‘Don II’ unspectacular winner for CBS

Mini edges 'Waiting,' 'Long Island Incident'

CBS’ “The Last Don II” has begun its two-night run with unexciting numbers, well short of last May’s first “Don,” but strong enough to gun down ABC’s “Waiting to Exhale” and NBC’s “The Long Island Incident.”

In preliminary national Nielsens for Sunday, “Don II, Part 1” earned an 11.9 rating, 19 share in homes and a 6.1/15 in adults 18-49 — about 7% higher than CBS’ movie average in the slot this season. The pic concludes tonight.

Those numbers are down significantly from results for last year’s first “Don” miniseries, a three-parter, which launched with a 17.8/29 in homes and a 9.0/21 in adults 18-49, then earned three-night scores of 15.9/25 and 7.9/19.

‘Don II” still beat ABC’s “Exhale” (9.0/15 in homes, 5.3/13 in adults 18-49) and NBC’s “Incident” (8.7/14 in homes, 5.0/13 in adults 18-49), though results could vary somewhat when Nielsen updates these numbers today. “Don II” also led those competing pics in adults, men and women 25-54, men and women 18-49 and men 18-34. “Don II” beat CBS’ season average in that slot by 7% in adults 18-49.

CBS has reason to be relieved at “Don II’s” respectable performance but also disappointed the mini failed to turn around the net’s generally soft May, after disappointments from CBS’ other top sweeps films to date, “Dallas: War of the Ewings” (7.8/14 and 3.7/11) and “Nicholas’ Gift” (12.6/19 and 5.5/12).

Fox’s “X-Files” (11.0/17 in homes, 9.8/24 in adults 18-49) dominated all three movies in every key demo from 9-10 p.m. “X- Files” soared 29% ahead of its poor previous-week rating vs. NBC’s hit mini “Merlin” and led Fox to an easy Sunday win in adults 18-49, 3 shares ahead of second-place CBS. The Eye rolled to first for the night in homes and adults 25-54.

From 7-9 p.m., “Babe” (8.3/14 in homes, 4.5/13 in adults 18-49) guided ABC to its best 18-49 rating in the timeslot in six weeks.

Each household rating point represents an estimated 980,000 homes, or 1% of the country’s TV homes. Each adults 18-49 rating point reps 1.23 million viewers, 1% of the U.S. total. A share is the same sort of percentage, except it measures only the homes or viewers watching TV during the timeslot involved.