a best-since-preem delivery for rookie Sunday laffer “Arrested Development” (2.9/8 in 18-49).

The Murdoch net joined NBC in posting year-to-year gains vs. the same frame a year ago, and remains the only net to be up across the board through 13 weeks of the season.

Gridiron grit

Fourth-place ABC was paced by some of the best numbers of the season for “Monday Night Football” (7.5/21 in 18-49, 18.76m for Miami-Philadelphia), which was the week’s No. 1 program in key male demos.

ABC also again did well with specs, including a pair on Wednesday: “Barbara Walters Presents: 10 Most Fascinating People” (4.1/11 in 18-49) and “Primetime — Oprah in Africa” (4.2/12).

UPN and the WB tied for the week in adults 18-34 (1.3/4) and persons 12-34 (1.4/5), with the former’s repeat of “Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show” (1.6/4 in 18-49) looking solid in the Tuesday timeslot that will be home to the net’s “America’s Next Top Model” reality skein beginning next month.

Key NFL contests Saturday and Sunday lifted ESPN to the top of the cable rankings for the week in adults 18-49 (1.2/3) and total viewers (2.99 million), and it edged past the WB for sixth place for the week.

Bravo delivered the second-best weekly 18-49 and 25-54 averages in the net’s 23-year history, boosted by a special holiday seg of “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 2.92m) that was the top-rated program of the week in basic cable in 18-49, 25-54 and 18-34.

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