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NBC puts money in bank with ‘Love’

Finale, sequel propel Peacock with 12.9 mil viewers

HOLLYWOOD — She took the money and ran — straight to a starring role in the sequel.

NBC’s convoluted dating program “For Love or Money” went out a big ratings winner Monday, as contestant Erin opted for a million bucks instead of bachelor lug Rob Campos. But in a twist, she then accepted the show’s double-or-nothing offer to star as the love object for 15 men in “For Love or Money 2,” which begins next Monday.

Bottom line: She’ll end up with either $2 million and a guy who adores her … or nothing.

Summer heat

NBC generated impressive Nielsen numbers for Monday’s two-hour finale, as its 6.0/16 in adults 18-49 is the best score for any telecast on any net since the May 21 finale of Fox’s “American Idol 2.” The final hour surged to a 7.0/19, the net’s strongest showing from 10 to 11 on a Monday with entertainment programming since mini “Noah’s Ark” in May 1999.

“For Love,” which averaged 12.9 million viewers overall, scored best among women 18-34 (8.4/24), with its rating in the demo growing by 62% from its first half-hour to its last (6.4 to 10.4). From 9 to 11, NBC led repeats on second-place CBS by 7 shares in 18-49, by 12 shares in 18-34, and by 5 shares in 25-54.

‘Paradise’ lost?

The strong finish by “For Love” and the potential boffo ratings for its quickie sequel figure to spell bad news for Fox’s competing dating show, “Paradise Hotel,” which is struggling on Mondays but faring better in its Wednesday slot. On Monday, NBC’s “Love” more than doubled “Paradise” in their common hour (4.9/14 to 2.4/7 in adults 18-49).

At 8, NBC’s “Fear Factor” (3.5/12 in A18-49, 8.29 million viewers overall) took the hour in virtually all key categories and posted its second-highest 18-49 rating of the summer. For the night, NBC’s 5.1 rating in adults 18-49 was the best for the network on any evening since May 15 (its Thursday finales).

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