Eye scores week streak as ABC wins

'Pelican,' 'Sleepless' power CBS to strong second

ABC’s weekly ratings winning streak doesn’t appear in any imminent danger, but CBS has put together a nice daily run of its own.

According to Nielsen, the Alphabet web cruised to its 22nd consecutive weekly victory among total viewers during the May 23-29 frame, winning Tuesday through Thursday rather easily. CBS, though, ended the week with three straight nightly victories and made it four on Monday this week. The Eye net’s quadruple-night run is the best for any net other than ABC since October. ABC won six straight nights in November and five straight in early May.

CBS used a pair of popular repeat theatricals — Friday’s “Pelican Brief” and Sunday’s “Sleepless in Seattle” — to build its mini-streak. The net was looking for some momentum, especially among younger viewers, leading up to its launch of the much-anticipated summer series “Survivor,” which began Wednesday.

In adults 18-49, ABC was an easy winner, as the week included Michael J. Fox’s farewell from “Spin City” while all of NBC’s Thursday biggies began their summer hibernation. ABC, CBS and UPN were all up vs. the same week a year ago in the key demo.

“Spin,” which posted its best ratings ever on May 24, ranked as the No. 1 program of the week in both total viewers (32.76 million) and adults 18-49 (14.1/35).

In viewers, it was followed during the frame by ABC’s “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” on Thursday (26.21 million) and Wednesday (23.57). ABC domi-nated the top 10, placing seven shows; in the top 30, though, CBS led with 12 programs.

In adults 18-49, NBC’s one-hour “Will & Grace” season finale ranked second (8.5/21) and Thursday’s “Millionaire” placed third (8.2/23).

Adults 18-49 averages for the week of May 23-29: ABC, a 4.9 rating/15 share (up 9% in rating vs. the same week a year ago); NBC, 4.0/12 (down 9%); CBS, 3.0/9 (up 7%), tied with Fox, 3.0/9 (down 23%); UPN, 1.7/5 (up 89%); the WB, 1.4/4 (down 22%); Pax, 0.3/1 (even).

In homes, it’s: ABC, 9.2/17 (up 23%); CBS, 7.4/13 (down 1%); NBC, 6.8/12 (down 12%); Fox, 4.5/8 (down 21%); UPN, 2.6/4 (up 53%); the WB, 2.3/4 (down 28%); Pax, 0.8/1 (even).

Tuesday

ABC won May 30 for the 22nd straight Tuesday in viewers and 21st in the past 22 in adults 18-49, although its sked largely hit the skids after a dominating perf from “Millionaire” (22.28 million, 6.4/20 in A18-49).

From 9-11, CBS won in viewers while NBC and its NBA playoffs won in young adults. The playoff game between Portland and Los Angeles averaged an 8.4/15 in homes, the best national score of the postseason.

The Eye’s “60 Minutes II” drew its largest aud since March 14 (13.48 million) despite airing repeat segs.

Monday

CBS won May 29 for its second straight nightly victory in adults 18-49 — something it wasn’t able to accomplish during the regular season. The net’s “Everybody Loves Raymond” (4.6/13) and “Becker” (4.1/11) were the top shows of the night.

ABC’s “World Music Awards” scored its best adults 18-49 rating (3.7/11) since its debut in 1996 and was up 32% vs. last year (3.7 vs. 2.8). It also won its slot in women 18-49 (4.6/13) and women 18-34 (4.6/14).

Sunday

CBS won in viewers and adults 18-49 for the second time in three Sundays. In its final half-hour in primetime, Eye pic “Sleepless” topped a repeat of ABC’s “The Practice” by a surprising 7 shares in adults 18-49.

“Millionaire” was easily the night’s most-watched program (18.17 million), nearly tripling its “A Kid in King Arthur’s Court” lead-in (6.32 million). The quiz-zer was also tops in young adults (5.2/16), topping the first hour of CBS’ “Sleepless” by 5 shares.

NBC’s preem of “Inherit the Wind” (5.95 million) was blown away by the competish. Pic, which had bowed on Showtime last year, averaged a mere 5 share in adults 18-49 from 9-11.

Fox slipped to third in adults 18-49 with its all-rerun lineup, although laffers “King of the Hill,” “The Simpsons” and “Malcolm in the Middle” each won their slots in the demo.

Saturday

The four nets finished within four-tenths of a ratings point within each other in adults 18-49, with Fox leading the way (2.5/10). CBS won in viewers and homes.

Friday

CBS won every half-hour in viewers, giving the net its first Friday victory by that measure since Christmas Eve. It also placed first in adults 25-54.

NBC won in adults 18-49 (3.4/13), finishing strongly with a down-to-the-wire Los Angeles-Portland NBA game.

Two original hours — spec “Teen People’s 25 Hottest Stars Under 25” and the return of “Making the Band” — kept ABC first on the night in teens and kids. “Band,” a one-hour recap of the boy-band program, also finished second in women 18-34 (2.7/11).

Thursday

ABC moved to the head of the pack on this night one week after NBC’s big series finales delivered the net’s strongest night of the season. The Alphabet topped the Peacock by 55% in total viewers (16.4 million vs. 10.6) and by 6% in adults 18-49 (5.6 vs. 5.3).

Auds couldn’t muster much enthusiasm for “Jesse’s” two-part season finale, which ran at 8:30 and 9:30. Its first half-hour lost in homes to CBS’ “Diagnosis Murder” (7.3 vs. 7.0) while its second got clobbered by “Millionaire” in adults 18-49 (8.6 vs. 5.2).

Wednesday

“Spin” delivered ABC’s largest aud in the Wednesday at 9 hour since the coming-out episode of “Ellen” in April 1997. It fared best among women 35-49 (19.7/43).

The adults 18-49 sweeps battle between ABC and NBC ended with a typically fierce showdown in the ratings period’s final hour: ABC’s “20/20 — Wednes-day,” following “Spin City,” delivered the best score for any newsmag this season (8.1/22) while NBC’s “Law and Order” earned its third best demo rating of the season (7.5/20). Both shows also drew their largest auds of the season — “Law,” 19.48 million; “20/20,” 19.16 million.

“Law’s” viewer total was its highest for a Wednesday 10 p.m. episode since September 1994. The 10th-year drama also continued its amazing streak of building on its previous year’s season finale in adults 18-49 for the fifth straight season; this season’s 7.5 tops last year’s 7.2.

Opposite strong young-adult competish from “Millionaire” and a special repeat “Friends,” the WB’s “Dawson’s Creek” still logged its largest aud (4.83 mil-lion) since November and best adults 18-49 rating (2.3/7) since October.

Tuesday

Behind a one-hour “Will & Grace,” NBC pulled to within 2 shares of ABC in young adults on the night — its most competitive finish since December.

“Grace” ranked as the night’s top show in adults 18-49 (8.5/21) with its best Tuesday score since its season premiere last September. Lead-in “3rd Rock From the Sun” pitched in with its best ratings (8.29 million, 3.8/11 in A18-49) since February.

The second half of ABC’s two-hour “NYPD Blue” logged the net’s best demo score in the 10 p.m. hour (6.9/19) since Feb. 22.

Monday

CBS’ “Everybody Loves Raymond” was the top show in viewers and adults 18-49 on May 22.

Elsewhere, both weblets shone: “Moesha” and “The Parkers” delivered UPN’s best Monday in over two years among adults 18-49 and key women demos and the WB’s “7th Heaven” drew its largest aud since Jan. 31 (7.43 million).

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