NBC notched another weekly victory in primetime, as the season finales of its Thursday juggernauts proved too much for the competish.
According to Nielsen estimates, the Peacock net captured the May 13-19 frame by all key measures. It topped runnerup CBS by 27% in adults 18-49 with the highest weekly rating for any net without major sports help (6.1/17) since September 1999.
The one-hour episode of “Friends,” featuring the birth of Rachel’s baby, topped the week in both adults 18-49 (17.0/44) and total viewers (34.91 million); those averages are the best ever for the laffer on Thursday.
Net’s “ER” was No. 2 for the week (27.47m, 13.0/32), while Thursday’s one-hour “Will & Grace” also finished in the top five.
CBS, boosted by the “Survivor: Marquesas” finale, was a solid second in key categories like adults 18-49, 25-54 and total viewers, while Fox, aided by its “X-Files” swan song and a “MASH” reunion spec, ran third in key demos.
ABC, whose weak series lineup limits its inability to make much noise during such a competitive week, finished fourth by most demo measures.
Lifetime moved atop the weekly rankings for basic cable networks (1.74 million), with Nickelodeon second (1.62m).
CBS took the night easily, as the “Survivor: Marquesas” finale (25.87m, 10.4/23 in A18-49) won every half-hour by all key measures. Elsewhere, NBC did very well with its “Cosby Show” reunion (18.48m, 7.7/17), while the series finale of Fox’s “The X-Files” posted its best numbers (13.25m, 6.3/14 in A18-49) of the season (Daily Variety, May 21).
ABC drew its largest Saturday movie aud since January (8.6m) with a repeat of “Air Force One,” but a 92-minute NBA playoffs overrun (4.1/15 in A18-49) helped NBC eke out a victory in 18-49.
CBS stumbled badly with its quickie repeat of “Survivor” at 8 (4.23m, 1.3/5). That didn’t give 9 o’clock’s “Ultimate Manilow” music spec (6.75m, 1.6/5) much of a chance, although it grew nicely on the half-hour. “The District” closed out the Eye’s mild night with its weakest firstrun numbers to date (8.87m, 1.9/6).
Fox’s “MASH” reunion spec (10.52m, 4.0/14 in A18-49) won every half-hour in adults 18-49, leading the net to a nightly victory in this demographic as well as adults 25-54 and all male demos.
NBC won the night as usual in total viewers (11.6 million), with “Law & Order: SVU” leading the way despite a subpar effort (14.27m). The “Daytime Emmy Awards,” this year on CBS, fell to a record low in overall aud (10.08m).
NBC rolled to victory on the night, with both “Friends” and “Will & Grace” up vs. a year ago. CBS was second, led by “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” (Daily Variety, May 20).
NBC won by 2 shares over CBS in adults 18-49, although “Law & Order” fell to its lowest firstrun score in two seasons (6.2/16).
CBS’ “Amazing Race 2” finale won its 9-11 p.m. block among adults 18-34 (4.8/14), teens (3.0/11) and kids (2.4/14) and finished its run with averages well ahead of the first edition.
Season finale of the WB’s “Dawson’s Creek” led at 8 o’clock in women 18-34 (4.9/16), while Fox special “Magic’s Biggest Secrets Revealed” (8.99m, 3.5/11 in A18-49) led the same hour in male demos.
NBC rolled in adults 18-49 (5.3/14), boosted by great numbers for an “NBC Funniest Outtakes” at 8 (5.4/15) and laffers “Frasier” (7.0/18) and “Scrubs” (5.6/13).
UPN’s “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” had a strong night, topping an original episode of the WB’s “Gilmore Girls” in women 18-34 (4.2/12 vs. 3.6/10) for just the second time this season.
NBC cruised in demos on May 13, with all three of its programs delivering some of their best scores of the season. CBS edged past NBC in total viewers, although its “Mary Tyler Moore Show” reunion spec (12.51m) failed to dazzle.
ABC’s “Dinotopia” declined by 22% in 18-49 vs. its Sunday preem (4.7/12 vs. 6.0/18), but that’s still much better than the net has been doing on the night since football ended.