HOLLYWOOD — NBC is making it look easy in the key demographic races of the May sweep, topping its rivals by considerable margins for a second straight week.

According to Nielsen, the Peacock — powered by victories Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday — topped second-place CBS by 41% for the week of May 6-12 (5.2/14 vs. 3.7/10).

NBC also won by 29% in adults 25-54 over CBS, by 22% in adults 18-34 over Fox and by 5% over CBS in total audience.

And, as usually happens at this time of year, NBC’s series are performing at peak levels. Last week, “ER” delivered the strongest scores for any program since the Academy Awards in March (28.71 million, 13.9/34 in A18-49), while “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” hit an all-time high in adults 18-49 (6.2/18) and “Crossing Jordan” nabbed its second best this season (5.9/15).

Overall, NBC placed seven of the week’s top 10 programs in adults 18-49 and total viewers.

CBS, second in adults 25-54, A18-49 and total viewers, was led by the No. 2 program for the week in total viewers, “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” (27.12m).

Fox’s highlights included a strong Thursday with “Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace” and the best numbers in six months for “The X-Files.” Net was just a tick behind second-place CBS in adults 18-49.

ABC won Tuesday and Sunday in adults 18-49 but struggled on the other nights and remained fourth in the demo. Mini “Dinotopia” got off to a great start Sunday, delivering the largest aud for a “Wonderful World of Disney” pic since November 2000.

The WB again topped UPN in total viewers and adults 18-34, while the two netlets tied in adults 18-49. Both nets, as well as NBC, were up compared to the same week a year ago.

TNT (1.79 million), Nickelodeon (1.61m) and Lifetime (1.58m) were the most watched cable networks for the week. Season finale of MTV’s “The Osbournes” was the week’s top cable program (7.25m).


ABC’s “Dinotopia” (prelim 13.1m, 4.6/12) cooled about 20% in 18-49 from its Sunday preem. Net placed third on the night overall.

CBS took the night in total viewers and was second in key demos, although “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” reunion disappointed (prelim 12.6m, 3.7/9 in 18-49), placing second in adults 25-54 and total viewers to NBC’s tough “Crossing Jordan.”

NBC won the night easily in adults 18-49 and 25-54, led by “Fear Factor” at 8 (prelim 14.3m, 6.0/16).


“Dinotopia” (17.04m, 6.0/18 in 18-49) opened to meganumbers and lifted ABC to victory by most measures, while CBS’ theatrical “Double Jeopardy” (15.55m, 5.7/14) got the better of NBC’s “L.A. Law: The Movie” (11.86m, 4.3/10) (Daily Variety, May 14).

Season finale of Fox’s “Malcolm in the Middle” (11.94m, 5.3/14) built on its “The Simpsons” (11.24m, 5.2/15) lead-in and was the week’s highest-rated program in teens (8.5/25).


Fox’s reality staples paved the way for an easy victory in all key demos. CBS led in total viewers despite a fourth-place finish in 18-49.

CBS’ “World’s Greatest Commercials” was the night’s top program in teens (2.3/10).


NBC’s “Law & Order: SVU” grabbed its best 18-49 rating to date (6.2/18), again dominating its hour and leading NBC to another victory on the night by all key measures.


Anthony Edwards’ farewell episode helped “ER” score another convincing triumph at 10 and sealed NBC’s victory on the night. CBS’ “CSI” led the night’s middle hour (27.12m, 9.6/23 in 18-49), while “Friends” (24.32m, 11.7/32) was tops at 8.


NBC rolled again, taking the night by 6 shares in 18-49 over ABC and Fox, and by 6 million viewers over CBS in total audience (Daily Variety, May 10).


ABC captured its first nightly sweeps victory in adults 18-49 and just its third Tuesday victory of the season behind the strongest “NYPD Blue” in three months (4.8/12) and a pair of spex (Daily Variety, May 9).

CBS won in total viewers.


NBC won two of the night’s three hours in 18-49 on May 6, leading the net to another demo victory. CBS led in total viewers, led by “Everybody Loves Raymond” (19.46m).