ANOTHER BIG WEEK FOR NBC’S REGULARS, THE SEASON’S DOMINANT LINEUP IN 18-49

ANOTHER BIG WEEK FOR NBC’S REGULARS, THE SEASON’S DOMINANT LINEUP IN 18-49
Published: January 16, 2003

photo preview / download COUNTING ONLY REGULAR PROGRAMS, NBC LEADS THE SEASON BY A COMMANDING 23 PERCENT IN 18-49

“CRIMINAL INTENT” TIES A RECORD RATING WHILE “FEAR FACTOR,” “CROSSING JORDAN” AND “SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT” ALL EARN SEASON HIGHS

“MR. STERLING’S” PREMIERE TOPS THE FRIDAY 8-9 P.M. POLLS IN ALL KEY CATEGORIES AND LIFTS NBC 21 PERCENT ABOVE THE NET’S SEASON AVERAGE IN THE SLOT

“BOOMTOWN” BEATS SLOT RESULTS FOR THE SAME NIGHT LAST YEAR BY A POWERFUL 38 PERCENT AND “AMERICAN DREAMS” IS UP BY 22 PERCENT

DESPITE HUGE NFL BOOSTS FOR ITS RIVALS, NBC FINISHES A STRONG SECOND IN SUCH KEY RACES AS ADULTS 18-34, ADULTS 25-54 AND TOTAL VIEWERS AND WINS THE WEEK IN ALL KEY ADULT-FEMALE DEMOS

BURBANK, Calif. — January 14, 2003 — NBC’s lineup of powerful regular programs has produced another week of impressive results, including a tie for highest-ever regular-slot adult 18-49 rating for Sunday’s “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” season highs for Monday’s “Fear Factor” and “Crossing Jordan” and Friday’s “Law & Order: Special Victim Unit,” 22 and 38 percent jumps respectively over year-ago slot results for Sunday’s critically acclaimed freshman dramas “American Dreams” and “Boomtown” and the week’s two highest non-sports rating among adults 18-49 for Thursday’s “Friends” and “ER.”

The week was also highlighted by the Friday premiere of “Mr. Sterling,” which won the 8-9 p.m. ET hour in virtually all key demographics, households and total viewers and delivered a 21 percent jump over NBC’s season-long adult 18-49 average in the slot.

NBC is winning the season among adults 18-49 by a 15 percent margin, the second biggest lead at this point in the season for any network since the 1997-98 campaign. And counting regular programs only, that lead shoots up to 23 percent, the biggest lead for any network at this point in five years. Also counting regular programs only, NBC is No. 1 for the season among adults 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54; women 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54; and men 18-49 and 25-54.

It was an atypical week, in which NFL playoff football gave Fox and CBS major boosts. Fox’s prime-time Saturday game nearly tripled the network’s 18-49 season average rating for that night (9.3 vs. 3.3) and 50 minutes of Saturday prime-time NFL coverage on CBS helped that network double its Saturday season average (4.3 vs. 2.1).

Despite those football boosts, NBC finished second for the Jan. 6-12 week among adults 18-34, adults 25-54 and total viewers and won the week in all key adult-female demographics. Excluding the impact of the week’s football coverage, NBC would have won the week solidly among adults 18-49.

Among adults 18-49, NBC’s lineup included the week’s No. 1 non-sports telecast and No. 1 comedy (“Friends”), the No. 2 non-sports telecast and No. 1 drama (“ER”) and the top four comedies (including a tie for No. 4, with “Friends,” “Scrubs,” “Will & Grace” and “Good Morning, Miami”).

NBC has won 12 of 16 weeks this season among adults 18-49. The network has also won or tied for first during 33 of the last 42 weeks and 73 of the last 91 weeks.

MONDAY

On Jan. 6, “Fear Factor” (6.3 rating, 16 share among adults 18-49, 15.1 million viewers overall) ruled the 8-9 p.m. ET hour with its highest 18-49 rating and overall viewer total since March 25. Compared with its rating on the same night last year, with the show’s 2001-02 season premiere, “Fear Factor” was up 17 percent among adults 18-49 (6.3/16 vs. 5.4/13).

