NBC DOMINATES PREMIERE WEEK IN 18-49 WITH FIVE TRIUMPHANT SERIES LAUNCHES

NBC DOMINATES PREMIERE WEEK IN 18-49 WITH FIVE TRIUMPHANT SERIES LAUNCHES
Published: October 1, 2002

photo preview / download VIEWERS FLOCK TO SUNDAY’S “AMERICAN DREAMS,” WHICH DOMINATES AT 8 P.M., WHILE THE DEBUT OF “BOOMTOWN” RETAINS A SUPERB 100 PERCENT OF ITS 18-49 LEAD-IN FROM “CRIMINAL INTENT”

A SPECIAL “IN-LAWS” WINS ITS SLOT AND BUILDS BY A COLOSSAL 39 PERCENT ON ITS 18-49 LEAD-IN, BETTERING LAST WEEK’S BUILDS FOR “RAYMOND,” “MY WIFE & KIDS” AND EVERY OTHER 8:30 OR 9:30 COMEDY

“HIDDEN HILLS” CRUSHES THE TUESDAY 9:30 COMPETITION

“GOOD MORNING, MIAMI” IS TELEVISION’S NO. 1 NEW SERIES AMONG ADULTS 18-49

“FRIENDS” SCORES RECORD PREMIERE NUMBERS; “FRIENDS” AND “ER” BEAT THEIR COMBINED SLOT COMPETITION IN 18-49

“SCRUBS” LAUNCHES ITS SECOND SEASON WITH RECORD RATINGS

NBC CLAIMS SIX OF THE WEEK’S TOP SEVEN PROGRAMS IN 18-49

NBC’S SCHEDULE BOASTS THE WEEK’S NO. 1 COMEDY, NO. 1 DRAMA, NO. 1 AND 2 NEW COMEDIES, NO. 1 NEWSMAGAZINE AND THE TOP FIVE COMEDIES AMONG ADULTS 18-49

BURBANK, Calif. — October 1, 2002 — NBC has wrapped up a triumphant premiere week with impressive launches of five new series and a dominant victory among adults 18-49 and other key demographics.

With “American Dreams,” “Boomtown,” “Good Morning, Miami,” “Hidden Hills” and “In-Laws” all turning in powerful premiere numbers last week, NBC won the 18-49 race by a commanding 0.8 of a rating point. The Peacock also dominated the September 23-29 week among adults 25-54, winning by 0.5 of a point, and among adults 18-34, prevailing by 1.4 points. Additionally, NBC won the week among men and women 18-34, men and women 18-49 and women 25-54.

Each of NBC’s five new series got off to strong starts last week. A special Tuesday 8:30 edition of “In-Laws” won its half-hour with a rating that topped the week’s results for ABC’s “Life With Bonnie” and Fox’s “Bernie Mac Show,” “Cedric the Entertainer Presents” and “Grounded For Life,” while tying Fox’s “That ’70s Show.” “Hidden Hills” clobbered the Tuesday 9:30 p.m. competition. “Good Morning, Miami” scored the season’s highest rating to date for a first-year series. “American Dreams” destroyed the Sunday 8-9 p.m. competition. And “Boomtown” retained an outstanding 100 percent of its hefty 18-49 lead-in from “Law & Order: Criminal Intent.”

The Tuesday 8:30 “In-Laws” built on its lead-in by a huge 39 percent, which is nearly three times the build for any other 8:30 or 9:30 sitcom on any of the six networks last week (including CBS’ “Everybody Loves Raymond” and ABC’s “My Wife & Kids”). Among 16 8:30 and 9:30 comedies aired during the week, the biggest build besides “In-Laws’” 39 percent was 14 percent for “My Wife & Kids.”

NBC also got spectacular results from its returning regulars last week, with “Friends” scoring record season-premiere ratings and both “Friends” and “ER” beating their combined competition among adults 18-49 and other key demographics. “Scrubs” launched its first full season on the Thursday schedule with series-record results. And “Frasier,” “The West Wing,” “Will & Grace,” Friday’s “Dateline NBC” and “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” all impressively won or tied for first in their time periods among adults 18-49.

NBC’s schedule featured six of the week’s top seven programs among adults 18-49 (including a tie for No. 7). The Peacock lineup boasted the week’s No. 1 show overall and No. 1 comedy (“Friends”), the No. 1 drama (“ER”), the No. 1 new comedy (“Good Morning, Miami”), the No. 2 new comedy (“Hidden Hills”) and the No. 1 newsmagazine (Tuesday’s “Dateline NBC”). NBC also claimed the weeks’ five highest-rated comedies (“Friends,” “Will & Grace,” “Scrubs,” “Good Morning, Miami” and “Frasier”), including a tie for No. 5.

For the week, NBC was No. 1 for four of seven nights among both adults 18-49 and total viewers.

These September 23-29 results open the 2002-03 prime-time season, with NBC’s 18-49 victory marking the network’s 22nd win in the last 27 weeks and 62nd victory in the last 76 weeks.

