‘Seinfeld’ momentum hikes NBC sweeps

22.1 rating, 34 share best since Nov. 20 last year

NBC has added to its huge May sweeps lead with the top-rated “Seinfeld” since Nov. 20.

The April 30 “Seinfeld,” the third-to-last original episode in the sitcom’s run, achieved a 22.1 rating, 34 share in homes and a 17.9/46 in adults 18-49. The homes score topped the combined ABC-CBS-Fox competition that half-hour, and the 18-49 figure fell just short of doubling the ABC-CBS-Fox total.

Momentum is finally starting to build toward the “Seinfeld” finale, with last Thursday’s rating beating the show’s season aver-age by 10%.

Preliminary nationals for Friday put ABC’s regulars routinely first for that night with an 8.4/16, though Fox pulled ahead in 8-10 p.m. adults 18-49 averages with a 3.7/13 vs. ABC’s 3.6/13.

Saturday’s prelim nationals show NBC’s dramas edging ABC’s “Apollo 13” rerun in adults 18-49, with a 4.2 rating vs. a 4.0. It was ABC’s highest Saturday orbit in 10 weeks.

CBS (6.9/14) won Saturday in homes, though all three of its shows finished last in their slots in adults 25-54. “Dr. Quinn” (6.3/13) and “Early Edition” (6.1/12) slipped to lowest-ever firstrun homes ratings.

Headed into Friday, NBC was leading the sweeps by 7 shares in homes and 11 shares in adults 18-49.

Thursday’s “Veronica’s Closet” (16.2/25) is failing to keep up with “Seinfeld,” last week holding just 72% of its 18-49 lead-in from “Seinfeld” and 63% of its men 18-49 lead-in.

From 8-9 p.m. Thursday, Fox’s “World’s Wildest Police Videos” (6.5/11) faded to lowest-yet numbers.

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.