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Kudocasts, football drive week

Fox does demos with Emmys; Eye homes in

Below-average Emmy results have prevented Fox from claiming Sept. 6-12 Nielsen honors in households, but the Emmycast was more than strong enough to lead a Fox sweep in all key-demographic categories.

Still, it was a week in which cable fare nearly upstaged the Emmys, with “The MTV Video Music Awards” winning Thursday in adults 18-49, and Sunday’s primetime NFLcast on ESPN taking second in its slot behind only the Emmys.

Football also excelled on Monday, as ABC’s 30th season premiere of “Monday Night Football” scored its best opening-week numbers in three years.

CBS won the Sept. 6-12 primetime week in households, nipping Emmy-boosted Fox, though the Murdoch net led the week in total viewers and such demo breakouts as adults 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54. It was Fox’s first 18-49 and total-viewer wins since baseball’s All-Star Game in mid-July.

The week’s adults 18-49 averages were: Fox, a 4.4 rating, 13 share (equaling its rating for the same week last year); NBC, 3.5/11 (down 27% vs. last year, when NBC aired the Emmys); ABC, 3.2/10 (down 26% vs. last year’s football-boosted numbers); CBS, 2.8/9 (down 13%); UPN, 1.2/4 (up 9%); WB, 1.1/3 (even); Pax TV, a 0.3 rating.

National primetime 18-49 averages for the top cable services were: ESPN, 1.6/5 (up 33%); MTV, 1.1/3 (up 22%); HBO, 1.1/3 (down 15%); TBS, 1.0/3 (up 67%); TNT, 0.8/2 (even); USA, 0.8/2 (up 33%).

Monday

ABC’s “Monday Night Football” (16.1 rating, 27 share in homes, 10.3/29 in adults 18-49) swept to its highest opening-week numbers since 1996. The Sept. 13 Miami Dolphins upset win over the Super Bowl champ Denver Broncos earned a solid 9% increase over last year’s New England-Denver opener, which aired an hour earlier.

CBS was a strong second for the night with two hours of “Everybody Loves Raymond” reruns. That block managed the three highest “Raymond” homes ratings since May 17 (9.6/15, 9.2/15 and 9.2/14).

Viewers ignored Fox’s rerun of last Wednesday’s “Get Real” premiere (3.0/5 in homes, 1.4/5 in adults 18-49).

Sunday

The Emmys dominated Sunday for Fox despite the ceremony’s lowest homes rating since 1990 (Daily Variety, Sept. 14). The kudocast earned the top homes, viewers and 18-49 ratings of the week for the first time in the 12-year history of the current Nielsen sample.

ESPN’s Sunday-night NFL telecast (Pittsburgh-Cleveland) attracted a national 7.4 homes rating. That topped all broadcast-net slot competition except Fox’s Emmys, though ESPN reaches just 77% of the country’s TV homes.

Compared with year-ago Sept. 14 grid results, ESPN scored a 17% increase. Fox was also up by 4% with its 7-7:14 p.m. football overrun.

Facing the Emmys, ABC settled for its lowest primetime rating from a rerun Barbara Walters spec in at least 18 years.

Saturday

ABC intercepted the Saturday 18-49 win with college football, which topped last year’s comparable game (Notre Dame-Michigan State) by 50% in homes. Fox tied football’s 18-49 stats from 8-10 p.m.

Friday

Fox’s rerun movie “Money Train” led 18-49 standings 8-10 p.m. ABC had the higher 8-11 p.m. average, though its Saturday-morning preview special dropped 5% below year-ago results, for ABC’s lowest rating ever in that slot with firstrun fare.

Thursday

Cable’s “MTV Video Music Awards” scored an upset win Thursday, walking off with the night’s 18-49 prize (a national 5.5/16 vs. NBC’s 5.2/15) and finishing just a 10th of a point behind NBC’s tally in homes.

Despite tough demo competition from the MTV kudocast, UPN’s “WWF Smackdown” again flexed its muscles, beating all broadcast nets for the night among teens.

Low clearances helped drop ABC’s “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” to its two lowest household ratings to date, a discouraging sign for ABC’s fall Thursday leadoff hitter.

Wednesday

Fox took the night in adults 18-49, though “Get Real” got off to a slow start, trailing the homes rating of every firstrun “Party of Five” in that slot since November 1996 (Daily Variety, Sept. 10).

For the first time, UPN workhorse “7 Days” tied WB slot rival “Dawson’s Creek” in homes.

Tuesday

NBC’s sitcoms again topped ABC’s in adults 18-49. CBS took the night in households, as “60 Minutes II” reported the Eye’s highest rating of the week (Daily Variety, Sept. 9).

Fox’s rerun of “The Craft” conjured up the week’s top teen rating.

“Dilbert’s” first Tuesday try led to the lowest homes rating on that night in UPN history. A special “Star Trek: Voyager” hit that series’ lowest rating ever.

Monday

Fox led Sept. 6 in adults 18-49, while ABC moved ahead in homes (Daily Variety, Sept. 9). UPN’s Monday continues to impress, with the season premiere of “Malcolm & Eddie” topping its own households average of last season by 39%.

Each household rating point represents an estimated 1 million homes, or 1% of the country’s TV households. Each adults 18-49 rating point reps 1.24 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.