Sweeps in final stretch

NBC led Fox in adults 18-49 by .3 ratings points

As the May sweep entered the homestretch, NBC maintained its advantage among young adults with a convincing Thursday victory behind the season finales of “Friends,” “Will & Grace” and “ER.”

Friday, meanwhile, saw ABC finish a disappointing fourth with the Daytime Emmy Awards while CBS, with “Star Search” and two repeats of “CSI,” scored a rare 18-49 victory, according to Nielsen prelims. Fox was a strong second Friday with “Me, Myself and Irene” and then led Saturday in the demo with its usual lineup

On both Friday and Saturday, the 10 o’clock seg of NBC’s “Law & Order: SVU” was the night’s top program in 18-49 — for the ninth time this season.

Based on fast nationals through Saturday, NBC led Fox in adults 18-49 by roughly 4.4 to 4.1 — although Fox is expected to pull out the month behind the final hours of megahit “American Idol.”

On Thursday, NBC rolled to its most dominant Thursday victory since February 2002, doubling the 18-49 score of runner-up CBS (11.2/30 vs. 5.6/15). Ratings for all of the evening’s top shows were down vs. a year ago, according to Nielsen nationals.

A 70-minute “Friends” was the top program overall (12.4/36 in 18-49, 25.46 million viewers overall) — the highest 18-49 score for a scripted series since the Nov. 21 “Friends.” “Will & Grace” wrapped its season with a strong 10.6/26 in 18-49 and topping CBS’ “CSI” (8.3/21 in A18-49, 23.87m) in all key adult demos.

“ER” (10.4/27 in A18-49, 21.61m) closed things out with an easy victory at 10. CBS drama “Without a Trace” still managed to put up a solid score with its first-season finale (5.0/13 in A18-49, 15.66m).

For the season, “ER” edged out “CSI” in adults 18-49 (9.6 to 9.5) to keep intact its nine-year winning streak atop the drama demo standings.

ABC was stronger than usual on Thursday — and moved up to second in adults 18-34 and some male demos — with the NBA playoff game between the Lakers and Spurs (3.9/11 in A18-49, 9.48m).

On Friday, ABC’s “30th Annual Daytime Emmys” struggled (prelim 2.5/8 in A18-49, 8.5 million) — placing fourth in 18-49 and down 17% year-to-year. Show, hosted by Wayne Brady, was expanded to three hours.

CBS’ tournament of champions edition of “Star Search” (prelim 2.7/10 in A18-49, 10.6 million) finished in a virtual tie with Fox’s “Me, Myself” for the 18-49 lead, while winning its hour outright in adults 25-54 (3.4/11) and total viewers.

Two hours of “CSI” kept the net competitive from 9 to 11, with the first hour (prelim 3.2/10 in A18-49) in a virtual tie with the Fox movie, and the second hour (3.7/12) not too far behind the season finale of NBC’s “Law & Order: SVU” (4.4/14).

Fox’s “Me, Myself” dominated the night in adults 18-34 (prelim 3.4/14) and especially men 18-34 (3.8/16).

Saturday was very competitive, with Fox’s lineup of “Cops” and “America’s Most Wanted” netting a 2.5/9 in adults 18-49 to edge out NBC’s 2.4/8. NBC and CBS tied for the adults 25-54 lead (2.9/9) and ABC, with a repeat of “Charlie’s Angels,” was on top in adults 18-34 (2.0/8).

More TV

  • Elena Kampouris Sacred Lies Facebook Watch

    TV Review: 'Sacred Lies' on Facebook Watch

    As the May sweep entered the homestretch, NBC maintained its advantage among young adults with a convincing Thursday victory behind the season finales of “Friends,” “Will & Grace” and “ER.” Friday, meanwhile, saw ABC finish a disappointing fourth with the Daytime Emmy Awards while CBS, with “Star Search” and two repeats of “CSI,” scored a […]

  • 2018 FIFA World Cup

    World Cup Final U.S. Ratings Fall From 2014

    As the May sweep entered the homestretch, NBC maintained its advantage among young adults with a convincing Thursday victory behind the season finales of “Friends,” “Will & Grace” and “ER.” Friday, meanwhile, saw ABC finish a disappointing fourth with the Daytime Emmy Awards while CBS, with “Star Search” and two repeats of “CSI,” scored a […]

  • Tales From The Loop

    Amazon Orders Sci-Fi Series 'Tales From the Loop'

    As the May sweep entered the homestretch, NBC maintained its advantage among young adults with a convincing Thursday victory behind the season finales of “Friends,” “Will & Grace” and “ER.” Friday, meanwhile, saw ABC finish a disappointing fourth with the Daytime Emmy Awards while CBS, with “Star Search” and two repeats of “CSI,” scored a […]

  • La Catedral del Mar - Diagonal

    Netflix Agrees With Atresmedia Preferential Access to Spanish TV Dramas

    As the May sweep entered the homestretch, NBC maintained its advantage among young adults with a convincing Thursday victory behind the season finales of “Friends,” “Will & Grace” and “ER.” Friday, meanwhile, saw ABC finish a disappointing fourth with the Daytime Emmy Awards while CBS, with “Star Search” and two repeats of “CSI,” scored a […]

  • Ron Satlof

    Ron Satlof, Veteran TV Director, Dies at 79

    As the May sweep entered the homestretch, NBC maintained its advantage among young adults with a convincing Thursday victory behind the season finales of “Friends,” “Will & Grace” and “ER.” Friday, meanwhile, saw ABC finish a disappointing fourth with the Daytime Emmy Awards while CBS, with “Star Search” and two repeats of “CSI,” scored a […]

  • Comic Con Hall H Panel Gender

    Comic-Con: Why Is Hall H Still Lacking in Female Panelists?

    As the May sweep entered the homestretch, NBC maintained its advantage among young adults with a convincing Thursday victory behind the season finales of “Friends,” “Will & Grace” and “ER.” Friday, meanwhile, saw ABC finish a disappointing fourth with the Daytime Emmy Awards while CBS, with “Star Search” and two repeats of “CSI,” scored a […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content