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Oct 31, 2003  •  Post A Comment

NBC, CBS Split First Night of Sweeps

NBC and CBS each claimed victory on the first night of sweeps last night, with NBC winning adults 18 to 49 and CBS taking total viewers. CBS had the highest-rated show of the night with “CSI.” It scored a 9.5 rating and 23 share in adults 18 to 49 and attracted 27.3 million viewers – more viewers than the other three networks combined in that time slot — according to Nielsen Media Research fast affiliate data.

A supersized episode of “Friends,” with an 8.6/23, beat CBS’s “Survivor” in adults 18 to 49, but “Survivor” beat “Friends” in total viewers for the first time since May 2001, with 19.9 million total viewers to “Friends” 18.6 million. At 10 p.m., NBC’s “ER” won in adults 18 to 49 with a 9.8/26 and in total viewers with 20.1 million.

Fox debuted is new drama “Tru Calling” from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. It pulled a disappointing 1.9/5 in adults 18 to 49 and 4.9 million total viewers.

For the night, NBC won in adults 18 to 49 with an 8.4/22, followed by CBS (7.3/19), ABC (2.5/6), UPN (2.4/6), Fox (1.5/4), The WB (0.8/2). In total viewers, CBS won the night with 21.2 million, followed by NBC (17.2 million), ABC (8.4 million), UPN (5.8 million), Fox (3.8 million) and The WB (2.4 million).

Fox Cuts Double Airings of ‘Joe Millionaire’: After two weeks of disappointing ratings, Fox has changed its decision to air “The Next Joe Millionaire” twice a week. The show will no longer air on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. Ten hours of the show were slated to air, but that has now been cut back to eight hours. In its Tuesday debut this week, “Joe” scored a 2.8 rating and 8 share in adults 18 to 49 and 6 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research. Fox will air repeats of its series in that time slot throughout the rest of November sweeps. Next Tuesday Fox will air the premiere episode of “24” again; on Nov. 11 Fox will air back-to-back repeats of “That ’70s Show”; and on Nov. 18, repeats of “That ’70s Show” and “The Simpsons” will fill the slot. An “American Idol” Christmas special was already slated for Nov. 25.

Nielsen, Fox Stations Sign People Meter Deal: Nielsen Media Research and the Fox Television Station Group have signed a multiyear agreement that commits all 35 Fox-owned stations, including the nine Fox-owned stations in the Top 10 markets, to signing on for Nielsen’s Local People Meter Service. The Fox-owned station in Boston, WFXT-TV, will receive immediate access to Boston People Meter data, which has been available since May 2002.

‘Survivor’ Finale to Air Dec.14: The finale of “Survivor: Pearl Islands” will air Sunday, Dec. 14. Instead of having the cast reunite in New York or Los Angeles for the finale, this time it will be live from Panama, where the competition took place. The finale will air from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., followed by a question and answer session hosted by Jeff Probst from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. The show will be broadcast from Panama City and held outdoors, unless the weather doesn’t cooperate.

Last night’s episode of “Survivor” revealed a twist where two participants who were voted off now get to come back and rejoin the game. Viewers found out last night who was voted off the show, but have to wait until part 2 of the episode next week to find out which two will be voted back in. Because the twist required a two-part episode, show creator Mark Burnett said they would not air a recap clip show this time around because they have the extra episode.

Washington Post Co. Q3 Profit Declines: Publishing and television company Washington Post Co. said Friday that its third-quarter profit tumbled 58 percent, as expenses related to the purchase of stock options owned by managers of its Kaplan education unit offset strong results at its publishing and cable television businesses.

The Washington-based owner of The Washington Post, Newsweek magazine and six television stations said profit for the period was $19.9 million, or $2.06 a share, compared with $47.8 million, or $4.99 a share, a year ago. The main culprit was $74.6 million in expenses related to the stock-option buyback.

Revenue for the quarter climbed 10 percent to $706.1 million, propelled by strong revenue growth at the company’s education division and strength at the publishing and cable TV operations.

The television station unit’s revenue fell 9 percent to $74.6 million, hurt by a slowdown in political advertising spending that also contributed to the unit’s operating income falling 17 percent to $31.9 million for the quarter.

However, Washington Post’s cable company, Cable One, reported a 7 percent increase in revenue to $107.6 million and a 35 percent jump in operating income to $22.5 million. The increases were linked to the unit’s subscriber growth for its digital cable and high-speed data services.