‘Greed’ good for Fox

First 'Millionaire' expected to shake up ratings

The new Fox gameshow “Greed” won’t make anyone forget “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” but it could help beleaguered Fox overcome the disappointment over “Action.”

“Greed” launched Fox’s November sweeps Nov. 4 with a 4.0 rating in adults 18-49, well short of the numbers ABC can expect with its 15 nights of new “Millionaire” segs this month. But “Greed” also hoarded a lot more Nielsen riches than Fox has normally collected on Thursdays this season with “World’s Wildest Police Videos” and “Action.”

“Greed” has helped the Murdoch net keep pace with its year-ago 18-49 results three nights into the November sweeps — not bad for a net that was staggering 17% behind year-ago averages through the season’s first six weeks.

As expected, NBC has broken out to its usual big lead at the start of sweeps, thanks to its Thursday dominance. Using prelim Nov. 5 and Nov. 6 results, NBC earned a projected three-night 6.1 rating in adults 18-49 (down 6% vs. year-ago results), keeping it far head of Fox (4.0, even), ABC (3.5, up 9%) and CBS (2.9, down 22%).

Those standings could change drastically today when Nielsen reports first results for Sunday, including ratings for CBS’ “Shake, Rattle & Roll,” NBC’s “Leprechauns” and ABC’s first “Millionaire” of the month.

The Nov. 4 two-hour introduction of “Greed” beat Fox’s Thursday 18-49 average this season, excluding baseball, by 60% (with a 4.0 rating vs. a 2.5). By a tougher standard, though, “Greed’s” Nielsen payoff looks a little weak –down 37% vs. Fox’s sweeps-month reality-spec 18-49 average on Thursdays last season (4.0 vs. 6.3).

NBC’s regulars dominated Thursday as usual, but finished down 15% vs. year-ago 18-49 results for the opening night of the sweeps (11.2 vs. 13.1).

Fox extended its sweeps-month comeback Friday with a rerun of Eddie Murphy’s “The Nutty Professor” (a preliminary 10.17 million viewers, 4.4/13 in adults 18-49), which won the night in the 18-49 demo by topping Fox’s Friday season average by 52% (4.4 vs. 2.9).

That night’s wedding episode of “Boy Meets World” (a prelim 11.56 million viewers, 4.1/14 in adults 18-49) caught that series’ most fragrant homes-rating bouquet since March 12, but the “TGIF” lineup wilted from there and ABC was left in third place for the night.