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Twang has bang for ABC

Heroic effort for Peacock on Monday

NBC’s “Heroes” ascended to another high Monday, but overall the night went to ABC, which prevailed with its initial airing of the “CMA Awards.”

Despite switching nights and networks, the Country Music Assn. kudocast maintained its year-ago audience among young adults and helped the Alphabet capture a Monday for the first time this season.

After a 32-year run on CBS, the CMA shift to ABC stunned a scorned Eye (Daily Variety, Nov. 6).

And although overall viewership was down vs. last year’s Tuesday airing on CBS and at the lowest level to date, the show was up vs. last year among viewers under 35 — a good sign for the future.

According to Nielsen estimates, the 40th annual CMAs averaged a 5.4 rating/13 share in adults 18-49 and 15.96 million viewers overall, winning the night’s first two hours before falling behind the Eye’s “CSI: Miami” (5.7/15, 16.80m) at 10 p.m.

Show posted year-to-year increases in adults 18-34 (4.1/11 to 3.9/11) and teens (2.6/8 to 2.4/8). Also, in women 18-49 — ABC’s strength thanks to shows like “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Desperate Housewives” — the kudocast rose 8% (7.0/16 to 6.5/15).

In total viewers, the average audience of 16 million was off 10% from the 17.73 million for last year’s CBS edition, which had stood as the fourth least-watched CMA event. In adults 25-54, a strong suit for the Eye, this year’s show on ABC was down 9% (6.1/14 vs. 6.7/15).

Elsewhere on the first Monday of the sweep, NBC ran second in demos thanks to “Heroes” (6.7/15, 14.47m), which rose 3% week to week to hit a high for a third straight airing. Leadout “Studio 60” (3.3/8, 7.67m) was up slightly vs. its most recent airing.

Although “CSI: Miami” was the night’s top show, each of the Eye’s programs matched or set season lows as the CMA competish likely affected CBS the most.

Fox’s “Prison Break” was solid at 8 (3.5/9, 8.63m), but the net is going backward at 9 as “Justice” (1.8/4, 5.85m) fell below what “Vanished” was doing in its final episodes there.

For the night, ABC won in 18-49 (5.4/13), with NBC second (4.8/12) and CBS third (4.3/11). The Eye ran second to ABC in total viewers (12.6 million to 16 million).

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