Originally created 11/28/02

CBS, NBC battle for November sweeps victory



LOS ANGELES -- NBC caught the ratings bouquet when Grace got hitched but was tussling with CBS over victory in the November sweeps.

The marriage of Grace (Debra Messing) and a doctor (guest star Harry Connick Jr.) on "Will & Grace" and an outtakes package from the NBC comedy were the fifth- and sixth-ranked programs last week.

Romance, reality style, also paid off for ABC as the finale of "The Bachelor" came in at No. 3. The ABC show pushed CBS' Victoria's Secret show off the ratings runway and into 44th place.

CBS managed to squeak past NBC to a first-place finish for the week of Nov. 18-24, although "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" was knocked out of the top spot for the first time in a month.

As sweeps drew toward a close Wednesday, CBS had a narrow lead in households and total viewers while NBC prepared to claim victory among advertiser-favored viewers 18 to 49. Results are used to set local ad rates.

Networks placed their confidence in regular series and relied less on sweeps specials - although NBC juiced its shows with twists including the wedding and a "Frasier" health crisis.

Ratings on a dozen of its returning shows are up versus last November, NBC Entertainment President Jeff Zucker said in a telephone news conference Tuesday.

"This is why we had a spectacular sweep and spectacular season thus far," Zucker said. That's especially true among young adult viewers, he said, with NBC posting its biggest sweeps margin of victory in that category in six years.

CBS President Leslie Moonves predicted the network will end up No. 1 in households and total viewers for November - and, he said pointedly, without specials or series stunts.

"Night after night, you saw our regular programming, which builds toward the future," Moonves said in a teleconference.

Through Monday, CBS was first in households for sweeps with an 8.8 rating, a tenth of a ratings point over NBC's 8.7. CBS was averaging 13.35 million viewers to NBC's 13.20 million.

For the week of Nov. 18-24, CBS led overall with 13.2 million viewers (8.8 household rating, 14 share), followed by NBC with 13.17 million viewers (8.7 rating, 14 share).

ABC had 12.5 million viewers (7.7 rating, 12 share), while Fox drew 9.4 million viewers (5.7 rating, 9 share), according to Nielsen Media Research.

The WB averaged 5.4 million viewers (3.3 rating, 5 share) while UPN had 4 million viewers (2.5 rating, 4 share). Pax had 1.2 million viewers (0.9 rating, 1 share).

"NBC Nightly News" won the evening news ratings race with an average 10.8 million viewers (7.8 rating, 15 share), while ABC's "World News Tonight" had 10.7 million viewers (7.6 rating, 15 share) and the "CBS Evening News" had 8.8 million viewers (6.3 rating, 12 share).

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 Nov. 18-24. 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 106.7 million TV homes. Each ratings point represents 1,067,000 households.

1. (2) "Friends," NBC, 17.0, 18.1 million homes.

2. (3) "ER," NBC, 16.5, 17.6 million homes.

3. (11) "The Bachelor," ABC, 16.3, 17.4 million homes.

4. (1) "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," CBS, 16.2, 17.2 million homes.

5. (5) "Will & Grace," NBC, 15.5, 16.6 million homes.

6. (X) "Will & Grace Clip Show," NBC, 14.5, 15.5 million homes.

7. (4) "Everybody Loves Raymond," CBS, 12.8, 13.6 million homes.

8. (6) "Law & Order," NBC, 12.1, 13.0 million homes.

9. (15) "Frasier," NBC, 11.8, 12.6 million homes.

10. (9) "NFL Monday Night Football: Chicago at St. Louis," ABC, 11.7, 12.5 million homes.

11. (6) "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: Miami," CBS, 11.4, 12.2 million homes.

12. (8) "Survivor: Thailand," CBS, 11.2, 12.0 million homes.

13. (17) "JAG," CBS, 10.6, 11.3 million homes.

14. (15) "Judging Amy," CBS, 10.2, 11.0 million homes.

14. (12) "The West Wing," NBC, 10.2, 11.0 million homes.

16. (21) "60 Minutes," CBS, 10.1, 10.8 million homes.

17. (12) "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," NBC, 10.0, 10.7 million homes.

18. (25) "NFL Monday Showcase," ABC, 9.7, 10.4 million homes.

19. (14) "Still Standing," CBS, 9.4, 10.1 million homes.

20. (18) "Without a Trace," CBS, 9.3, 9.9 million homes.

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21. "CBS Sunday Movie: Martin and Lewis," CBS, 9.1

21. "The Guardian," CBS, 9.1

21. "The Simpsons," Fox, 9.1

24. "Ed," NBC, 9.0

25. "Wonderful World Of Disney: The Santa Clause," ABC, 8.6

25. "Yes, Dear," CBS, 8.6

27. "Third Watch," NBC, 8.5

28. "George Lopez," ABC, 8.4

28. "The King of Queens," CBS, 8.4

28. "My Wife and Kids," ABC, 8.4

28. "NYPD Blue," ABC, 8.4

32. "8 Simple Rules," ABC, 8.1

33. "According to Jim," ABC, 7.8

34. (X) "Everybody Loves Raymond," CBS, 7.7

34. "Fear Factor," NBC, 7.7

34. (X) "NBC Movie Of the Week-Sunday: Runaway Bride," NBC, 7.7

37. (X) "ABC Sunday Night Movie: The Pennsylvania Miners Story," ABC, 7.6

37. "The District," CBS, 7.6

39. "Crossing Jordan," NBC, 7.5

39. (X) "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation-Friday," CBS, 7.5

