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Eye Net Weathers Sweeps Shuffling

Nov 24, 2003  •  Post A Comment

CBS may have been left without its big sweeps event last week after pulling its two-night miniseries “The Reagans,” but that didn’t seem to hurt the network. CBS is still the only broadcast network up year to year in total viewers and adults 18 to 49 through the third week of November sweeps, ending Nov. 19.
CBS won Sunday night and Tuesday night in total viewers even though it ran two hours of series reruns both nights in place of “The Reagans.” A repeat of the two-hour premiere of “CSI” on Sunday won its time slot with 14 million viewers and finished second in adults 18 to 49 with a 4.7/11, according to Nielsen Media Research.
The network ran into another controversy last week, when pop star Michael Jackson was arrested on child molestation charges. CBS planned to air the entertainment special “Michael Jackson Number Ones” at 10 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 26, the last night of the hard-fought sweeps period, but postponed it after the accusations surfaced.
“Given the gravity of the charges against Mr. Jackson, we believe it would be inappropriate at this time to broadcast an entertainment special,” CBS said in a statement last week. “However, we are very mindful that Mr. Jackson is innocent until proven guilty. We will consider broadcasting the special after the due process of the legal system runs its course.”
While CBS is still the only network up year to year in adults 18 to 49, NBC leads in the demo with a 4.4/12, 7 percent ahead of second-place CBS. NBC fended off CBS’s demo challenge on Thursday (Nov. 14), finishing the night with an 8.6/22 to CBS’s 8.1/20. NBC also won Friday night (2.9/9), tied for Tuesday night with ABC (4.2/11) and had a strong performance on Monday night with reality show “Average Joe” boosting its week-to-week numbers 15 percent to a 5.3/12.
ABC was in third place in the demo with a 3.8/10, but has had success with its comedies throughout the sweeps. The network’s Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday comedy blocks lead their time periods and three of its comedies-“George Lopez,” “Hope & Faith” and “Life With Bonnie”-have hit all-time ratings highs in the 18 to 49 demo during sweeps.
While Fox continues to struggle, it has had a bright spot in new drama “The O.C.,” which tied for second place in adults 18 to 49 last week with NBC’s “The West Wing,” which had a 4.2/10.
UPN and The WB are both down double-digit percentages year to year in adults 18 to 49. UPN did have some good news with its three new comedies-“All of Us,” “Eve” and “Rock Me Baby”-hitting series highs last Tuesday in multiple demos and giving UPN its largest Tuesday night audience in 11/2 years with an average of 4.3 million viewers.
The WB’s Monday lineup beat Fox’s in total viewers, and “Everwood” equaled its season high in adults 18 to 49 (2.2/5) and hit a season high in persons 12 to 34 (2.8/7).