More than 40 million people watched prime-time coverage related to the death of Princess Diana on the four major networks Sunday, with "60 Minutes" commanding the biggest audience, based on results issued Wednesday by Nielsen Media Research.
Though the holiday weekend would normally reduce viewing levels, people tuned in after Diana's death late Saturday and returned Sunday. "60 Minutes" delivered its second-biggest audience this summer, despite competing with NBC's "Dateline" and last-minute specials on ABC and Fox.
In what turned out to be a weekend of memorials, NBC also honored former executive Brandon Tartikoff, who died last week, by airing a tribute Friday. The program was not rated by Nielsen because it ran without commercials, but NBC estimated that 19% of the available audience viewed the 20-minute program.
The fledgling UPN network, meanwhile, got an early jump on the fall season by premiering several series last week. "Hitz," starring Andrew "Dice" Clay, attracted just over 4 million people Tuesday, ranking 95th out of 111 programs. Less than 3 million of those viewers hung around for the show that followed, "Head Over Heels."
Here is the number of viewers that each network averaged per hour of prime time, for last week and for the season.
NBC: 11.22 million
Season to Date
NBC: 13.97 million
Here are Nielsen's Top 10 prime-time programs in the Los Angeles area during the same week. The rankings are based on the number of households watching.
Program Station Households 1. Seinfeld KNBC 706,769 2. Dateline NBC (Fri.) KNBC 617.805 3. 60 Minutes KCBS 563,438 4. "John Stossel Special" KABC 548,611 5. Frasier KNBC 538,726 Friends KNBC 538,726 7. 20/20 KABC 528,841 8. "Tartikoff Tribute" KNBC 518,956 9. NYPD Blue KABC 504,129 10. Law & Order KNBC 494,244 3rd Rock From the Sun KNBC 494,244