×

NBC dominates week as the WB leapfrogs

Peacock tops in adults 18-49, 5.9/15

NBC and ABC dueled to a close finish among young adults Wednesday, while the WB continued to make inroads against each of them.

The night’s action, which included impressive perfs by ABC’s “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” NBC’s “The West Wing” and the WB’s “Felicity,” among others, capped the first week of November sweeps.

Night also saw Fox struggle with its new lineup and CBS suffer through the conclusion of its “Jackie” mini.

According to Nielsen, ABC edged NBC in total viewers Wednesday (15.4 million to 15.3m) while NBC topped ABC in adults 18-49 (5.9/15 to 5.6/14). Peacock net continues to lead in the sweep with a 6.0/15 (up 11% vs. last year), with ABC second (4.8/12, down 20%). Fox, which eked past CBS into third Wednesday, is also third so far in November with a 4.5/11 (down 2%), followed by CBS’ 3.7/9 (down 3%), the WB’s 2.2/5 (up 29%) and UPN’s 1.9/5 (up 19%).

Frog shows legs

The WB is having a great sweeps, up a sizzling 42% in adults 18-34. Net beat NBC in women 18-34 from 8-10 p.m. Wednesday, one day after its Tuesday dramas — airing opposite Election Day coverage — delivered the biggest men’s 18-34 rating for any night in the net’s history (3.5/9).

While “Dawson’s Creek” contributed more strong scores — including some of its best adult demos in more than two years — it’s “Felicity” that’s really cranking things up on the night. After a down season a year ago, the drama has responded with some of its best numbers in three seasons, with Wednesday’s seg achieving a series high in women 18-34 (5.0/13).

ABC enjoyed its strongest Wednesday of the season in viewers (15.4m) and adults 18-49 (5.6/14). Each of its series also hit or matched season highs in adults 18-34.

Leading the way was “Millionaire,” which delivered its best 18-49 rating for any weeknight episode this season (5.8/15), while winning the Wednesday hour for the first time. The quizzer also drew its largest audience for any hour this season (21.90m).

A live “The Drew Carey Show” edged “West Wing” in adults 18-49 (6.7/16 to 6.6/16), while “Spin City” placed second in the demo (6.2/14), retaining a strong 92% of its lead-in. At 10, “Gideon’s Crossing” drew its largest audience (10.12m) since its Wednesday premiere and matched its best 18-49 rating (4.7/12) in four tries.

At NBC, “West Wing” (18.49m, 7.0/17) continues to perform well ahead of last year. It was up vs. the first Wednesday of November 1999 by 35% in viewers and by 52% in the demo, winning its hour in both.

Sudser “Titans” (8.5m) drew its largest audience since premiere night, but remained in fourth in 18-49 (3.4/9).

CBS’ “Bette” placed second in its slot in viewers (11.39m) and adults 25-54 (5.1/12) but is falling further behind “Millionaire.” Net’s “Welcome to New York” is having an even tougher time keeping up with the strong second half-hour of the quizzer, finishing 9 shares out of the 18-49 lead at 8:30 after “Bette” was just 2 shares back at 8.

“Jackie Bouvier Kennedy Onassis” (3.2/8 in A18-49) improved vs. its Sunday opener but still kept the Eye 10 shares behind “Law & Order” in the demo at 10.

Fox’s numbers came way down from a week ago, but that’s mainly because an original “Malcolm in the Middle” (9.19m, 4.3/12 in A18-49) couldn’t come close to what a special “Simpsons” did in the slot a week earlier (13.23m, 6.4/18). It placed second in 18-49 whereas “The Simpsons” won by 5 shares.

‘Normal’ holds on

Still, rookie laffer “Normal, Ohio” retained 91% of that 18-49 audience at 8:30, but like “Welcome to New York” was gobbled up by “Millionaire.” At 9, “The Street” (5.19m, 2.7/6) merely matched the demo score of a year ago by “Get Real.”

