'Millionaire,' 'Carey' Help Give ABC Another Win

With NBC's Thursday-night shows in post-sweeps reruns, five editions of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" sat atop the prime-time ratings last week, pacing ABC to its 10th consecutive weekly victory, based on viewing estimates issued Tuesday by Nielsen Media Research.

The "Millionaire" juggernaut continued to guide viewers to ABC's sitcoms. Last week's "The Drew Carey Show," in which the show used a recurring gimmick, giving away $200,000 to the viewer who could pick out the most mistakes, nabbed 19 million viewers, although that number was down considerably from its "Millionaire" lead-in audience,which topped out at nearly 32 million viewers.

"The 10th Kingdom" continued to sputter through its 10-hour run, as the expensive fantasy miniseries has drawn lackluster ratings for NBC. Fox's second TV Guide Awards also failed to drum up much interest, diminishing by more than 3 million viewers compared to last year.

Several new programs will premiere over the next few weeks, but one at the forefront of that wave, CBS' "Grapevine," has gotten off to a shaky start, as the Feb. 28 preview after "Everybody Loves Raymond" fumbled away more than a third of its lead-in 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 7.61 2. Wrestling (Mon., 9 p.m.) USA 7.50 3. The Sopranos HBO 6.29 4. "If These Walls Could Talk 2" HBO 5.34 5. Wrestling (Sun., 7 p.m.) USA 4.58 "True Crime" HBO 4.58 7. "Contact" TNT 4.53 8. "Ice Angel" FOX 3.70 9. "Cover Me" USA 3.68 10. Wrestling (Mon., 8 p.m.) TNT 3.47


Network Averages

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 ABC 16.65 million 14.17 CBS 12.12 12.93 NBC 10.88 12.83 FOX 8.95 9.33 UPN 3.80 3.95 WB 3.40 3.84


Southland Viewing

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. Millionaire (Sun.) KABC 957,950 2. Millionaire (Wed.) KABC 947,481 3. Millionaire (Thur.) KABC 848,021 4. Millionaire (Mon.) KABC 842,787 5. Millionaire (Tue.) KABC 837,552 6. 60 Minutes KCBS 800,909 7. Friends KNBC 795,674 8. Law & Order KNBC 711,919 9. Ally McBeal KTTV 701,450 10. "The Beach Boys" Part 2 KABC 670,042


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