ABC came within a hair’s breadth of catching CBS’ daytime lineup in Nielsen fringe ratings for the week of May 24-28, threatening an undefeated, untied win streak that goes back to the early days of the Bush Administration.
The Eye network finished the week with a 5.1 rating, 21 share in daytime to ABC’s 5.0/20, running its consecutive household ratings string to 221 weeks.
It bears noting that ABC and NBC offer an hour less programming each day than CBS, which still had the week’s top-rated show, “The Young and the Restless” (8. 0/31), followed by ABC’s soaps “All My Children” (7.4/26) and “General Hospital” (6.1/22).
ABC also enjoyed a commanding lead in the key sales demographic, women aged 18-49, with a 4.2 rating compared to CBS’ 3.0. The Alphabet web’s lineup may have benefited in part from its May 26 broadcast of the Daytime Emmy Awards, which emerged as the week’s top-rated prime time program.
NBC, a distant third in households and demos with a 2.7/10 and 1.8, respectively, will shake up its daytime lineup beginning June 14 with the new shows “John & Leeza” and “Caesars Challenge.”
Benefits of the big “Cheers” finale, meanwhile, proved short-lived for “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno,” as “Nightline” moved back on top in late night for the week of May 24, delivering a 5.4/16 to win its half-hour, with “Tonight” pulling a 5.0/14 from 11:30 to midnight and 4.5/14 overall. CBS’ “Crime Time” action shows delivered a 2.8/10.
Thanks in part to its “Cheers” installment, “Tonight” finished the May sweeps with a 5.3/16 and a 6.0/17 in its first half-hour, compared to a 4.9/14 for “Nightline.” Leno also won, albeit by a narrower margin, excluding the May 20 broadcast. ABC also ran its morning win streak to 29 weeks in a tightening race with NBC’s “Today.””Good Morning America” (4.3/20) edged “Today” (4.0/18) in households, while the two tied among adults 18-49 with a 1.7 rating each. “CBS This Morning” posted a 2.9/13, with a 0.9 in the key-adult group.
For the sweeps, “GMA” finished with a 4.6/21, followed by “Today’s” 4.1/18 and a 2.7/12 for CBS.
With CBS suffering low coverage due to baseball, the Fox Children’s Network rolled to an easy win in Saturday morning with a 5.4 rating among kids 2-11 and 3.1/13 in households, topping ABC (a 4.7 and 2.8/12, respectively) and CBS (4.0, 2.7/11) on both fronts.
In weekend sports for Memorial Day, the Indy 500 sped across the finish line with an 8.5/29 on May 30, while NBC scored with its NBA playoff coverage, pulling an 8.7/29 for the Knicks-Bulls on May 29.