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‘Friends’ ‘ sendoff a hit

CBS strong but no match for NBC on week

“Friends” was there for NBC one last time last week, lifting the net to dominant primetime ratings victories, including its sixth straight among young adults.

CBS also was strong with the conclusion of “Survivor: All-Stars,” but was no match for NBC on this week.

According to Nielsen Media Research, the Peacock net ruled the May 3-9 frame in the key adults 18-49 demo (6.1 rating/17 share), matching its best non-Olympics week in 4½ years and easily topping rivals CBS (4.3/12), Fox (3.5/10) and ABC (2.7/8) — the most dominant victory for any net since the week CBS carried the Super Bowl (Jan. 26-Feb. 1).

In addition to its sixth straight triumph in adults 18-49, NBC also prevailed for a fifth consecutive week in adults 25-54 (6.7/17). And it was also the most-watched net overall (14.9 million viewers) for the third time in four weeks.

NBC now leads for the season over Fox in adults 18-49 by three-tenths of a ratings point (4.3/12 to 4.0/11) and has tied CBS for first place in adults 25-54 (4.9/12).

Leading the way last week, of course, was Thursday’s “Friends” finale night (Daily Variety, May 3), where the 66-minute conclusion to the 10-year comedy delivered the best ratings for an entertainment program in six years (24.9/54 in adults 18-49, 52.46 million viewers overall), and the preceding clipshow also crushed the competish (16.7/44 in 18-49, 36.89m).

Big boost for ‘ER’

“Friends” also helped boost “ER” to the best 18-49 score for any drama in two years (13.8/34). And the outgoing laffer provided a nice ratings jolt to NBC’s Wednesday, where a two-hour “Dateline” spec featuring interviews with the “Friends” cast easily led its time period (6.5/17 in 18-49, 14.71m).

Peacock also scored Monday with the conclusion of two-part earthquake movie “10.5” (8.0/25 in 18-49, 19.87m) and led Tuesday’s middle hour with the penultimate “Frasier” (5.3/14 in 18-49) and season finale of “Scrubs” (4.9/12).

For CBS, four hours of “Survivor: All-Stars” coverage produced big ratings, led by Sunday’s reunion show (10.6/26 in 18-49, 23.92m) and finale (10.0/25 in 18-49, 24.76m). This was the best demo score for a finale since the Marquesas edition in May 2002, and it marked the first time the postgame reunion show rated higher in 18-49 than the finale itself.

Net also did well as usual with both “CSI” (6.5/14 in 18-49 up against the “Friends” finale) and “CSI: Miami” (6.3/16), and Tuesday’s “Judging Amy” had its best score since February (3.0/8).

‘Idol’ leads Fox

Fox was led by “American Idol” segs on Tuesday (9.0/27) and Wednesday (8.8/25) and a special hourlong Monday episode (4.8/14) that led into the best regular-slot score to date for surgery skein “The Swan” (4.6/11).

Season finale of “The OC” (4.7/12 in 18-49) led its hour in under-35 categories, but the net struggled on Sunday with its comedies (3.2/9 in 18-49 for “The Simpsons” and 2.5/6 for “Malcolm in the Middle”) opposite atypically tough competish.

ABC was led by Wednesday’s unscripted tandem of “The Bachelor” (4.7/12 in 18-49) and “Extreme Makeover” (4.3/11) but did merely OK with Sunday’s broadcast premiere of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” (3.8/10) and was well behind the pack on Monday with the preem of theatrical “Unbreakable” (1.9/5).

The WB again easily defeated UPN in adults 18-34 (1.6/5 vs. 1.1/4), with both down sharply vs. the same frame a year ago. Frog was led in various demo categories by “Angel” (2.6/7 in 18-49, 4.68m), which is picking up steam as it nears its series finale.

TNT, boosted by NBA playoff action on Tuesday and Wednesday, led the ad-supported cable nets for the week in primetime with a 1.0 rating in adults 18-49 and a 1.2 rating in 25-54.

MTV’s “Real World” was the week’s top entertainment skein in both adults 18-49 (2.3/6) and adults 18-34 (3.7/11).

Nickelodeon did well Friday with its premiere of the animated “Timmy/Jimmy Power Hour,” which averaged 4.96 million viewers (including 3.5 million in the kids 2-11 demo) to rank as the most-watched entertainment program on basic cable last week.

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