'Daniel' Fails To Convert Viewers, NBC Places Third Amid Controversy

NBC's controversial "The Book of Daniel" pulled in a less-than spiritual performance for its Friday debut. The religious drama series, which was pre-empted by a handful of affiliates--about a pill-popping Episcopalian minister who talks to a hippie-like Jesus Christ--pulled a 2.7 rating and 5 share among adult 18-49 viewers, and 9 million total viewers. NBC came in third place with the show--but posted its best numbers during the time period in months.

Other regular Friday night shows were still better: CBS' drama "Close to Home" earned a 2.9/8 and 11.5 million viewers; CBS' "Numbers" posted a 3.6/10 and 13.6 million viewers; and ABC's "In Justice" scored with a 2.8/8 and 9.2 million viewers.

ABC also had one of the top shows of the evening, "20/20," which earned a 3.0/9 and 9.2 million viewers. And ABC got a jump early in the evening with a "Dancing with the Stars" half-hour results show, following the longer-performance "Stars" show the night before. The "Star" results show put up a 3.0/9 rating and 12.9 million viewers--which are good numbers for a Friday night show. The rest of the weekend came in predictably.



"Daniel" goes to its regular 10 p.m. time slot on Friday starting next week.

Sunday night, the ABC mega-trio of shows--"Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," "Desperate Housewives," and "Grey's Anatomy"--dominated Sundays as it has in the first half of the season.

CBS came in with a strong second place--thanks primarily to an NFL playoff football game. The conclusion of the Pittsburgh Steelers-Cincinnati Bengals NFL wild-card playoff game earned a huge 10.2/28 in adults 18-49, and 28.5 million viewers overall from 7 to 7:30.

Preliminary Sunday night 18-49 nightly averages were: ABC, 6.9/17; CBS, 5.2/12; Fox, 3.7/9; NBC, 2.6/6; the WB, 0.9/2. Total viewers: ABC, 16.9 million; CBS, 16.9 million; NBC, 9.6 million; Fox, 7.5 million; the WB, 2.4 million.

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