MONDAY

On September 23, NBC got competitive ratings from the 90-minute season premieres of “Fear Factor” (5.1 rating, 13 share among adults 18-49, 11.3 million viewers) and “Crossing Jordan” (4.3/10 among adults 18-49, 10.5 million viewers overall).

From 8-9:30 p.m. ET, the season debut of “Fear Factor” finished a strong second among adults 18-49 and was No. 1 among adults 18-34. “Fear Factor” built audience impressively through its 90-minutes slot, with a hefty 46 percent increase in 18-49 rating from “Fear’s” first half-hour to its third (to a 6.0/14 from a 4.1/12).

From 9:30-11 p.m. ET, “Crossing Jordan” also built its audience consistently and impressively, with a 15 percent 18-49 jump from its first half-hour to its third (to a 4.5/11 from a 3.9/9).

TUESDAY

NBC claimed a decisive Tuesday win in 18-49 thanks to powerful starts from its two new Tuesday comedies, “In-Laws” at 8 p.m. ET (3.3/10 among adults 18-49, 8.4 million viewers overall) and 8:30 (4.6/12 among adults 18-49, 10.7 million viewers overall) and “Hidden Hills” at 9:30 (7.4/18 among adults 18-49, 15.7 million viewers overall).

After a competitive start at 8 p.m. ET, “In-Laws” built by a sizzling 39 percent among adults 18-49 at 8:30 to vault into first place in that time period. Versus premiere Tuesday results for that half-hour a year ago, “In-Laws” was up 24 percent among adults 18-49 while the other major networks were all down, CBS by 22 percent, ABC by 20 percent and Fox by 24 percent.

At 9 p.m. ET, the 10th-season premiere of “Frasier” (8.8/22 among adults 18-49, 21.1 million viewers overall), featuring the wedding of Niles (David Hyde Pierce) and Daphne (Jane Leeves), soared to “Frasier’s” highest 18-49 rating and viewers total since the Fall 2000 season premiere, October 24, 2000. “Frasier” was the night’s No. 1 program in adults 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54, plus households and total viewers. “Frasier” won its half-hour by a 110 percent margin among adults 18-49 and by 8.1 million viewers overall.

At 9:30 p.m. ET, the premiere of “Hidden Hills” grabbed NBC’s highest 18-49 rating in that time period, excluding Olympics and “Frasier,” since January 16, 2001. “Hidden Hills” crushed the time-period competition among adults 18-49, winning by a muscular 64 percent margin (7.4/18 vs. 4.5/11 for the WB’s second-place “Smallville” that half-hour). “Hidden Hills” was the night’s No. 2 program among adults 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54, behind only “Frasier.”

Following the big wedding-episode numbers of “Frasier,” “Hidden Hills” retained a strong 84 percent of its lead-in among adults 18-49. That tops the 79 percent retention NBC generated in the slot May 21 when “Scrubs” followed the “Frasier” season finale in which the Niles and Daphne characters decided to get married.

At 10 p.m. ET, the 12th-season premiere of “Dateline NBC” (4.1/11 among adults 18-49, 10.2 million viewers overall) finished No. 1 for the hour among women 18-34 and No. 2 among adults 18-34, men 18-34 and women 18-49.

WEDNESDAY

NBC ruled the Wednesday ratings race, thanks to the 9-11 p.m. ET season premiere of “The West Wing” (6.7 rating, 17 share among adults 18-49, 18.2 million viewers overall). The Emmy winner for outstanding drama series 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 political drama won its time period among adults 18-49 by a 52 percent margin (6.7/17 vs. CBS’ second-place 4.4/11) and by 7.3 million persons overall (18.2 million vs. CBS’ 10.8 million). From 10-11 p.m., “West Wing” defeated its combined time-period competition among adults 18-49 and total viewers.

From 8-9 p.m. ET, “Ed” (3.5/10 among adults 18-49, 10.3 million viewers overall) generated a burly 33 percent build in its 18-49 rating from its first half-hour to its second (to a 4.0/11 from a 3.0/9). That was by far the biggest increase for any broadcast network 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.

THURSDAY

NBC dominated Thursday, winning by margins of 43 percent among adults 18-49 and 2.1 million viewers overall.

“Friends” (16.6 rating, 41 share among adults 18-49, 34.0 million viewers overall) led the way with its highest 18-49 rating and viewer total ever for a premiere episode. Counting all episodes, “Friends” generated its third-biggest audience ever among adults 18-49 (21.4 million viewers) and total viewers (34.0 million). “Friends” obliterated its time-period rivals, beating the half-hour’s combined ABC-CBS-Fox-UPN-WB results among adults and women 18-34; adults, men and women 18-49; and adults and women 25-54. “Friends” also tied those five networks combined among men 18-34. It was the biggest 18-49 winning margin ever for “Friends” in that 8-8:30 half-hour over a regular first-run episode of “Survivor” (9.4 rating points, 131 percent).

At 8:30 p.m. ET, the acclaimed sophomore comedy “Scrubs” (11.0/25 among adults 18-49, 21.5 million viewers overall) beat “Survivor Thailand” to win the time period among adults, men and women 18-34; adults and women 18-49; and women 25-54. “Scrubs” achieved series record among adults 18-49 and total viewers.

