ABC’s ‘Bachelor’ wins tough night

Morning Ratings Flash - Rick Kissell

ABC has captured the final Sunday of the May sweep in key young-adult demos with the two-hour conclusion of “The Bachelor,” according to preliminary nationals from Nielsen. Each of the nets had something to shout about, as Fox was a success with its comedy finales, NBC’s “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” hit a Sunday record, and the opening night of CBS two-parter “Hitler: The Rise of Evil” did fairly well against tough competish.

“The Bachelor” (7.1/17 in adults 18-49, 15 million viewers overall) led from 9 to 11 in key demos, with its best score coming from women 18-34 (9.7/24). Its lead-in certainly didn’t help, as the movie “Waterboy” (2.4/8 in adults 18-49, 12.9 million viewers overall) barely edged out a two-hour “60 Minutes” among young adults.

Fox edged out NBC for second in adults 18-49 behind hourlong finales of its comedies. Leading the way was “The Simpsons” (5.5/16 in adults 18-49, 12.2 million viewers overall), which led both of its half-hours in 18-49 and other demos, while “Malcolm in the Middle” (4.6/11 in adults 18-49, 10.8 million viewers overall) was third for its tough hour.

NBC placed second in 18-49 during each hour, led by the 10 o’clock episode of “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” (a Sunday record 6.0/15 in adults 18-49, 16.1 million viewers overall). The first “CI” episode at 9 ran second in 18-49 to “The Bachelor” (5.0/11), while the season finale of “American Dreams” (3.3/9 in adults 18-49, 8.9 million viewers overall) was runnerup in 18-49 and led its hour in women 25-54.

At CBS, a two-hour “60 Minutes” special celebrating the newsmag’s 35th anniversary (2.3/7 in adults 18-49, 12.9 million viewers overall) ran fourth in 18-49, third in 25-54 and an easy first in total viewers. From 9 to 11, “Hitler: The Rise of Evil” placed third (3.9/9 in adults 18-49, 13.6 million viewers overall) – although this is a healthy improvement over the net’s season average for the movie (3.0/7).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 4.7/13; Fox, 4.2/12; NBC, 4.1/11; CBS, 3.1/8.

In total viewers: CBS led with 13.2 million.

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