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‘Special’ bulletin

Telepic tips CBS to apparent homes win

CBS has found that Julie Andrews and James Garner can be worth more than three “Millionaires.”

Sunday’s Andrews/Garner vidpic ”One Special Night” achieved very special household results, the highest rating for any movie this season, boosting CBS to an apparent homes win in Nov. 22-28 primetime Nielsens. Music specials featuring Celine Dion, Shania Twain and Ricky Martin are also keys to just the second CBS weeklong win in the last seven weeks.

Meanwhile, ABC’s three early-week episodes of ”Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” and some strong holiday-weekend movies were enough to keep the Alphabet first for Nov. 22-28 in adults 18-49. Older-skewing CBS will remain fourth in that key demo, a favorite of advertisers.

Telepic powerhouse

The Eye’s ”One Special Night” (a preliminary 25.85 million total viewers and a 6.2 rating, 14 share in adults 18-49) snowed under the competition, piling up CBS’ best movie rating (a prelim 17.5) since ”Borrowed Hearts” aired Nov. 30, 1997.

”Special” is also the top-rated non-“Millionaire,” non-“ER” telecast of the November sweeps to date in households.

NBC’s 9-11 p.m. broadcast premiere of ”Men in Black” (a prelim 16.93 million, 7.8/18 in adults 18-49) and ABC’s 7-9 p.m. rerun of ”The Santa Clause” (a prelim 18.63 million, 6.8/16 in adults 18-49) topped ”Special Night” in the 18-49 demo. Fox led the night’s 18-49 race, paced by ”The X-Files” (a prelim 15.03 million, 8.3/18 in adults 18-49).

ABC’s ”Snoops” (a prelim 9.65 million, 4.0/8 in adults 18-49) is in trouble in the 9-10 p.m. slot, last Sunday falling deep into fourth for the hour, 5 shares out of third.

NBC’s ”Men in Black” tied ABC’s ”Annie” as highest-rated movie this season among adults 18-49. In that demo, it was NBC’s highest-rated regular-sked Sunday since Nov. 15, 1998.

Eye over ABC

Based on averages that incorporate prelim figures for Wednesday through Sunday, CBS is expected to finish the Nov. 22-28 week with a 9.6 rating, down 1% from the year-ago week but still good enough to edge ABC’s projected 9.5 (up 13%). NBC (9.0, up 13%) and Fox (6.2, down 18%) are expected to follow.

ABC appears headed toward its fourth-straight weeklong win in adults 18-49 (including a tie) with a projected 5.8 rating (up 16%), followed closely by NBC (5.6, up 17%), while Fox (4.4, down 20%) and CBS (4.2, down 2%) trail.

Official Nov. 22-28 averages are due from Nielsen today, and significant adjustments are still possible.

November edge

Sunday’s results didn’t alter the November sweeps picture much, with ABC still leading NBC by a projected 0.4-rating-point margin in adults 18-49 (5.9 vs. 5.5) and by 0.7 in homes (9.9 vs. 9.2).

”Special Night” helped CBS advance three tenths to a 9.1 in homes, so the Eye is now a close third in that sweeps race.

Each adults 18-49 rating point reps 1.24 million viewers, 1% of the U.S. total. The share is also a percentage, but measured against only viewers watching TV during the slot involved.