NBC’S ‘THE WEST WING’ DOMINATES THE WEDNESDAY VOTE

NBC’S ‘THE WEST WING’ DOMINATES THE WEDNESDAY VOTE
Published: September 26, 2002

photo preview / download DESPITE FACING SEVERAL PREMIERES AND A FINALE, THE EMMY-WINNING DRAMA REGISTERS OVERWHELMING WINS

“ED’S” 18-49 RATING BUILDS BY A POWERFUL 27 PERCENT FROM ITS FIRST HALF-HOUR TO ITS SECOND

JAY BREEZES IN LATE NIGHT

BURBANK, Calif. — September 26, 2002 — NBC’s Wednesday lineup opened its season with another dominant performance, thanks to lofty numbers from the fourth-season premiere of “The West Wing.”

According to preliminary “fast affiliate” in-home viewing figures from Nielsen Media Research, the 9-11 p.m. ET “West Wing” season debut (6.6 rating, 17 share among adults 18-49, 18.0 million viewers overall) won its time period by wide margins among adults, men and women 18-49, adults, men and women 25-54, households and total viewers, despite facing premieres of ABC’s “The Bachelor” and “MDs,” the time-period premiere of CBS’ “Presidio Med” and the finale of CBS’ “Big Brother.”

“The West Wing,” winner of the Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series during each of its first three seasons, built its 18-49 rating and overall viewer total during each of its half-hours last night. From its first half-hour to its fourth, “The West Wing” grew by 15 percent among adults 18-49 (to a 7.0/19 from a 6.1/15) and by 1.2 million viewers overall.

The political drama won its time period among adults 18-49 by a 50 percent margin (6.6/17 vs. CBS’ second-place 4.4/11) and by 7.1 million persons overall (18.0 million vs. CBS’ 10.9 million). From 10-11 p.m., “West Wing” defeated its combined time-period competition among adults 18-49 and total viewers. Next week, the acclaimed drama “Law & Order” opens its 13th season in the hour.

“The West Wing” won five Emmy Awards this year in the categories of Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Leading Actress in a Drama Series (Allison Janney), Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (John Spencer), Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (Stockard Channing) and Outstanding Special Class Program (for an April 24 documentary episode).

From 8-9 p.m. ET last night, NBC’s “Ed” scored a 3.4/10 among adults 18-49 and attracted 10.3 million viewers overall. From its first half-hour to its second, “Ed’s” 18-49 rating grew by 27 percent (to a 3.8/10 from a 3.0/9), the biggest increase for any major-network show in the hour. “Ed” finished third for its highly competitive time slot among adults 18-49 and second among adults, men and women 25-54, pending Nielsen updates of these provisional results.

Preliminary nightlong averages among adults 18-49 are: NBC, 5.5/15; ABC, 4.4/12; Fox, 4.0/10; CBS, 3.7/10. In overall total viewers, September 25 preliminary averages are: NBC, 15.5 million; CBS, 10.8 million; ABC, 10.4 million; Fox, 8.0 million.

In local-market late-night results, “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” (5.2 rating, 14 share in metered-market households) continued to dominate CBS’ “Late Show With David Letterman” (3.0/8 in metered-market households). NBC’s “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” (2.4/10 in metered-market households) also ruled its time period versus, CBS’ “Late Late Show With Craig Kilborn” (1.4/6 in metered-market households).

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