You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Will’ power fuels NBC’s demo streak

Peacock preens amid overall drop for nets

HOLLYWOOD — NBC topped primetime among young adults for an 18th straight frame in a week that again saw the major nets bunched together — and way down compared with last year.

According to Nielsen Media Research data for the week of Aug. 13-19, the Peacock net won Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in adults 18-49 and was a strong second on Monday — even without “Fear Factor.” Net claimed the week’s top five shows in the demo, led by two Thursday episodes of “Will & Grace.”

NBC hasn’t lost in 18-49 since mid-April, an 18-week stretch that matches the fourth-longest on record, although its winning score (2.9/9) is the net’s lowest this summer. It also won for a 15th straight week in adults 25-54 and a 14th straight in adults 18-34.

ABC won in total viewers for the third time in four weeks, with original episodes of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” again ranking as the week’s three most-watched programs. Net was third in 18-49 (just 1 share behind leader NBC) and, for the first time this summer, fourth in 18-34.

CBS ran second in total viewers, adults 18-49 and adults 25-54 while grabbing its best adults 18-34 rating (2.1/7) in 12 weeks. Net was buoyed in the younger demos by a strong showing for Sunday movie “Tin Cup,” NFL football on Saturday and a victory for “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” in its head-to-head battle with NBC’s “ER.”

Fox tied with ABC for third in adults 18-49 but first in men 18-49, claiming three of the week’s top four programs: comedies “The Simpsons,” “Malcolm in the Middle” and “That ’70s Show” (3.8/14) at No. 4.

Controversy over allegedly reshot scenes boosted UPN’s “Manhunt” to its best results thus far as the net again topped the WB by most measures. The Frog net, despite a sluggish start for comedy “Dead Last,” hopped to its largest aud in 11 weeks, and was the only net to post gains vs. the same week a year ago.


ABC and Fox enjoyed their best Mondays since May on Aug. 20, with the former’s “Monday Night Football” (10.97 million viewers, 4.4/13 in A18-49 for a Broncos-Packers matchup) dominating among men and the latter’s “2001 Teen Choice Awards” rolling among young women. “MNF’s” demo rating is the best since 1999 for a Monday preseason contest.

The Fox spec delivered a whopping 32 share in female teens, up 21% in rating vs. last year’s Tuesday telecast (10.3/32 vs. 8.5/29) and the highest Monday rating for the net since December 1997. It also was the night’s highest-rated show in adults 18-34 (4.0/13) and women 18-34 (4.8/15).

CBS’ first try with “Yes, Dear” at 9:30 worked out very well, as the laffer pulled the net’s best 18-49 rating in the slot (4.5/12) since May. Its retention of “Everybody Loves Raymond” in 18-49 (4.5/12 vs. 4.6/13) also exceeds every episode of “Becker” to air there.


CBS putted to its best Sunday since May in adults 18-49 (3.1/9), tying Fox for the lead thanks to a 25-minute PGA Championship golf overrun and repeat theatrical “Tin Cup” (9.38m, 3.4/9 in A18-49). “Cup” delivered the best young-male demos for the Eye’s movie since “Deep Impact” in April.

Fox was led by “The Simpsons,” which was the night’s top show in adults 18-49 (4.2/13).


Fox rolled on the night, led by an original “America’s Most Wanted” (6.68m, 2.5/9 in A18-49).

Preseason NFL game (Ravens-Jets) drew CBS’ smallest aud on a Saturday in at least two seasons (4.87m), although the net posted its best 18-34 (1.8/7) and male demos of the summer.


Fox’s Titans-Rams NFL preseason game (5.28m, 2.4/9 in A18-49) was up vs. last season’s comparable contest by 26% in the demo. Net won the night in adults 18-34 and all male demos.

The first seg of UPN’s “Manhunt” to air since accusations arose that some of the show’s key scenes were reshot improved by 50% week to week in adults 18-49 rating (0.9/3 vs. 0.6/3) for its best numbers in three tries. Still, it finished behind a pair of “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” repeats on the WB in total viewers (2.13m vs. 2.48m).

CBS’ “48 Hours” is struggling in its new time period, posting the Eye’s weakest scores of the summer at 10. ABC’s “20/20” (10.53m, 3.4/11 in A18-49), which moves to Wednesdays in September, dominated the hour.


A mini-marathon of “Will & Grace” lifted NBC to its best 18-49 rating in the 8:30-10 p.m. time period (4.7/14) since June, winning each half-hour. Key to the boost was the removal of a fading “Spy TV” at 8:30; with itself as a lead-in, “Will” surged to a 5.0/14 at 9, a 39% week-to-week gain.

NBC won in 18-49 by 2 shares over CBS, although the Eye’s “CSI” (10.94m, 4.4/13 in A18-49) easily topped “ER” (7.63m, 3.6/11); it was “CSI’s” best demo score since May 31. ABC edged out CBS in total viewers behind “Millionaire” (12.07m).

