Originally created 09/26/02

ABC network gets rare first place ratings win



NEW YORK -- ABC jumped the gun on the new fall season and found itself somewhere unusual in the week's ratings: first place in viewership.

A "Monday Night Football" game and ABC News interview with actor Christopher Reeve also helped the network, which is trying to recover from a disastrous year.

ABC aired three of its new programs - "8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter," "Life with Bonnie" and "Push, Nevada" - last Tuesday and all finished among Nielsen Media Research's top 20 programs for the week.

The John Ritter comedy "8 Simple Rules" was particularly impressive, with 17.3 million viewers tuning in.

Ratings for ABC's new shows will likely fade this week, when its competitors unveil their new shows. But with the preview night, network executives succeeded in at least getting a strong audience to try the new shows.

CBS' "Survivor" made a splashy return Thursday with the debut of its fifth edition, from Thailand. With 23 million viewers, it was the most-watched program of the week.

The Emmy awards, broadcast Sunday on the eve of the new season, drew just under 20 million viewers.

Meanwhile, HBO's second edition of "The Sopranos" on Sunday drew 11.2 million viewers, competing against the Emmys. That's down from the 13.4 million people who watched the premiere week.

The Miss America Pageant, on ABC, drew about 12 million viewers - the fewest in pageant history and 1.6 million fewer than last year. The telecast did draw more viewers than any other prime-time program Saturday night.

For the week, ABC averaged 10.1 million viewers (6.6 rating, 11 share). NBC averaged 9.8 million viewers but had a slightly higher rating than ABC (6.7 rating, 11 share), an indication that more people were watching NBC while home alone.

CBS had 9.2 million viewers (6.2, 10), Fox 8.6 million (5.5, 9), the WB 4.7 million (3.0, 5), UPN 3.8 million (2.5, 4) and Pax TV 1.3 million (0.9, 2).

NBC's "Nightly News" won the evening news ratings race, averaging 9 million viewers (6.6 rating, 14 share). ABC's "World News Tonight" had 8.8 million viewers (6.3, 14) and the "CBS Evening News" had 7.7 million (5.6, 12).

A ratings point represents 1,067,000 households, or 1 percent of the nation's estimated 106.7 million TV homes. The share is the percentage of in-use televisions tuned to a given show.

Prime-time ratings compiled by Nielsen Media Research for Sept. 16-22. Top 20 listings include the week's ranking, with rating for the week and season-to-date rankings in parentheses.

An "X" in parentheses denotes a one-time-only presentation. The rating is the percentage of the nation's estimated 105.5 million TV homes. Each ratings point represents 1,055,000 households.

1. (X) "Emmy Awards," NBC, 13.5, 14.4 million homes.

2. (X) "Survivor: Thailand," CBS, 13.2, 14.1 million homes.

3. (7) "NFL Monday Night Football: Philadelphia at Washington," ABC, 11.8, 12.6 million homes.

4. (X) "8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter," ABC, 11.0, 11.7 million homes.

5. (X) "Life With Bonnie," ABC, 10.5, 11.2 million homes.

6. (9) "Law & Order," NBC, 10.3, 11.0 million homes.

7. (17) "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation-Monday," CBS, 9.5, 10.1 million homes.

7. (15) "NFL Monday Showcase," ABC, 9.5, 10.1 million homes.

9. (2) "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," CBS, 9.3, 10.0 million homes.

9. (3) "Friends," NBC, 9.3, 10.0 million homes.

11.(65) "Big Brother 3-Thursday," CBS, 9.0, 9.6 million homes.

12. (7) "Everybody Loves Raymond," CBS, 8.8, 9.4 million homes.

12. (18) "Will & Grace," NBC, 8.8, 9.4 million homes.

14. (18) "60 Minutes," CBS, 8.3, 9.0 million homes.

15. (9) "ER," NBC, 8.1, 8.7 million homes.

16. (X) "Push, Nevada," ABC, 7.8, 8.3 million homes.

17. (X) "Miss America," ABC, 7.5, 8.0 million homes.

17. (X) "My Wife and Kids," ABC, 7.5, 8.0 million homes.

19. (13) "Becker," CBS, 7.1, 7.5 million homes.

19. (18) "Law & Order: Special Victim's Unit," NBC, 7.1, 7.6 million homes.

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21. "Fox NFL Sunday Post-Game," Fox, 7.0