From 9-9:30 p.m. ET, the fifth-season premiere of “Will & Grace” (11.0/25 among adults 18-49, 21.5 million viewers overall) matched CBS’ “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” among adults 18-49 for the half-hour and defeated “CSI” among women 18-49 and adults, men and women 18-34.

At 9:30 p.m. ET, the premiere of “Good Morning, Miami” (8.9/20 among adults 18-49, 17.5 million viewers) scored the highest 18-49 rating for any new series that’s premiered so far this fall. “Good Morning, Miami” retained a strong 81 percent of its 18-49 lead-in from “Will & Grace” despite facing the concluding half-hour of “CSI.” The new comedy finished an impressive second for its half-hour in most key demographics and beat “CSI” among women 18-34.

From 10-11 p.m., the ninth-season premiere of “ER” (13.2/32 among adults 18-49, 26.7 million viewers overall) demolished its time-period competition, beating combined ABC-CBS results in virtually every key demographic, plus households and total viewers.

FRIDAY

NBC won Friday by a 48 percent margin among adults 18-49, the week’s most decisive nightlong victory. Key to NBC’s lopsided nightlong triumph was the fourth-season premiere of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (5.3 rating, 17 share among adults 18-49, 14.9 million viewers overall), which led the 10-11 p.m. ET hour in virtually all key demographics, households and total viewers and topped the combined ABC-CBS competition among adults 18-34, men 18-34 (tie) and women 18-34. “SVU’s” winning margin over ABC’s second-place “20/20” (2.9/9 among adults 18-49, 9.5 million viewers overall) was a huge 83 percent in 18-49 rating and 5.4 million viewers overall.

From 8-10 p.m. ET, the season premiere of “Dateline NBC” (3.3/11 among adults 18-49, 10.4 million viewers overall) finished first among adults 18-49 and 25-54; women 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54; plus households and total viewers.

SUNDAY

Magnificent starts for NBC’s critically acclaimed dramas “American Dreams” (4.7/12 among adults 18-49, 13.9 million viewers overall), “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” (4.9/11 among adults 18-49, 15.8 million viewers overall) and “Boomtown” (4.9/12 among adults 18-49, 13.4 million viewers overall) pulled NBC within 0.1 of a point of the Sunday 18-49 win and made the Peacock Sunday’s most watched network in total viewers.

At 8 p.m. ET, “American Dreams” stunned the competition with a lofty 34 percent margin of victory among adults 18-49 and a total viewers lead of 2.4 million persons. From its first half-hour to its second, “American Dreams” built by a sizzling 26 percent among adults 18-49 and by 2.5 million viewers overall. “American Dreams’” 4.7 rating in 18-49 is a 27 percent increase over NBC’s comparable 3.7 in the time period a year ago with the season premiere of “The Weakest Link.”

At 9 p.m. ET, “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” finished just 0.1 of a rating point out of the 18-49 lead among broadcast networks and dominated the hour in total viewers with a 4.5-million-viewer margin of victory among broadcasters. It was “Criminal Intent’s” second-best 18-49 rating and highest viewer total ever for a regular-slot episode. From its first half-hour to its second, “Criminal Intent” increased its 18-49 rating by 13 percent while ABC slot rival “Alias” declined by 4 percent, allowing NBC to move ahead in the 9:30-10 p.m. half-hour. “Criminal Intent” topped its premiere 18-49 rating of a year ago by 9 percent (4.9/11 vs. 4.5/10) while rival sophomore drama “Alias” declined by 19 percent (5.0/11 vs. 6.2/14).

From 10-11 p.m. ET, “Boomtown” narrowed ABC’s 18-49 winning margin in the time period down to 8 percent (5.3/13 for ABC’s “The Practice” vs. “Boomtown’s” 4.9/12). On premiere Sunday last year, the ABC margin in that hour was 57 percent (7.2/18 for ABC’s “The Practice” vs. 4.6/11 for “UC: Undercover”).

WEEKLY AVERAGES

Average rating, share and audience in each category

ADULTS 18-49

NBC 5.4/15, 6.9 million

CBS 4.6/12, 5.9 million

ABC 3.8/10, 4.9 million

Fox 3.1/9, 4.0 million

WB 1.9/5, 2.4 million

UPN 1.7/5, 2.3 million

Each rating point equals 1.29 million viewers

ADULTS 25-54

NBC 6.1/15, 7.3 million

CBS 5.6/14, 6.8 million

ABC 4.3/10, 5.2 million

Fox, 3.0/7, 3.7 million

WB 1.8/4, 2.2 million

UPN 1.8/4, 2.2 million

Each rating point equals 1.20 million viewers

TOTAL VIEWERS

CBS 5.1/14, 13.9 million

NBC 4.9/13, 13.4 million

ABC 3.6/10, 9.9 million

Fox 2.6/7, 7.1 million

WB 1.7/4, 4.5 million

UPN 1.5/4, 4.2 million

Each rating point equals 2.72 million viewers

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