Date: 6th September 2000

MNF Ratings: OK;Downtown's: Great!

The addition of Dennis Miller to the broadcast booth for ABC's Monday Night Football appeared to have had little effect on ratings for the telecast, analysts noted Tuesday. Overnight Nielsens for the Rams-Broncos game on Monday averaged a 15.9 rating and a 22 share versus a 16.2/27 for last year's season opener between the Broncos and the Dolphins. More impressive was the performance of 20/20 Downtown, which preceded MNF in the 8:00 hour on the East Coast. Moving to Monday night from its previous slot following Who Wants to Be a Millionaire on Thursdays, Downtown averaged an 11.5 rating and a 19 share. That equaled the ratings for the competing NBC and CBS shows combined. (NBC aired the final one-hour episode of its summer series Mysterious Ways, averaging a 5.7/9 while CBS aired a new episode of Big Brother drawing a 5.5/9 and a rerun of Kings of Queens, which scored a 5.1/8.) The figures were particularly impressive given the fact that the last time Downtown aired without the benefit of a Millionaire lead-in, it garnered the worst ratings for any primetime magazine show in network TV history and was subsequently earmarked for extinction.

Source: Studio Briefing