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‘Primetime’ power

Alphabet scores again with Houston chat

HOLLYWOOD — ABC News continued its great run with primetime celebrity interviews on Wednesday, as Diane Sawyer’s chat with Whitney Houston on “Primetime” scored huge ratings.

According to Nielsen, the one-hour special edition of the newsmag averaged a whopping 9.0/22 in adults 18-49, making it the highest-rated edition of any newsmag since a Barbara Walters “20/20” interview with Monica Lewinsky in March 1999.

In the past 2½ years, ABC News has broadcast the top six highest-rated newsmags on all of television in adults 18-49: two interviews with Michael J. Fox and one each with Gary Condit, the Osbournes, Jennifer Lopez and now Houston.

Trails only ‘Bachelor’

The overall turnout of 21.27 million also makes Wednesday’s “Primetime” ABC’s second most-watched telecast of the season, behind only last month’s two-hour finale of “The Bachelor” (25.9 million).

Combined with 18-49 victories for both “My Wife and Kids” (5.0/14) and “George Lopez” (4.8/12), ABC easily won the night in the key demo as well as total viewers. Rookie drama “MDs” returned to the lineup at 10 with a thud, though, ranking a distant third (7.55m, 2.9/7 in A18-49).

Elsewhere, NBC’s “Christmas in Rockefeller Center” ran third at 8 o’clock in adults 18-49 (3.5/9) and second in both adults 25-54 (4.2/10) and total viewers (12.16m).

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