Date: 13th December 2000

CBS Surges Ahead

CBS, whose top executives have been predicting that the network will soon come from behind and overtake its rivals, did indeed dart out in front last week, according to Nielsen Research, winning five nights -- its first weekly victory in two months.

The network was helped by the holiday perennial Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer (in 17th place), its new dramatic series, C.S.I.: Crime Scene Investigation (tying for 18th place), and other regular solid performers, although only one show, the sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond, managed to crack the top ten.

CBS averaged an 8.4 rating and a 14 share, edging out ABC, which finished with an 8.2/13 thanks to four episodes of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, all of which wound up in the top ten. (Its Monday Night Football telecast, usually in the top ten, dropped to No. 27 with its smallest audience since 1987.) NBC landed in third place with an 8.0/13, placing most of its Thursday-night Must-See-TV lineup in the top ten, including E.R., which settled into the top spot again. Fox finished fourth with a 6.1/10.

The top ten shows of the week according to Nielsen Research: 1. E.R, NBC, 19.0/30; 2. Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (Tuesday), ABC, 14.6/22; 3. Millionaire (Wednesday), ABC, 14.1/22; 4. Friends, NBC, 13.6/22; 5. Millionaire (Thursday), ABC, 13.1/20; 6. Millionaire, ABC (Sunday), 12.8/18; 7. Just Shoot Me, NBC, 12.7/19; 8. The Practice, ABC, 12.6/20; 9. Will & Grace, NBC, 12.0/18; 10. Everybody Loves Raymond, CBS, 11.7/17.

Source: Studio Briefing