At 9 p.m. ET, “Third Watch” (4.5/10 among adults 18-49, 11.9 million viewers overall) improved on its 18-49 rating for the same night last year by 2 percent (4.5/10 vs. 4.4/10), despite competition from Fox’s “Joe Millionaire.”

At 10 p.m. ET, “Crossing Jordan” (4.9/12 among adults 18-49, 12.2 million viewers overall) hit season-high 18-49 and total-viewer numbers. “Jordan” also finished within 1.7 rating points of CBS’ “CSI: Miami,” the closest finish yet for “Jordan” behind a first-run “CSI: Miami.”

TUESDAY

“Frasier” (5.2/13 among adults 18-49, 12.0 million viewers overall) was Tuesday’s No. 1 program among adults 18-49.

WEDNESDAY

NBC finished a strong second for the evening among adults 18-49 and was No. 1 among total viewers. From the night’s first prime-time half-hour to its last, NBC’s 18-49 rating nearly doubled, from a 3.8/11 at 8 p.m. ET to a 7.3/20 at 10:30.

At 8 p.m. ET, “Ed” (4.0/11 among adults 18-49, 10.9 million viewers overall) finished an impressive second among adults 18-49 for the hour, ahead of ABC’s comedies “My Wife & Kids” and “The George Lopez Show” for the first time this season. “Ed” improved on its 18-49 rating for the same night last year by 14 percent (4.0/11 vs. 3.5/9).

At 9 p.m. ET, “The West Wing” (4.7/11 among adults 18-49, 14.0 million viewers overall) finished a strong No. 2 among adults 18-49 and built its 18-49 rating by 7 percent from its first half-hour to its second.

From 10-11 p.m. ET, “Law & Order” (7.1/19 among adults 18-49, 19.6 million viewers overall) was the hour’s No. 1 program in 18-49 and virtually all other key categories.

THURSDAY

“Friends” (11.5/30 among adults 18-49, 23.7 million viewers overall) topped its combined major-network competition in virtually every key demographic and tripled its closest pursuer (CBS’ Thursday premiere of “Star Search”) head-to-head among adults 18-49.

From 8:32-9 p.m. ET, the week’s No. 2 comedy in 18-49, “Scrubs” (8.3/21 among adults 18-49, 17.2 million viewers overall), won its time period in virtually every key category. In 18-49, the “Scrubs” margin of victory was a commanding 60 percent (8.3/21 vs. 5.2/13).

At 9 p.m. ET, “Will & Grace” (8.1/19 among adults 18-49, 16.3 million viewers overall) finished a close second in 18-49 and beat CBS’ “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” among adults, men and women 18-34 and women 18-49.

From 9:30-9:59 p.m. ET, television’s No. 1 first-year comedy among adults 18-49, “Good Morning, Miami” (6.4/15 among adults 18-49, 13.0 million viewers overall), retained a solid 79 percent of its 18-49 lead-in from “Will & Grace.”

From 9:59-11 p.m., “ER” (10.4/27 among adults 18-49, 21.5 million viewers overall) outscored its combined competition in virtually all key demographics. “ER” defeated its closest pursuer, CBS’ “Without a Trace,” by an 89 percent margin (10.4/27 vs. 5.5/14).

FRIDAY

NBC was the top vote-getter Friday night, as the premiere of “Mr. Sterling” (3.5/11 among adults 18-49, 12.2 million viewers overall) generated a 21 percent jump over the network’s season-average 2.9 rating among adults 18-49 in the Friday 8-9 p.m. ET hour. “Mr. Sterling” won the time period in virtually all key categories, including adults, men and women18-34; adults, men and women 18-49; adults, men and women 25-54; households and total viewers. “Mr. Sterling” led the slot in overall total viewers by more than 2.4 million persons (12.2 million vs. 9.8 million for ABC’s second-place “America’s Funniest Home Videos”).

From 9-10 p.m. ET, “Dateline NBC” (3.1/9 among adults 18-49, 10.3 million viewers overall) finished No. 1 for its hour among adults 18-49, adults 25-54, women 18-49, women 25-54 and households.

