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ABC Dramas Divine; NBC Shows Surprise

Oct 23, 2006  •  Post A Comment

ABC continued to perform with its stable of dramas last week, while most of the ratings surprises belonged to NBC.

Starting Friday, Oct. 13, NBC surprised even itself with the performance of “1 vs. 100,” a new game show that significantly improved on its “Deal or No Deal” 3.2 18 to 49 rating lead-in to score a 4.2-the best NBC debut in that slot in four years, according to Nielsen Media Research.

On Sunday, Oct. 15, football and baseball couldn’t compete with entrenched drama and reality slates. ABC won the demo and CBS took total viewers. Despite season-low ratings, “Desperate Housewives” on ABC was the top-rated program for the night among adults 18 to 49 with an 8.3. “Desperate” was followed by ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (5.6), ABC’s new drama “Brothers & Sisters” (5.0), CBS’s “Without a Trace” (4.5) and CBS’s “60 Minutes” (4.5).

Monday belonged to NBC thanks to the ongoing ratings driver “Deal or No Deal” (5.2) and the breakout freshman drama “Heroes” (5.7). In the 10 p.m. slot, however, NBC’s “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip” had a worrisome drop and its lowest-rated episode to date, at 3.1. CBS handily won in households due to its sitcom block, anchored by “Two and a Half Men” (5.1).

For Tuesday, ABC enjoyed a dual victory anchored by “Dancing With the Stars” (6.0), which had the show’s third-largest audience ever. The viewership boosted ABC’s freshman Ted Danson comedy “Help Me Help You” (3.1) and drama “Boston Legal” (3.2), which were up over the previous week.

NBC took second place in the demo due to the veteran “Law & Order” franchise. New drama “Friday Night Lights” is underperforming expectations with a 2.7, but that figure represents a rebound last week to match its premiere despite increased competition.

For Fox, MLB stirred to life with Game 5 of the National League Championship Series (3.6), which was on par with last year’s fifth game.

ABC enjoyed its usual Wednesday night victory among adults 18 to 49 and households, but is facing the trend of “Lost” losing viewers. “Lost” won the night with a 6.6, but that’s down about 28 percent from a comparable performance last fall despite a season-high lead-in from the “Dancing” results show (5.0).

CBS came in second for the night thanks to “CSI: NY” (5.2) and “Criminal Minds” (4.5). In the 8 p.m. hour, freshman drama “Jericho” posted a 3.1.

Based on preliminary overnights, ABC enjoyed another victory on Thursday due to “Grey’s Anatomy” (9.5) and “Ugly Betty” (4.3). NBC’s “ER” (5.5) continued to grow, up 14 percent from the previous week.

On CBS, “Survivor” (5.3) delivered one of its lowest-rated performances to date but continues to rule the 8 p.m. hour. “CSI” (6.8) had its lowest rating in more than two years.