TV News

By Anya Khait

ABC won a clear-cut, if narrow, win in the ratings on Tuesday, with "Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?" drawing 21.5 million viewers. "Dharma & Greg" held onto 15 million of those viewers with a 6.2 rating, 15 share among adults 18-49. "Geena Davis" continued to hold its own with a 5.7/14, while "Once and Again" scored a more modest 4.5/12.

Fox was second on the night among 18-49ers, with "That '70's Show" hitting a 6.3/18. "Titus" followed with a 5.5/14, while a repeat of "Dark Angel" drew a 3.6/9. CBS won in total viewers, with "60 Minutes II" and its Dan Rather softball session with Bill Clinton drawing 13.9 million viewers. "Judging Amy" drew 15.2 million viewers with a 5/13.

In other news, NBC won the 11th week of the TV season in both total viewers and in adults 18-49 with the help of "The Sound of Music" and another strong Thursday night. NBC averaged a network-best 5.2 rating/13 share in adults 18-49 and 12.9 million viewers for the week ending Dec. 17, according to Nielsen Media Research. It was NBC's ninth weekly victory in the key adults 18-49 demo.

NBC's 35th Anniversary broadcast of "The Sound of Music" (Dec. 17) brought NBC's its third highest Sunday night rating of the season (5.1/12 in adults 18-49 and 14.3 million viewers).

And NBC's Thursday night lineup: ER (14.6/36), "Friends" (11.5/32), "Will & Grace" (11.0/27), "Just Shoot Me" (10.2/24) and the renamed "Weber Show" (8.4/22) finished as the week's top five programs in adults 18-49.

Fox (4.4/11) finished the week in second place in adults 18-49, followed by ABC (4.3/11) and CBS (3.7/10). ABC finished a strong second in total viewers, averaging 12.8 million viewers.

CBS was third with a 11.9 million and Fox was fourth at 9.6 million viewers. UPN won the battle of the weblets, averaging a 1.7/4 in adults 18-49 and 3.9 million viewers. The WB averaged a 1.5/4 in adults 18-49 and 3.5 million viewers for the week.

CBS is also spoiling for a fight on Thursday nights. The network announced Monday that the second “Survivor” series, which is set in the Australian outback and premieres next month, will be shown on Thursdays at 8 p.m. That would put “Survivor” opposite NBC's high-rated comedy, “Friends.”

It's the boldest move in years for a network looking to compete with NBC on the night that it usually dominates viewership. It also means the second “Survivor” will be in a tougher battle for viewers. CBS' ratings on Thursdays have been disastrous this season; it currently shows "48 Hours" in the 8 p.m. time slot.

The second “Survivor” series premieres after the Super Bowl on Jan. 28, and will start on Thursdays on Feb. 1. Before the series concludes, it will be shown twice on Wednesdays - March 14 and March 21 - because the NCAA basketball tournament will be on Thursdays.

Nielsen prime-time ratings for the week of Dec. 11 were as follows:

1. "ER," NBC, 20.2, 20.7 million homes.

2. "Who Wants to be a Millionaire-Wednesday