22. "West Wing," NBC, 6.7

23. (X) "Christopher Reeve: Courageous Steps," ABC, 6.6

24. "Judging Amy," CBS, 6.5

25. (X) "Cosby Show: A Look Back," NBC, 6.4

25. "Yes, Dear," CBS, 6.4

27. "JAG," CBS, 6.3

28. "Bernie Mac," Fox, 6.2

28. "Cedric the Entertainer Presents," Fox, 6.2

28. "Frasier," NBC, 6.2

28. "My Wife and Kids-Wednesday," ABC, 6.2

32. (X) "Big Brother 3," CBS, 6.1

32. "Fastlane," Fox, 6.1

32. "King of Queens," CBS, 6.1

35. "20/20-Friday," ABC, 6.0

35. "The Guardian," CBS, 6.0

35. "John Doe," Fox, 6.0

38. "That '70s Show," Fox, 5.9

39. "America's Most Wanted: America Fights Back," Fox, 5.7

39. "My Wife and Kids," ABC, 5.7

39. "Primetime Thursday," ABC, 5.7

42. (X) "Fox Movie Special-Sunday: The Fugitive," Fox, 5.6

42. (X) "National Geographic Pyramids Live," Fox, 5.6

42. (X) "Regis and Kelly in Primetime," ABC, 5.6

45. "7th Heaven," WB, 5.5

46. "Push, Nevada," ABC, 5.4

47. "48 Hours," CBS, 5.3

47. (X) "ABC Big Picture Show: Armageddon," ABC, 5.3

47. (X) "World's Funniest Movie Outtakes," Fox, 5.3

50. (X) "60 Minutes Special," CBS, 5.2

50. (X) "Countdown to Emmys," NBC, 5.2

52. "Big Brother 3-Saturday," CBS, 5.1

52. "Grounded for Life," Fox, 5.1

54. (X) "Becker-Sunday," CBS, 5.0

55. "Cops 2: Coast to Coast," Fox, 4.9

56. "Everwood," WB, 4.8

56. "Fear Factor," NBC, 4.8

58. "Dateline Friday," NBC, 4.7

59. (X) "America's Funniest Home Videos: The Battle of the Best," ABC, 4.6

60. (X) "Carol Burnett Show: Show Stoppers," CBS, 4.5

60. "CBS Sunday Movie: Tomorrow Never Dies," CBS, 4.5

60. (X) "Just Shoot Me 9/17," NBC, 4.5

63. "Cops: Coast to Coast," Fox, 4.3

64. "The Drew Carey Show," ABC, 4.2

65. "Ed," NBC, 4.1

66. "Firefly," Fox, 4.0

66. "Providence," NBC, 4.0

66. (X) "Push, Nevada," ABC, 4.0

66. (X) "Survivor: Thailand," CBS, 4.0

70. "Third Watch," NBC, 3.9

71. "Whose Line is it Anyway?," ABC, 3.8

72. "Charmed," WB, 3.7

72. "Crossing Jordan," NBC, 3.7

74. (X) "Favorite Stars: Then and Now," ABC, 3.5

74. "WWE Smackdown!," UPN, 3.5

76. "The Agency-Saturday," CBS, 3.4

77. "Reba," WB, 3.3

78. "Enterprise," UPN, 3.2

79. (X) "Fox Movie Thursday: The Rats," Fox, 3.0

80. (X) "Latin Grammy Awards: 3rd Annual," CBS, 2.9

80. "NBC Saturday Night Movies: LA Law: The Movie," NBC, 2.9

80. "The Twilight Zone," UPN, 2.9

83. "Smallville ," WB, 2.8

84. "One on One," UPN, 2.6

85. "Girlfriends," UPN, 2.5

85. "Girlfriends 9:30pm," UPN, 2.5

85. "WB Wednesday Movie: Blue Streak," WB, 2.5

85. "What I Like About You," WB, 2.5

89. "Sabrina the Teenage Witch" WB, 2.4

90. "Family Affair," WB, 2.3

90. "Greetings From Tucson," WB, 2.3

92. "Do Over," WB, 2.2

93. "Gilmore Girls," WB, 2.1

94. (X) "Meet My Folks," NBC, 2.0

95. "Jamie Kennedy," WB, 1.9

95. "The Parkers," UPN, 1.9

95. "UPN's Movie Friday: Set It Off," UPN, 1.9

98. "Gilmore Girls," WB, 1.8

99. "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," UPN, 1.7

100. "Diagnosis Murder-Thursday," Pax, 1.5

101. "Doc-Sunday," Pax, 1.4

101. "Off Centre," WB, 1.4

103. "Just Cause-Sunday," Pax, 1.3

104. "Diagnosis Murder-Wednesday," Pax, 1.2

104. "Enterprise Tuesday," UPN, 1.2

106. "Diagnosis Murder-Friday," Pax, 1.0

106. "Diagnosis Murder-Monday," Pax, 1.0

106. "Diagnosis Murder-Monday 8pm," Pax, 1.0

106. "Doc-Wednesday," Pax, 1.0

106. "Just Cause-Tuesday," Pax, 1.0

111. "Body and Soul-Monday," Pax, 0.9

111. "Body and Soul-Sunday," Pax, 0.9

111. "Candid Camera-Wednesday," Pax, 0.9

114. "Weakest Link-Pax," Pax, 0.7

115. "America's Favorite Movies: Gigi," Pax, 0.6

115. "Candid Camera-Sunday," Pax, 0.6

115. "Friday Night Flix: Omega Code," Pax, 0.6

115. "It's a Miracle," Pax, 0.6

119. (X) "America's Favorite Movie Trailers," Pax, 0.4

On the Net:

Nielsen Media Research Web site:

http://www.nielsenmedia.com