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Earth moves, giving 
NBC sweeps push

So what if critics trashed its '10.5' miniseries?

By Diego Vasquez

   Critics panned the holy heck out of NBC's cheeseball miniseries "10.5" last weekend, warning viewers of cardboard characters, ridiculous plot twists and soap opera cliches.
   Said Media Life's Dan Jewel, in a review typical of "10.5's" reception, " '10.5' dwells, instead, on a series of hackneyed subplots involving various strained relationships. It winds up as a four-hour episode of 'General Hospital' punctuated by the shakes."
   Viewers either didn't read such reviews or didn't care. The special delivered NBC's best movie ratings in years and gave it an unexpectedly strong start to the May sweeps. 
   In fact, although it's still early, "10.5" may have locked up a May sweeps win among adults 18-49 for NBC, with the finales of “Frasier” and “Friends” yet to come.
    Part one of “10.5” posted an 8.1 rating in 18-49s on Sunday night, making it the most watched movie or miniseries on any network in more than two years. Not since “Rose Red, Part Two” on ABC and “9/11” on CBS, both in early 2002, has a movie or miniseries telecast done so well.
   And for NBC, it was the highest rated miniseries since part two of “Noah’s Ark” way back in May of 1999.
   The impressive numbers for “10.5” were probably higher than even NBC expected with all those horrid reviews. The 8.0 in 18-49s nearly doubled the 4.4 it has averaged so far this primetime season. And the rating more than doubled its closest head to head competition Sunday, a 3.8 average rating for ABC.
   The disaster drama, starring Beau Bridges as President Hollister along with Kim Delaney, Fred Ward and Ivan Sergei, averaged 20.4 million total viewers, 75 percent better than CBS averaged with the competing “Book of Ruth.”
   Regularly NBC doesn’t even have a big gun on Sunday, outside of “Crossing Jordan,” which has done surprisingly well. But maybe it's not surprising NBC has finished first or tied for first six of the last nine Sundays in 18-49s, considering what shows up on the other networks.
   Fox’s Sunday comedy lineup usually skews toward a slightly younger audience, while CBS’s movies skew older. That leaves ABC as NBC’s main competition in 18-49s on Sunday nights. And although Sunday nights are one of ABC’s strongest in the demo as of late, having done well with a member of the fading home-improvement genre, “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” last week that wasn't enough.
    The second half of “10.5” also did well, according to Nielsen’s fast affiliate-based ratings, although not as well as part one. Monday night’s version averaged a 7.7 rating in 18-49s, the most watched show that night.

   

PRIMETIME AVERAGES BY NETWORK
Ranked on Households
Week Ending May 2

Network

Households

People 2+

Adults 18-49

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

CBS

7.9

8580

13

4.3

11830

12

3.3

4220

9

NBC

7.9

8540

13

4.4

12100

12

4.8

6130

14

FOX

5.6

6060

9

3.2

8900

9

3.9

5030

11

ABC

5.2

5600

9

2.9

7910

8

3.0

3920

9

WB

2.5

2720

4

1.4

3730

4

1.6

2000

4

UPN

1.9

2080

3

1.0

2740

3

1.1

1400

3

PAX

0.7

710

1

0.3

950

1

0.2

270

1

* Each rating point is equivalent to 1.084 million homes
Source: Nielsen Media Research

 

SEASON-TO-DATE PRIMETIME AVERAGES BY NETWORK
Ranked on Households
Week Ending May 2

Network

Households

People 2+

Adults 18-49

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

Rtg%

(000)

Shr

CBS

8.5

9190

14

4.8

13160

12

3.9

5020

11

NBC

7.2

7840

12

4.0

10960

10

4.2

5460

12

FOX

6.0

6540

10

3.5

9660

9

4.0

5160

11

ABC

5.9

6430

10

3.3

9090

9

3.3

4220

9

WB

2.4

2650

4

1.3

3640

3

1.5

1880

4

UPN

2.3

2510

4

1.2

3410

3

1.4

1800

4

PAX

0.7

710

1

0.4

990

1

0.2

300

1

* Each rating point is equivalent to 1.084 million homes
Source: Nielsen Media Research 

NETWORK TV
Ranked on Households
Week Ending April 25

#

PROGRAMS

Net

HOUSEHOLDS

PERSONS 2+

Rtg%

Shr

(000)

#

Rtg%

(000)

1

FRIENDS

NBC

14.4

24

15584

2

8.2

22640

2

AMERICAN IDOL-TUESDAY

FOX

14.0

23

15185

1

8.5

23405

3

CSI: MIAMI

CBS

13.9

23

15080

5

7.6

21023

4

CSI

CBS

13.2

21

14269

3

7.7

21123

5

E.R.

