Miniseries “Living With the Dead” has pulled off another improbable ratings victory for CBS — this time on a tough Tuesday full of sweeps specials on NBC and Fox.
According to nationals from Nielsen, the conclusion of the two-parter based on the life of psychic James Van Praagh won its 9-11 p.m. timeslot in adults 18-49 (6.0/15), adults 25-54 (7.3/16) and total viewers (17.06m). It was up across the board from its strong start on Sunday (16m, 5.8/14 in 18-49).
CBS took the night in adults 18-49, 25-54 and total viewers. Fox, with its two hours devoted to “That ’70s Show,” won in adults 18-34 and was runner-up in 18-49.
Other than the night of the Michael Jackson concert spec last November, perf reps CBS’ first victory on Tuesday night — and its highest Tuesday average, a 5.1 — in at least three seasons.
“Living” again grew throughout the night, moving from a virtual dead heat with NBC’s “Frasier” at 9 to a decisive victory at 10:30 over both NBC’s “Tonight Show With Jay Leno” spec and ABC’s “NYPD Blue.”
“Living’s” two-night average (5.9 rating in adults 18-49) surpasses that of last December’s “Jack and the Beanstalk” to become the Eye net’s highest-rated mini since “Jesus” in May 2000 (7.0).
At Fox, an original seg of the “That ’70s Show,” the laffer’s 100th episode, won its slot in adults 18-49 (4.3/13), as did the one-hour clips spec that followed (4.8/12).
Specs leave NBC in 3rd
NBC settled for third place on a night that, in addition to the Leno spec at 10, included a one-hour Bob Hope spec at 8 and an episode of “Frasier” at 9 featuring several former cast members of “Cheers.” “Frasier” led its slot in 18-49 (5.7/14, a tick ahead of “Living” but the show’s lowest firstrun score of the season).
Both “Bob Hope” (13.15m, 3.6/10 in 18-49) and “Jay Leno” (11.89m, 4.4/11) placed second in their hours.
ABC muddled its way through the night with low-rated one-hour season finales for both “Dharma & Greg” and “Spin City.” That made things tough for “NYPD Blue,” which moved to its new (or old) timeslot of 10 p.m. and delivered its lowest firstrun scores ever (10.54m, 3.6/9 in 18-49).
The WB, which is posting the largest year-to-year sweeps gains this month, was second on the night in its target demo of persons 12-34 (3.1/10).
UPN was led by the best women 18-34 score for “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (3.4/10) since November and the strongest women 18-49 rating to date for an episode of “Roswell” on the netlet (2.0/5).
Through six nights of the sweep, it’s looking like a two-network battle in both adults 18-49 and total viewers.
NBC leads in the demo with a 4.9/13 to CBS’ 4.3/12. Fox has caught up with ABC for third (tied at 3.7/10).
In total viewers, the Eye holds a 1.4 million viewer advantage over NBC (14.1m vs. 12.7m), with ABC third (9.3m) and Fox fourth (8.0m).