Date: 18th October 2000

Viewers Return To Must-See TV

It seemed pretty much like old times on the weekly Nielsen ratings list Tuesday as NBC's Thursday lineup again took over the top four positions. E.R. returned to the top spot again, followed by two new episodes of Friends and a new episode of Will & Grace (airing in Frasier's former spot at 9:00 p.m.). Nevertheless, while those shows gave NBC the lead in the 18-49 demo, the network placed third in the overall numbers.

ABC once again attracted the most viewers for the week, scoring with Monday Night Football and four episodes of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. While the number of viewers who tuned in for individual broadcasts of Millionaire has dropped, ABC's decision to up the number of episodes from three to four has offset the decline. Bloomberg News Tuesday quoted Bill Carroll, director of programming for consulting group Katz-TV, as saying: "ABC has to be encouraged that the show is holding up against the competition." ABC garnered a 10.0 rating and a 16 share for the week, followed by CBS with a 9.0/15. NBC finished third with an 8.8/14, while Fox placed fourth with a 6.2/10.

The top ten shows of the week according to Nielsen Research:
1. E.R., NBC, 19.2/30; 2. Friends, NBC, 18.0/28; 3. Friends, NBC, 16.6/27; 4. Will & Grace, NBC, 15.8/23; 5. NFL Monday Night Football: Tampa Bay vs. Minnesota, ABC, 14.9/25; 6. Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (Tuesday), ABC, 14.5/23; 7. Millionaire (Wednesday), ABC, 13.9/22; 8. Everybody Loves Raymond, CBS, 13.7/20; 9. Millionaire (Sunday), ABC, 13.5/20; 10. Just Shoot Me, NBC, 13.3/20.

Source: Studio Briefing