NBC

13.0

21

14103

8

7.2

19846

5

FRIENDS 4/22(S)

NBC

13.0

21

14056

7

7.4

20328

7

AMERICAN IDOL-WEDNESDAY

FOX

12.6

20

13659

3

7.7

21227

8

SURVIVOR: ALL-STARS

CBS

12.1

20

13129

5

7.6

20990

9

LAW AND ORDER

NBC

11.4

19

12406

9

6.2

17208

10

WILL & GRACE

NBC

10.8

17

11721

10

5.9

16362

11

EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND

CBS

10.4

16

11304

11

5.8

16080

12

CBS SUNDAY MOVIE

CBS

10.2

16

11049

12

5.6

15350

13

COLD CASE

CBS

9.6

16

10448

13

5.4

14829

13

TWO AND A HALF MEN

CBS

9.6

14

10411

14

5.3

14581

15

WITHOUT A TRACE

CBS

9.5

16

10262

15

5.0

13799

16

SCRUBS 4/22(S)

NBC

9.0

14

9710

16

4.9

13559

17

LAW AND ORDER:SVU

NBC

8.8

14

9535

17

4.7

12825

18

BACHELOR, THE

ABC

8.2

13

8850

20

4.3

11946

19

LAW AND ORDER:CRIM INTENT

NBC

8.1

12

8790

18

4.4

12117

20

DATELINE FRI

NBC

8.0

15

8711

21

4.1

11204

21

60 MINUTES

CBS

7.8

15

8476

21

4.1

11172

22

CROSSING JORDAN

NBC

7.7

12

8337

21

4.1

11275

23

FRASIER

NBC

7.5

12

8176

26

3.9

10765

24

WEST WING

NBC

7.2

11

7766

24

4.0

11105

25

48 HOURS INVESTIGATES

CBS

6.9

11

7497

39

3.4

9263

Source: Nielsen Media Research

 

TOP 30 PROGRAMS - BROADCAST AND CABLE
Adults 18-49
Week Ending May 2

Rank

Program

Net

Rtg%

In Millions

1

FRIENDS

NBC

11.2

14.39

2

E.R

NBC

10.5

13.58

3

AMERICAN IDOL-TUESDAY

FOX

10.4

13.42

4

WILL & GRACE

NBC

10.0

12.86

5

AMERICAN IDOL-WEDNESDAY

FOX

9.3

11.95

5

CSI

CBS

9.3

11.92

7

FRIENDS 8:30

NBC

9.0

11.64

8

NBC MOVIE “10.5”

NBC

8.1

10.46

9

SURVIVOR: ALL-STARS

CBS

7.5

9.62

10

LAW & ORDER

NBC

5.7

7.39

11

FEAR FACTOR

NBC

5.6

7.18

12

WITHOUT A TRACE

CBS

5.5

7.02

13

EXTREME MAKEOVER: HOME EDITION

ABC

5.4

6.98

14

LAW & ORDER: SVU

NBC

5.2

6.65

15

THE BACHELOR

ABC

5.0

6.43

15

24

FOX

5.0

6.40

17

EXTREME MAKEOVER – WEDNESDAY

ABC

4.9

6.34

18

THE SIMPSONS – SUNDAY 8:30

FOX

4.8

6.13

19

THE O.C.

FOX

4.7

6.10

19

THAT 70’S SHOW

FOX

4.7

6.06

19

CSI: MIAMI

CBS

4.7

6.11

22

THE SIMPSONS

FOX

4.6

5.91

23

LAS VEGAS

NBC

4.5

5.84

23

FRASIER

NBC

4.5

5.83

25

THE SWAN

FOX

4.3

5.53

25

EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND

CBS

4.3

5.50

27

SCRUBS

NBC

4.1

5.27

28

TWO AND A HALF MEN

CBS

3.9

5.08

29

WEST WING

NBC

3.8

4.85

30

NYPD BLUE

ABC

3.7

4.72

30

ALIAS

ABC

3.7

4.82

Source: ABC Networks, based on data from Nielsen Media Research

 

CABLE TV
Ranked on Households
Week Ending May 2

BASIC CABLE

#

PROGRAM NAME

NET

Households 

Persons 2+

(000)

Rtg %

(000)

1

WWE ENTERTAINMENT (WWE RAW ZONE)

SPIKE

3584

3.3

5109

2

WWE ENTERTAINMENT (WWE RAW)

SPIKE

3469

3.2

5053

3

SPONGEBOB

NICK

3431

3.2

4534

4

FAIRLY ODD PARENTS

NICK

3254

3.0

4383

5

NBA PLAYOFFS (ROCKETS/LAKERS)

TNT

3153

2.9

3963

6

SPONGEBOB

NICK

3002

2.8

3907

7

REAL WORLD XIV

MTV

2970

2.7

3720

8

FAIRLY ODD PARENTS

NICK

2819

2.6

3617

9

NBA PLAYOFFS (KINGS/MAVERICKS)

TNT

2809

2.6

3481

10

SPONGEBOB

NICK

2796

2.6

3355

11

FAIRLY ODD PARENTS

NICK

2789

2.6

4088

12

PUNKD

MTV

2725

2.5

3599

13

FAIRLY ODD PARENTS

NICK

2722

2.5

3530

14

SPONGEBOB

NICK

2719

2.5

3618

15

JIMMY NEUTRON

NICK

2717

2.5

3613

PAY CABLE

#

PROGRAM NAME

NET

Households 

Persons 2+

(000)