At 10 p.m. ET, “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (5.8/17 among adults 18-49, 16.6 million viewers overall) scored a season-high 18-49 rating and matched its third-highest result ever. “SVU” equaled or topped the combined results of the time-period competition in virtually all key demographics and defeated its closest rival, CBS’ premiere of “Queens Supreme,” by 123 percent among adults 18-49 (5.8/17 vs. 2.6/8).

SATURDAY

NBC grabbed the highest non-football 18-49 rating during all six of Saturday’s prime-time half-hours with an encore lineup of “Law & Order” (2.1/6 among adults 18-49, 7.7 million viewers overall), “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” (2.8/7 among adults 18-49, 9.5 million viewers overall) and “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (3.1/8 among adults 18-49, 10.3 million viewers overall). Despite tough football competition on two networks, the “Law & Order” team topped NBC’s season-to-date Saturday 18-49 average by 23 percent (2.7 rating vs. a 2.2) and generated the network’s strongest Saturday rating in five weeks.

SUNDAY

At 8 p.m. ET, “American Dreams” (3.9/9 among adults 18-49, 10.7 million viewers overall) built by an impressive 22 percent on slot results for the same night last year with “The Weakest Link” (3.9/9 vs. 3.2/7). From its first half-hour to its second, the popular family drama increased its 18-49 rating by 17 percent.

From 9-10 p.m. ET, NBC’s soaring sophomore drama “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” (5.4/12 among adults 18-49, 16.2 million viewers overall) matched its series-record adult 18-49 rating for a regular-slot episode, originally set on Nov. 10, 2002. “Criminal Intent” improved by 23 percent on its result for the same Sunday last year. For the season, “Criminal Intent” is up 17 percent versus its year-ago 18-49 average (a 4.8 rating vs. a 4.1).

At 10 p.m. ET, “Boomtown” (4.0/11 among adults 18-49, 11.4 million viewers) grabbed its second-best 18-49 rating since Oct. 20 and soared 38 percent above NBC’s slot result on the same Sunday last year with “UC: Undercover”(4.0/11 vs. 2.9/7). In overall total viewers, “Boomtown” attracted its biggest audience since premiere week.

WEEKLY AVERAGES

Average rating, share and audience in each category

ADULTS 18-49

Fox 5.2/13, 6.7 million

CBS 5.1/13, 6.6 million

NBC 4.8/12, 6.2 million

ABC 3.3/8, 4.2 million

WB 1.9/5, 2.4 million

UPN 1.6/4, 2.1 million

Each rating point equals 1.29 million viewers

ADULTS 25-54

CBS 6.0/14, 7.2 million

NBC 5.5/13, 6.7 million

Fox 5.1/12, 6.2 million

ABC 3.5/8, 4.3 million

WB 1.8/4, 2.2 million

UPN 1.6/4, 1.9 million

Each rating point equals 1.20 million viewers

TOTAL VIEWERS

CBS 5.6/14, 15.3 million

NBC 4.7/12, 12.8 million

Fox 4.2/10, 11.5 million

ABC 3.2/8, 8.6 million

WB 1.5/4, 4.2 million

UPN 1.4/4, 3.9 million

Each rating point equals 2.72 million viewers

SEASON-TO-DATE AVERAGES

Average rating, share and audience in each category

ADULTS 18-49

NBC 4.5/12, 5.8 million

CBS 3.9/11, 5.1 million

ABC 3.8/10, 5.0 million

Fox 3.7/10, 4.8 million

WB 1.8/5, 2.4 million

UPN 1.6/4, 2.1 million

Each rating point equals 1.29 million viewers

ADULTS 25-54

NBC 5.1/12, 6.2 million

CBS 4.8/12, 5.8 million

ABC 4.3/10, 5.1 million

Fox 3.9/9, 4.6 million

WB 1.7/4, 2.1 million

UPN 1.6/4, 2.0 million

Each rating point equals 1.20 million viewers

TOTAL VIEWERS

CBS 4.7/12, 12.7 million

NBC 4.3/11, 11.8 million

ABC 3.7/10, 10.1 million

Fox 3.4/9, 9.2 million

WB 1.6/4, 4.3 million

UPN 1.4/4, 3.8 million

Each rating point equals 2.72 million viewers

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Media Contact:

Tom Bierbaum, 814/452-2091

thomas.bierbaum@nbc.com

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