NBC Leads The Way, But CBS "Survives"

Buoyed by Friends and E.R., NBC led the way in the latest Nielsens, the last full week in the May sweeps period, which ends today. The top two shows for the week had shares of 33 and 27 and household ratings of 12.9 and 10.2. CBS's CSI and the Survivor finale were next, with Survivor helping CBS win Sunday night, beating NBC's Cosby reunion and Fox's X-Files and ABC's The Practice finales, although all ran fairly well on a night when the networks dominated.

The Survivor finale was the fourth highest rated show of the week, with a 22 share, 9.6 household and 25 million viewers. The Cosby reunion ranked eighth, with a 16 share, 6.8 household and 18.4 million viewers. The X-Files finale ranked 22nd with an 11 share, 4.9 household and 13.2 million viewers.

Other top shows for the week were Will & Grace (NBC), Everybody Loves Raymond (CBS) and Law and Order (NBC).

ABC's Dinotopia, a miniseries that will become a regular series this fall, won two spots in the top 25, with a 12 share and 4.9 household its top rating.



NBC led the way in prime average, with a 16 share and 9.5 household, followed by CBS (15/8.8), ABC (10/6.1) and Fox (9/5.3).

The Osbournes (MTV) was once again the top cable show for the most recent week with a 4.5 household and 7.2 million viewers. WWF Entertainment (TNN), the NBA playoffs (TNT) and Real World (MTV) followed.

Syndicated leaders for the most recent week were Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, Judge Judy, Seinfeld and Entertainment Tonight, with Wheel scoring an 8.9 household with 9.3 million viewers.

The NBA playoffs on NBC won four of the top five sports shows for the most recent week, with the games averaging a 5.5 household, the same as last year. In other TV sports news, NBC scored big with the Preakness Saturday, with a 16 share/7.4 household, up 10% from last year. ABC scored well with NHL hockey playoffs Saturday, earning a 6 share/2.4 household, up 50% from last year.

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