Meanwhile, Nielsen reported Thursday that the combined national audience for Tuesday’s primetime election night coverage came in at 61.6 million — up 69% from the 36.5 million in 1996. (This doesn’t include PBS’ estimated 1.2 million viewers.)

NBC led the way with 18.37 million viewers and a 7.2/16 in adults 18-49 (up 51% and 65%, respectively, vs. 1996); ABC was second with 14.83 million and 5.2/12 (up 7% and 9%); followed by CBS with 12.96 million and 4.7/11 (up 24% and 49%); and Fox with 4.27 million and 1.7/4 (net didn’t cover election night in 1996).

The weblets took advantage of its competition airing basically the same program by delivering strong numbers with entertainment programming.

In addition to posting its best-ever nightly men 18-34 rating, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Angel” also combined for the WB’s best Tuesday since January 1999 in women 18-34 (4.6/11). UPN received its best Tuesday movie numbers of the season with “Bad Boys” (5.16m, 2.1/5 in A18-49).

More TV

  • Visitors arrive at the Hudson Yards

    AT&T Sells WarnerMedia Hudson Yards Space to Pay Down Debt

    AT&T has cut a deal to sell and lease back its WarnerMedia office space in New York’s glitzy Hudson Yards development for $2.2 billion to help pare down its enormous debt load. AT&T said Tuesday it has set a deal to sell its office space at 30 Hudson Yards to an affiliate of Related Companies, [...]

  • Japanese actor Ken Watanabe poses on

    Ken Watanabe to Star in Japan Edition of 'The Fugitive'

    Warner Bros. International Television Production and Japan’s TV Asahi network are teaming to remake “The Fugitive” as a special program that celebrates TV Asahi’s 60th anniversary. Ken Watanabe (“The Last Samurai,” “Godzilla,” “Inception”) will star in the title role made famous by David Janssen in the 1963-1967 U.S. TV series and then by Harrison Ford [...]

  • black lgbtq actors hollywood representation

    TV Roundup: 'Pose' Season 2 Premiere Date Pushed Back on FX

    In today’s roundup, “Pose” gets a new Season 2 premiere date and Sara Gilbert is set to play a recurring role on Season 3 of Netflix’s “Atypical.” FIRST LOOK The TV Academy has unveiled the key art for the 71st Emmy Awards. The new design, which will be used across platforms including the Emmy’s website, [...]

  • James Holzhauer Jeopardy

    Why James Holzhauer Is Bad for 'Jeopardy!' (Column)

    James Holzhauer, who is closing in on a million dollars of game-show winnings, is on track to become the most successful “Jeopardy!” contestant of all time. And he’s become such a dominant force that a historic run has come to seem, as television, boring. Over the course of thirteen episodes and counting, Holzhauer’s methods and [...]

  • Joe Ianniello

    CBS Suspends CEO Search, Extends Ianniello in Role Through 2019

    CBS Corp. said it would suspend the months-long search it has conducted for a new leader for the company since the departure of Leslie Moonves and would instead extend the tenure of its acting chief, Joseph Ianniello, through the end of 2019. “Joe has demonstrated exceptional leadership during this time of unprecedented transition at CBS. [...]

  • Wanda Sykes Silicon Valleywood

    Wanda Sykes on Doing Business With Netflix: 'They Moved That Comma'

    MENLO PARK, Calif. — Wanda Sykes wears a lot of hats as a comedian, writer, producer and entrepreneur, and that gives her a keen sense of the ever-growing content marketplace. She also has a very clear understanding of what she’s worth in dollars and cents, as she shared Tuesday in her Q&A at Variety’s Silicon [...]

  • Jenna Hager Hoda Kotb

    NBC News Sets Joanne LaMarca as EP, 'Today' Fourth Hour

    Just after NBC News recalibrated the fourth our of its daytime “Today” program, it has named a new executive producer to oversee the show. Joanne LaMarca, a longtime “Today” staffer who left NBC News in 2017 after a long run, will return as the new head of the 10 a.m. hour that is now led by [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content