Rtg %

(000)

1

SOPRANOS, THE

HBO

5870

5.4

8959

2

DEADWOOD

HBO

2917

2.7

4291

3

MATRIX RELOADED, THE

HBO

1827

1.7

2680

4

REAL SEX XTRA: SIZE MATTE

HBO

1102

1.0

1362

5

SIX FEET UNDER

HBO

931

0.9

1393

* Each rating point is equivalent to  108.4 million homes
Source: Nielsen Media Research

 

SYNDICATION
Ranked on Households
Week Ending April 25

#

 PROGRAMS

Syndicator

Households

US Rtg%

(000)

1

WHEEL OF FORTUNE

KIN

8.2

8928

2

JEOPARDY

KIN

7.0

7624

3

OPRAH WINFREY SHOW (AT)

KIN

6.6

7106

4

SEINFELD-WKND (AT)

SPT

6.0

6499

5

SEINFELD (AT)

SPT

5.9

6437

6

FRIENDS-SYN (AT)

WB

5.5

5937

7

EVRY LVS RAYMOND-SYN (AT)

KIN

5.3

5789

8

ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT(AT)

PRM

5.2

5614

9

DR. PHIL SHOW

KIN

5.1

5509

10

JUDGE JUDY (AT)

PRM

4.8

5197

Source: Nielsen Media Research

 

SPANISH-LANGUAGE TELEVISION
Ranked on Households
Week Ending May 2

#

PROGRAMS

Net

NHTI

(000)

1

MARIANA DE LA NOCHE TUE

UNI

20.9

2212

2

BAJO LA MISMA PIEL WED

UNI

20.7

2187

3

MARIANA DE LA NOCHE MON

UNI

20.4

2159

4

MARIANA DE LA NOCHE WED

UNI

19.8

2096

5

BAJO LA MISMA PIEL TUE

UNI

19.5

2056

6

MARIANA DE LA NOCHE FRI

UNI

19.4

2053

6

BAJO LA MISMA PIEL MON

UNI

19.4

2049

8

DON FRANCISCO PRESENTA-WE

UNI

19.1

2019

9

BAJO LA MISMA PIEL FRI

UNI

18.9

1999

10

AMAR OTRA VEZ TUE

UNI

18.8

1985

11

MARIANA DE LA NOCHE THU

UNI

18.4

1942

12

AMAR OTRA VEZ WED

UNI

18.2

1923

13

AMAR OTRA VEZ MON

UNI

18.1

1913

14

BAJO LA MISMA PIEL THU

UNI

17.8

1887

15

AMAR OTRA VEZ THU

UNI

17.5

1848

16

AQUI Y AHORA-THU

UNI

17.2

1814

17

CRISTINA-MON

UNI

16.8

1775

17

AMAR OTRA VEZ FRI

UNI

16.8

1775

19

CASOS VIDA R: ED. ESP TUE

UNI

15.1

1599

20

HORA PICO...REVENTON 5/2(S)-05/02/2004

UNI

14.5

1537

* Nielsen Hispanic Television Index; ratings based on 9.7 million Hispanic TV homes.
Source: Nielsen Media Research

 

NETWORK SPORTS
Ranked on Households
Week Ending April 25

#

PROGRAMS

Net

Episode

Households

Persons 2+

US Rtg%

Shr

(000)

(000)

1

FOX NASCAR NEXTEL CUP

FOX

AARON'S 499 - TALLADEGA

6.3

15

6789

10144

2

NBA PLAYOFFS ON ABC-SUN 1

ABC

LA LAKERS AT HOUSTON

4.8

11

5179

7006

3

WWE SMACKDOWN!

UPN

3.1

5

3335

4703

4

FOX NASCAR BUSCH SERIES

FOX

AARON'S 312 - TALLADEGA

2.1

6

2235

2815

5

SHELL HOUSTON OPN-SU-RAIN(S)-04/25/2004

CBS

1.5

4

1673

2126

6

NBC SPORTS SPECIAL 4/24-B(S)-04/24/2004

NBC

PENN RELAYS TRACK

1.5

4

1673

2015

7

NHL PLAYOFFS ON ABC-SAT 3(S)-04/24/2004

ABC

CALGY AT DETRT/COL AT SAN JOSE

1.3

4

1378

1869

8

SHELL HSTN-SA-PART'L RAIN(S)-04/24/2004

CBS

1.3

4

1385

1774

9

NBC SPORTS SPECIAL 4/24-A(S)-04/24/2004

NBC

BOXING

1.1

3

1220

1472

10

LIBERTY LEGEND GOLF-SUN(S)-04/25/2004

ABC

1.0

3

1038

1263

11

NBC ARENA FOOTBALL 12P(S)-04/25/2004

NBC

DALLAS AT ORLND/SAN JOSE AT GA

1.0

3

1032

1260

12

LIBERTY LEGEND GOLF-SAT(S)-04/24/2004

ABC

0.8

2

828

1092

Source: Nielsen Media Research

 


May 5, 2004© 2004 Media Life


--Diego Vasquez is a Washington writer.


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