UPN, with the third season preem of “WWF Smackdown,” took the night in all young male demos, while CBS’ “Big Brother 2” (9.16m, 4.1/11 in A18-49) was down slightly week to week.


ABC’s “The Wayne Brady Show” (8.86m, 3.7/13 in A18-49) was down from its strong premiere a week earlier, but still built nicely upon its repeat “My Wife and Kids” lead-in, including by 19% in 18-49 and by 9% in 18-34.

NBC won in 18-49 and viewers, as “Law & Order” (11.55m, 4.6/14) posted its best scores of the summer and ranked as the week’s top drama.

The WB had its best Wednesday since May with theatrical “Beetlejuice” (3.90m, 1.4/5 in A18-49).


In its new slot, the WB’s “Gilmore Girls” (3.12m, 1.4/5 in A18-49) posted week-to-week gains, grabbing the net’s best 18-49 score in the lead-off hour in seven weeks. At 9, though, the premiere of “Dead Last” (2.74m, 1.3/4 in A18-49) held just 71% of “Gilmore’s” 18-34 aud (1.2/4 vs. 1.7/6).

Although down week to week, CBS’ “Big Brother 2” (8.31m, 3.7/11 in A18-49) won its hour in all key demos, while Fox’s opposing reality entry, “Murder in Smalltown X” (3.80m, 1.8/5 in A18-49), fell to new lows for a third straight week.

ABC won in total viewers, led by “Millionaire” (13.10m), and tied NBC for the 18-49 lead. Peacock was led by another strong “Dateline” (3.5/10).


Four episodes of “Everybody Loves Raymond” helped CBS top NBC on Aug. 13, as the Peacock was “Fear Factor”-less for the first time in two months (Daily Variety, Aug. 15).

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • 'Lizzie McGuire' Reboot Series in the

    'Lizzie McGuire' Reboot Series in the Works at Disney Plus

    Get excited “Lizzie McGuire” fans because a reboot series of the much loved Disney Channel teen show is in the works at Disney Plus, according to sources. Lizzie McGuire herself Hilary Duff, who is set to reprise the role, is expected to announce the series at Disney Plus’s D23 Expo event. Created by Terri Minsky, [...]

  • Disney Fans Lineup to Subscribe to

    Fans Line Up to Subscribe to Disney Plus at D23

    Disney fans lined up to be among the first to subscribe to the company’s forthcoming streaming service. The D23 Expo convention hall, filled with giant Marvel exhibits and cos-players also featured a kiosk to sign up for Disney Plus. The incentive? An offer to save $23 per year on a three-year subscription to the service. [...]

  • Cine-y-Series

    Chilean TV Grapples With Globalization

    SANTIAGO, Chile – Globalization was the key word in a TV panel held during Sanfic where Mega TV’s International Content chief Juan Ignacio Vicente, CNTV development head Ignacio Villalabeitia and DirecTV programming director Rossy Hernandez debated the myriad challenges Chile’s television industry faces today. Like its counterparts worldwide, Chilean TV is dealing with the spectre [...]

  • Mickey Mouse waves to members of

    Spider-Man, Spicer and Splashy First-Looks: Everything We're Looking For at D23

    As if Disney hasn’t owned enough weekends this year at the box office, the biennial D23 Expo will light up Anaheim, Calif. over the next three days to celebrate the content monolith. From a new Netflix-competing streaming platform to scores of movie and series reveals — along with a few hot controversies to confront — [...]

  • PHINEAS AND FERB - "The Fast

    'Phineas and Ferb' Disney Plus Movie Details, Including Title, Revealed at D23

    Five years after summer ended for “Phineas and Ferb,” the show returns with a new movie on Disney Plus in 2020, new details of which were revealed on Friday at the D23 fan convention. In “Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Candace Against the Universe,” currently in production for the new streaming service, stepbrothers Phineas and [...]

  • Brews Brothers Netflix

    Netflix Orders Comedy Series 'Brews Brothers' from Schaffer Brothers

    Netflix has put in an eight-episode order of “Brews Brothers,” a comedy series from creative sibling team Greg Schaffer and Jeff Schaffer. The show follows estranged brothers Wilhelm and Adam Rodman, who wind up running a brewery together. According to Netflix, each is a “beer genius … but they couldn’t be more different in their [...]

  • Kevin Jonas, Joe Jonas, Nick Jonas.

    Jonas Brothers Shine a Light on New Jersey Via VMAs Asbury Park Performance

    The Jonas Brothers will pay homage to their New Jersey roots at the MTV Video Music Awards this Monday (Aug. 26) with a performance on the Asbury Park Boardwalk. The brothers — Nick, Joe and Kevin — were raised in Wyckoff, NJ. With the awards ceremony being held for the first time at the Prudential [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content