‘AMA’ Soars for ABC; Bennett Tanks NBC

Nov 22, 2006  •  Post A Comment

Music specials decided the ratings fate of two networks last night.

On ABC, the three-hour “American Music Awards” single-handedly gave the network a Tuesday night ratings victory. The awards show received a 4.7 rating among adults 18 to 49, according to preliminary Nielsen Media Research data, which is an improvement on last year’s ceremony.

But while the “Music Awards” hit a high note for ABC, a Tony Bennett special was jeered off the stage at NBC. “Tony Bennett: An American Classic” at 8 p.m. earned a stunning .9, making it NBC’s lowest-rated program in the time period in 15 years. After that, the remainder of NBC’s lineup fell like dominos, with “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” (2.3) down 26 percent from the previous week and “Law & Order: SVU” (4.5) down 15 percent. Both “L&Os” were the lowest-rated original episodes of the season.

The debacle put NBC in fourth place for the night. In second place was Fox, with “House” at 9 p.m. (6.4) the top-rated program for the night. Its lead-in, “Standoff,” had a weak 2.0, matching its series low.

CBS was third with its procedural block, leading off with “NCIS” at 8 p.m. (4.2) earning its best rating since last March, followed by “The Unit” (3.4) and “3 Lbs” (2.7). The latter was down 7 percent from its premiere.

The CW had an on-par “Gilmore Girls” (1.9) and “Veronica Mars” (1.2).