41. "Dateline NBC-Tuesday," NBC, 7.4

41. "Providence," NBC, 7.4

43. "Becker," CBS, 7.3

44. "The Agency," CBS, 7.2

44. "Dateline NBC-Friday," NBC, 7.2

44. "Fox NFL Sunday-postgame: Green Bay at Tampa/N.Y. Giants at Houston," Fox, 7.2

44. "Hack," CBS, 7.2

44. (X) "Victoria Secret Fashion Show," CBS, 7.2

49. "Hidden Hills," NBC, 7.0

50. "48 Hours Investigates," CBS, 6.9

50. "King Of the Hill," Fox, 6.9

52. (X) "20/20 Special Edition-Monday," ABC, 6.8

53. "20/20-Friday," ABC, 6.7

54. "24," Fox, 6.1

55. "Touched By an Angel," CBS, 6.0

56. "America's Funniest Home Videos," ABC, 5.9

57. "America's Most Wanted: America Fights Back," Fox, 5.8

58. (X) "America's Funniest Home Videos-Friday," ABC, 5.7

58. "Boston Public," Fox, 5.7

58. "Less Than Perfect," ABC, 5.7

61. "Cops 2," Fox, 5.5

61. "Life With Bonnie," ABC, 5.5

61. "Malcolm in the Middle," Fox, 5.5

64. "7th Heaven," WB, 5.4

64. (X) "That '70s Show," Fox, 5.4

66. "Primetime Thursday," ABC, 5.3

66. "That '70s Show," Fox, 5.3

68. "Cedric The Entertainer Presents," Fox, 5.2

68. (X) "Funniest Animal Outtakes," Fox, 5.2

70. "The Bernie Mac Show," Fox, 5.1

70. "In-laws," NBC, 5.1

70. (X) "Malcolm in the Middle," Fox, 5.1

73. "The Amazing Race: 3," CBS, 5.0

73. "NBC Saturday Night Movies: Goldeneye," NBC, 5.0

75. "Just Shoot Me," NBC, 4.8

76. (X) "60 Minutes II," CBS, 4.7

76. (X) "Charlie Brown Thanksgiving," ABC, 4.7

76. "Cops," Fox, 4.7

76. "Smallville," WB, 4.7

80. (X) "Friends-Sunday," NBC, 4.5

81. "Gilmore Girls," WB, 4.4

82. (X) "Stupid Behavior Caught on Tape," Fox, 4.3

83. "Fastlane," Fox, 4.2

83. (X) "Fox Movie Special: Happy Gilmore," Fox, 4.2

85. (X) "20/20 Special Edition-Thursday," ABC, 4.1

85. "ABC Saturday Night at the Movies: Jingle All the Way," ABC, 4.1

87. (X) "Winnie The Pooh Thanksgiving," ABC, 4.0

87. (X) "The Wizard of Oz," WB, 4.0

89. "Everwood," WB, 3.9

90. (X) "Before They Were Stars!," ABC, 3.8

91. "30 Seconds to Fame," Fox, 3.5

91. "World Wrestling Entertainment Smackdown!," UPN, 3.5

93. "Reba," WB, 3.3

93. (X) "Will & Grace Clip Show," NBC, 3.3

95. (X) "30 Seconds to Fame," Fox, 3.1

95. "Enterprise," UPN, 3.1

97. "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," UPN, 3.0

97. "Girlfriends," UPN, 3.0

99. "Dawson's Creek," WB, 2.9

99. "One On One," UPN, 2.9

101. "Birds Of Prey," WB, 2.6

101. "Half and Half," UPN, 2.6

103. "The Parkers," UPN, 2.5

104. (X) "Reba-Sunday," WB, 2.2

104. "What I Like About You," WB, 2.2

106. "The Twilight Zone," UPN, 2.0

107. "Greetings From Tucson," WB, 1.9

108. "Doc-Sunday," Pax, 1.4

108. "Girlfriends-Tuesday," UPN, 1.4

108. "Half and Half-Tuesday," UPN, 1.4

108. "Sue Thomas, F.B. Eye," Pax, 1.4

108. "UPN's Movie Friday: Bullet Proof," UPN, 1.4

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

113. (X) "WB Special Movie: Gossip," WB, 1.2

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

115. "Diagnosis Murder-Thursday," Pax, 1.0

117. "Diagnosis Murder-Friday," Pax, 0.9

117. "Diagnosis Murder-Tuesday," Pax, 0.9

117. "Friday Night Flix: Killer Bees," Pax, 0.9

117. "Just Cause-Sunday," Pax, 0.9

121. "America's Favorite Movies: That's Entertainment," Pax, 0.8

121. "Candid Camera-Sunday," Pax, 0.8

121. "Candid Camera-Wednesday," Pax, 0.8

121. "Doc-Wednesday," Pax, 0.8

121. "It's a Miracle," Pax, 0.8

121. "Weakest Link," Pax, 0.8

127. "Just Cause-Monday," Pax, 0.7

128. "Sue Thomas: F.B. Eye-Monday," Pax, 0.6

129. "Body and Soul-Tuesday," Pax, 0.4

On the Net:

Nielsen Media Research Web site: http://www.nielsenmedia.com