‘Nation’ tops ‘This Week’ for sweep

Russert retains wide lead over ayem competish

NEW YORK — CBS News’ “Face the Nation” with Bob Schieffer plowed ahead of ABC News’ “This Week With George Stephanopoulos” during the May sweep, beating out the Alphabet program in both total viewers and the demo for the second year in a row.

NBC News’ “Meet the Press With Tim Russert” remained the Sunday morning public affairs leader, holding a wide lead over the competish.

According to Nielsen Media Research, “Face” delivered 2.8 million viewers and a 0.9 rating in adults 25-54 during the sweep period, while “This Week” delivered 2.5 million viewers and a 0.8 rating. Of the four morning shows, the race between “Face” and “Meet” has been the tightest.

CBS countered by saying that “Face” has easily increased its lead over “This Week” during the 2003-04 TV season, including doubling its advantage in adults 25-54.

“Meet” finished the sweep commanding 4.4 million viewers and a 1.1 rating.

In fourth place, Fox Television’s “Fox News Sunday” averaged 1.6 million viewers and a 0.5 rating.

While ABC lost in the ratings, it did show the most gains over last year’s May sweep, up 17% in total viewers and 33% in the demo. “Face” was up 9% in viewers and 13% in the demo. “Meet” was up 7% in total viewers but down 15% in adults 25-54.

Sweep ratings for latenight, weekday mornings and daytime won’t be released by Nielsen until next week.