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Fox Ties NBC for Sweeps Lead

May 5, 2003  •  Post A Comment

Fox and NBC may be tied for first place in the adults 18 to 49 race after the first full week of sweeps, but Fox is the big gainer, up 22 percent from the same period last year.
NBC, on the other hand, is down 12 percent from a year ago.
Fox was boosted by the one-two punch of American Idol on Tuesday and Wednesday. Both shows were the highest-rated shows of the night in adults 18 to 49 on any network, with the Tuesday edition pulling a 9.7 Nielsen Media Research rating and 27 share and an expanded one-hour Wednesday edition getting a 9/26.
Idol’s lead-in power was also evident with 24 (5.8/15) winning its time slot on Tuesday and the combo of Bernie Mac/Wanda At Large (5.9/15) finishing second in the hour to ABC’s The Bachelor (6.4/16).
NBC had jumped to an early lead in the demo on the first day of sweeps with its powerful Thursday lineup beating second place CBS by a 45 percent margin. NBC benefited from a lineup minus regular time-slot occupants Scrubs and Good Morning, Miami, which had their season finales the week before, and a guest appearance by Madonna on Will & Grace (9.3/23).
Also good news for networks and viewers alike, the luster appears to have worn off Michael Jackson. Fox’s Michael Jackson’s Private Home Movies on Thursday night from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. finished in third place with a 3.2/9 in adults 18 to 49.
One casualty of sweeps last week was All American Girl, which ABC yanked off its schedule after a particularly dismal outing April 24, when it pulled a 1.2/3 in adults 18 to 49. ABC shifted the remaining two episodes of the series to sister cable network ABC Family. One episode aired Thursday, May 1, from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. on ABC Family and the finale is scheduled for Saturday, May 24, from 9 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. after an eight-hour Girl marathon of all the previous episodes.
CBS is No. 1 in total viewers after the first week of sweeps by a 1.5 million viewer margin over second-place NBC. CBS was boosted by a strong performance of its Sunday Night Movie, John Grisham’s A Painted House (18.3 million viewers), Thursday stalwarts CSI (25.2 million) and Survivor (18.1 million) and winning performances last Monday by Everybody Loves Raymond (17.9 million) and CSI: Miami (17.2 million).
Besides Fox, the only other network showing growth year to year was The WB, which is up 6 percent in adults 18 to 49 and flat in total viewers.