'Billboard' Makes Music For ABC


With CBS already done with its Sunday finales of a week ago, it was ABC's turn this time to grab a win -- the last Sunday night of the season -- but it came via the return of "The Billboard Music Awards."

The special three-hour program grabbed an average Nielsen 3.0 rating/ 8 share among 18-49 viewers. The show was up a bit from the last time it ran -- on Fox, some seven years ago.

Along with a one-hour finale "America's Funniest Home Video" at 7 p.m. (a 1.5/5), this gave the ABC network a 2.6/6. A week before, ABC was at a 2.5 rating.

Fox was next with a 2.2/7, with the one-hour finale for its big 9 p.m. show "Family Guy" reaching a 3.1/7 -- the best-rated show of the night. This was, strangely, a bit lower than the 3.3 rating the show scored the week before for an original episode. "The Simpsons" finale earned a 2.5/7 -- the same numbers as a week ago.



NBC rose to a 2.9/7 for its special two-hour "Celebrity Apprentice" finale -- higher than its 2.4 rating the week before. For the night, NBC averaged a 2.1/6, some four-tenths of a rating point above the week before.

Now a week removed from its "Survivor" finale, CBS went into hiding a bit -- devoting a large part of the evening to its recurring special show "Jesse Stone: Innocents Lost," which grabbed a 1.3/3. CBS had a 1.4/4 for the night, versus a 3.3 rating average the Sunday before. The network tied Univision for the same 18-49 rating/share result -- a 1.4/4.

The young-skewing "Billboard Music Special" did well among the 18-34 crowd for ABC, with a 2.4 rating/7 share for the evening. But it didn't top Fox, the younger-viewing Sunday night specialist, at a 2.5/8.

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