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‘Who,’ ABC look rich, Globes slip

Alphabet set to tie NBC in key demo, Super Bowl looms

With NBC’s Golden Globes telecast blunted by “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” ABC is set to win its fourth straight primetime Nielsens week and pull into a season-to-date tie with NBC in the key adults 18-49 category.

And ABC is just a week away from the huge boost of the Super Bowl, meaning NBC will probably be looking at a 0.3- or 0.4-rating-point deficit in that 18-49 category by next week. So the Peacock will have an uphill battle if it’s to win a fifth-straight season in that category.

Though Sunday’s Golden Globes took on such rugged competition as “Millionaire” and HBO’s hot “The Sopranos” (which took home four Golden Globe wins), the NBC kudocast still walked off with an average 22.31 million viewers and a 9.1 rating, 20 share in preliminary Nielsens. The awards ceremony slipped 9% in viewers and 11% in adults 18-49 compared to last year, for its lowest totals in three years.

The Globes scored 15.1/22 in households. NBC estimates 47 million viewers watched at least a portion of the telecast and notes the ceremony earned best-yet NBC results in New York (a households 22.4/30) and L.A. (24.3/35).

ABC will still easily win the Jan. 17-23 week, thanks to three strong episodes of “Millionaire” and Monday’s American Music Awards (16.68 million viewers, 7.2/17 in adults 18-49), which failed to equal Sunday’s Golden Globes but still started the week with a nightlong win for ABC.

Fox dominated Jan. 23 18-49 results with its highest Sunday average since last year’s Super Bowl. The biggest boost came with the overrun of Sunday’s St. Louis-Tampa Bay NFC Championship game. While prelim nationals are unreliable for that live event, Nielsens’ metered markets gave the entire telecast a 27.9/46 in households, up 3% vs. last year’s comparable late-afternoon Denver-N.Y. Jets AFC title game.

CBS scores

This year, CBS carried the Tennessee-Jacksonville AFC title game in the early afternoon and scored a 24.4/47, down 7% vs. last year’s comparable Atlanta-Minnesota NFC matchup. If national results hold, both games will outscore every primetime telecast of the season to date.

At 8:30, Fox’s midseason hit “Malcolm in the Middle” (a prelim 19.29 million, 9.7/21) cooled a bit, building by an unspectacular 5% on its “Simpsons” lead-in. But “Malcolm” still appears to be gifted, considering the night’s tough competition.

Based on prelim weekend results, ABC is expected to finish the Jan. 17-23 week with an average 6.2 rating in adults 18-49 (up a whopping 63% vs. year-ago results), good enough to easily beat Fox’s projected 5.3 (up 2%), NBC’s 5.3 (down 15%) and CBS’ 3.8 (even).

That ABC figure should also lift the Alphabet into a season-long tie with NBC, both at 5.2, though ABC’s average could still round down to a 5.1. In households, ABC will win the week with a projected 10.1, followed by CBS (8.9), NBC (8.9) and Fox (7.1).

Sunday’s Golden Globes were clearly affected by “Millionaire,” “Sopranos” and other 9-10 p.m. competition, since the NBC telecast averaged a 9.2/20 in adults 18-49 from 8-9 p.m., slipped to an 8.8/18 in the next hour and rebounded to a 9.4/22 from 10-11 — and that was despite the fact that overall viewership levels peaked in the 9-10 hour.

Presumably a fair number of “Sopranos” fans watched the Golden Globes telecast during its first and third hours and switched to HBO during the second hour.

The Globes trailed “Millionaire” by 8.32 million viewers from 9-10 p.m. No “Sopranos” Nielsens were available.

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.