With the Democratic National Convention occupying part of prime time, CBS won a narrow victory over ABC almost entirely behind the popularity of its summer series "Survivor," based on viewing estimates issued Tuesday by Nielsen Media Research.
Politics generated scant enthusiasm in the ratings, while games people play of the sporting variety had a greater impact on last week's results. NBC tuned up for the Olympics--which the network will air beginning in mid-September--with a prime-time telecast of the Olympic trials, drawing solid scores from the Nielsen judges. CBS, meanwhile, benefited from its broadcast of the PGA Championship, as Tiger Woods continues to make golf a ready-for-prime-time attraction, with the playoff round ranking behind only "Survivor" among programs broadcast last week.
ABC drew the highest tune-in for Democratic presidential nominee Al Gore's address Thursday, which followed "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" in most of the country. Notably, CBS' "Survivor" tuned up for tonight's finale with an audience well in excess of the aggregate rating for Gore's speech on seven networks, also beating all five competing broadcast networks in its time slot.
TNT premiered the Wall Street drama "Bull" opposite convention coverage, but viewers weren't buying. Three airings of the program averaged about 1 million viewers on Aug. 15, well short of the channel's usual Tuesday-night audience.
Cable Top 10
Here are Nielsen's top 10 cable programs in prime time last week, also ranked by total viewers (in millions).
Net- View- Program work ers 1. Wrestling (Mon., 10 p.m.) USA 8.23 2. Wrestling (Mon., 9 p.m.) USA 6.75 3. Sex and the City HBO 4.64 4. "High Noon" TBS 4.28 5. "The Right Temptation" HBO 3.53 6. Boxing HBO 3.32 7. Wrestling (Sun., 7 p.m.) USA 3.30 8. Wrestling (Mon., 8 p.m.) TNT 3.20 9. "The Shawshank Redemption" TBS 3.20 10. "Deep Blue Sea" HBO 3.13
Here is the number of viewers that each network averaged per hour of prime time, for last week and for the season.
Last Season week to date CBS 8.98 million 11.65 ABC 8.91 13.05 NBC 7.94 11.38 FOX 6.37 8.22 UPN 3.57 3.78 WB 2.35 3.32
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.
Sta- House- Program tion holds 1. Survivor KCBS 872,947 2. Millionaire (Sun.) KABC 749,770 3. Millionaire (Tue.) KABC 637,305 4. Millionaire (Thur.) KABC 605,172 5. Big Brother KCBS 562,328 6. Olympic Trials (Sun.) KNBC 546,261 7. Dateline: NBC (Tue.) KNBC 530,195 8. The Practice KABC 514,128 9. "Eyewitness Special" KABC 508,773 10. Dateline: NBC (Wed.) KNBC 471,284