Eye wins night with ‘Don’s’ help

Continuing to make the audience an offer it can’t refuse, CBS earned its first outright Tuesday-night household ratings win in more than three years as part two of the three-night mob miniseries “The Last Don” snared a 14.5 rating/23 share in national Nielsen figures.

However, “The Last Don” slipped dramatically from its boffo 17.8/29 opening Sunday, boding somewhat poorly for its final-night ratings prospects on Wednesday.

CBS tallied a 12.3/20 count for the night, to upend both ABC’s and NBC’s Tuesday comedy lineups. ABC nosed out NBC for second, 11.2/18 to 11.0/18. Fox had an 8-10 p.m. count of 4.8/8.

It was CBS’s highest-rated Tuesday with regular programming since the second part of the mini “Children of the Dust” on Feb. 28, 1995.

The victory pulled CBS into a tie with NBC in the household race for the first 20 days of May sweeps, with the networks deadlocked at 10.2/17 to ABC’s 9.1/15 and Fox’s 7.0/12. NBC is down 16% in homes for the period from a year ago, while CBS is up 4%.

NBC has also slipped 16% in adults 18-49 for the sweeps to date from its May ’96 numbers. But it still holds a comfortable lead on its rivals with a 6.7 (down from 8.0 last year).

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