Bush wrap buoys Koppel

'Nightline' closes 'Letterman' gap

NEW YORK — Ted Koppel’s latenight ABC News show virtually tied with CBS’ “Late Show With David Letterman” in total viewers for the first time this year during the week of April 12.

Koppel’s numbers — 4.3 million viewers –were clearly buoyed by his wrap-up coverage of President Bush’s primetime press conference April 13.

Thursday proved another strong night for “Nightline,” with the launch of a new series on America’s poor.

Donald Trump proved the big winner for leader NBC’s “Tonight Show With Jay Leno” for the week of March 12.

“Leno” saw its adult 18-49 demo soar April 15, the night of “The Apprentice” series finale on NBC, even through there was no official tie-in. “Tonight” commanded a 3.3 rating, the second-highest-rated night of the 2003-04 season, cccording to Nielsen Media Research. Guests included Courtney Love, Tina Fey and Tom Green.

For the week, “Leno” delivered a 2.5 rating, easily beating “Letterman” (1.6) and “Nightline” (1.3), according to Nielsen. “Leno” averaged 6.5 million viewers.

On Sunday morning, NBC News’ “Meet the Press With Tim Russert” remained the leader, delivering 4.4 million viewers and a 1.2 rating in adults 25-54 with its one-hour interview with Democratic presidential hopeful John Kerry. April 11 show originated from Miami.

CBS News’ “Face the Nation” beat out ABC News’ “This Week With George Stephanopoulos,” delivering 2.8 million viewers and a 0.9 rating. “This Week” saw 2.7 million viewers and a 0.8 rating. Fox Television’s “Fox News Sunday” delivered 1.7 million viewers and drew a 0.6 rating.

NBC News remained the leader on weekday mornings, with “Today” delivering a 4.8 rating in adults 18-49 and 6 million viewers. ABC News’ “Good Morning America” posted a 4.0 rating and 5 million viewers, while CBS News’ “The Early Show” delivered a 2.1 rating and 2.6 million viewers.

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