Older ‘Face’ challenges younger ones

Russert continues to overpower competish

CBS News’ “Face the Nation” with Bob Schieffer delivered its best quarter in the key news demo of adults 25-54 in a decade, debunking the notion that younger viewers won’t go for the gray.

According to Nielsen Media Research, “Face” delivered a 1.1 rating in adults 25-54, securely ahead of the 0.8 rating delivered by ABC News’ “This Week With George Stephanopoulos.” Schieffer, 67, was also ahead of Stephanopoulos in total viewers (2.7 million vs. 2.3 million).

In the first quarter, “Face” producers said they also closed the gap with leader NBC News’ “Meet the Press With Tim Russert” in adults 25-54 by half a rating point compared to a year earlier. “Face” beat or tied with “Meet” three times in the demo during the first quarter of this year.

Still, “Meet” continued to overpower the competish, nabbing 4.8 million viewers and a 1.4 rating in adults 25-54. Fox Television’s “Fox News Sunday” remained No. 4, averaging 1.6 million viewers for the first quarter.

NBC continued to dominate on weekday mornings, with “Today” averaging 6.5 million viewers and posting a 3.0 rating in adults 25-54 for the first quarter, according to Nielsen.

Both ABC News’ “Good Morning America” and CBS News’ “The Early Show” saw strong growth, however. For the first quarter, “GMA” delivered its highest viewership since the first quarter of 1993 (5.2 million). “Early” saw its highest viewership since 1995 (3.1 million). In the demo, “GMA” delivered a 2.0 rating; “Early,” a 1.3.

“Early,” which has been steadily gaining in the numbers over the past year, once again saw double-digit growth in nearly all demo categories during the first quarter compared with a year earlier, seeing a 30% jump in adults 25-54 and a 15% jump in women 25-54, according to Nielsen.

In daytime, ABC and NBC tied in the key demo women 18-49, both delivering a 2.2 rating for the quarter. CBS soaps, which delivered a 1.9 rating in the demo, nabbed the most viewers (4.4 million). ABC came in second with 3.9 million, while NBC delivered 3.5 million.

ABC late-morning talker “The View” delivered its best first quarter numbers in the show’s history: a 1.7 rating in women 18-49 and 3.4 million total viewers.

At the other end of the clock, NBC’s “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” continued to dominate over CBS’ “Late Show With David Letterman” in the quarter. “Leno” delivered 6.3 million viewers and a 2.3 rating in adults 18-49. “Letterman” drew 4.6 million viewers and a 1.7 rating.

“Letterman” saw its best quarter in total viewers since 1996 and best quarter in adults 18-49 since 2002. “Leno” had its best quarter in the demo since 2000.

NBC’s “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” delivered its highest-rated quarter since 1999, nabbing a 1.2 rating in adults 18-49 and 2.7 million total viewers. O’Brien easily beat out CBS’ “The Late Late Show With Craig Kilborn,” which drew a 0.8 rating in adults 18-49 and 1.8 million total viewers.

ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” delivered 1.5 million viewers and a 0.6 rating in adults 18-49.

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