ABC Charges Back With New Shows

Is ABC making a comeback? The network surged near the top for prime average last week, thanks to Monday Night Football and two new shows that debuted the week before the start of the fall season.

MNF, 8 Simple Rules and Life With Bonnie were the third, fourth and fifth ranked shows for the week, trailing only the Emmy Awards on NBC and Survivor, CBS. 8 Simple Rules scored an 18 share/11 household, while Bonnie scored a 17/10.5. Both shows attracted more than 16 million viewers, setting recent records for ABC.

ABC's other new early entry, Push Nevada, also performed well, ranking 16th overall, with a 12 share/7.98 household.

The shows left ABC with a prime average of 11/6.6, just shy of NBC's 11/6.7. CBS, 10/6.2 and Fox, 9/5.5 trailed.

ABC may have had success with its new shows, but it remains to be seen how they fare against the new line ups offered by the other networks for the new season this week.

NBC's Emmys scored a 21 share/13.5 household with 14.3 million households tuned in. Survivor, ranked second, had similar numbers.

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The other top ten shows for the week were Law and Order (NBC), CSI (CBS) and Friends (NBC).

Cable winners for the most recent week were NFL Football and NFL Prime Time on ESPN, Fairly Odd Parents and Spongebob on Nick and Trading Spaces on TLC. NFL Football scored a 7.2 household with 11.3 million people tuned in.

ESPN's NFL Football was also the syndicated leader for the most recent week, taking the top two places, followed by Wheel of Fortune, Friends and Jeopardy. It scored an 8.8 household with 9.3 million households watching.

Football took all the spaces in the sports category for the most recent week, with ABC's MNF leading the way, followed by the NFL on CBS and Fox and Notre Dame football on NBC. MNF scored a 23 share/12.8 household with 13.6 million households viewing.

All eyes are on the new season that starts this week. When media buyers were asked to predict the top shows, they named CSI: Miami (CBS), Scrubs (NBC), The Bernie Mac Show (Fox) and Alias (ABC). CBS reports CSI: Miami won its time period on Monday, drawing nearly 23 million viewers for a 23 share/14.8 household.

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