ABC telepic helps part ratings waters

'Commandments' floats net to rare win

HOLLYWOOD — ABC scored a rare ratings victory Sunday with its annual airing of “The Ten Commandments,” while NBC also did pretty well with its Bob Hope special. Auds, though, gave a frigid reception to Susan Sarandon made-for “Ice Bound” on CBS.

According to prelim primetime nationals, the Alphabet web prevailed in adults 18-49 with its four-hour-plus “Commandments” (4.1/12, 10.6 million viewers overall) — ABC’s first demo victory on any night since the Oscars on March 23. Movie led or tied for the 18-49 lead with each of its half-hours, peaking at 10 with a 5.0/13.

“Commandments,” airing Sunday for a 23rd time on broadcast television, has now been the highest-rated Easter-week movie for four straight seasons.

NBC’s two-hour “100 Years of Hope and Humor” ran second in 18-49 from 7 to 9 (2.6/9) and first in total viewers (12.5 million), growing to a 3.5/10 in the demo and 16 million viewers overall in the 8:30 half-hour. At 10, season finale of net’s “Boomtown” placed second in 18-49 (4.0/11), its best score in four tries.

“Ice Bound,” starring Sarandon as a doctor who discovers she has breast cancer while stranded at the South Pole, averaged a 2.1/6 in adults 18-49 and 8.9 million viewers overall, putting it well behind the Eye’s rivals.

It’s unclear what effect the anti-war stance of Sarandon may have had on the heavily promoted pic’s ratings. The “CBS Sunday Movie” franchise has been struggling anyway, but Sunday’s 18-49 score repped a 28% falloff from the season average (2.9).

From 8 to 9, the Eye’s “Becker” wrapped its season with two half-hour episodes that ran fourth or lower in all key demos, including adults 18-49 (1.8/5) and 25-54 (2.4/6).

Fox placed third in 18-49 on Sunday, led by an original “Malcolm in the Middle” (3.9/10) and a repeat of “The Simpsons” (3.4/10).

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