ABC clings to Tuesday demos

'Spin' hits season low

“Home Improvement” continues to slump in its final month of firstrun episodes, this week equaling its third-lowest firstrun rating ever.

With a season-low firstrun “Spin City” and the continued fade of “NYPD Blue,” ABC barely held on to the Tuesday 18-49 lead and slipped to third in households.

CBS took its 17th Tuesday household win this season with the Jaclyn Smith vidpic “Three Secrets” (10.5 rating, 17 share in homes, 4.1/11 in adults 18-49).

At 8 p.m., “Home Improvement” constructed a 9.2/16 in homes and a 5.2/17 among adults 18-49, facing special sweeps competition from NBC’s “Friends” rerun (6.6/12 in homes, 4.0/13 in adults 18-49). In households, “Home” tied its previous-week rating, the series’ third-lowest ever in firstrun. “Home’s” highly anticipated series finale is two weeks away.

ABC also settled Tuesday for season-low firstrun households from “Spin City” (7.9/13 in homes, 5.4/15 in adults 18-49) and another sluggish “NYPD Blue” (9.9/16 in homes, third for that hour, and a 6.0/16 in adults 18-49). A special “Drew Carey” at 9:30 (7.8/12 in homes, 5.5/14 in adults 18-49) helped out with ABC’s highest 18-49 figures in that slot in 10 weeks.

Fox’s all-animation lineup (5.2/9 in homes, 3.7/11 in adults 18-49) earned an OK third-place finish from 8-10 p.m. in adults 18-49.

Nearing the halfway point of the May sweeps, CBS has pulled within a rating point of first-place NBC in households. With 15 nights to count in the four-week sweep, NBC is averaging a 9.9 rating and CBS an 8.9, with CBS’ biggest event, “Joan of Arc,” still to come.

Each household rating point represents an estimated 994,000 homes, or 1% of the country’s TV households. Each adults 18-49 rating point reps 1.239 million viewers, 1% of the U.S. total. A share is the same sort of percentage, except it’s measured against only the homes or viewers watching TV during the timeslot involved.