Date: 2nd October 2000

Man On Crutches Beats Olympic Athletes

More people aged 18-49 tuned in to watch Eddie McGee, the disabled University of Texas student, win the Big Brother contest than to watch the contests in Sydney Friday night, according to Nielsen Research.

The numbers were not much to crow about, however. The Big Brother finale pulled a 4.7 rating and a 17 share in the 18-49 demo vs. the Olympics' 4.3/15 in the same time period. (In total viewers, the Olympics telecast was the clear winner with a 10.6/20 to Brother's 7.2/13.)

However, the Big Brother win in younger adults was somewhat remarkable given the lack of excitement evident on the closing show. Eddie, who weakly fought a walkout move by fellow contestants last month and delivered some less-than-impassioned orations on behalf of the disabled (he lost a leg to cancer) during the course of the series, clearly lacked the charismatic qualities that characterized most of the cast of CBS's hit reality series, Survivor, during the summer.

Some suggested it was a win by default. Although it has not officially announced that it will present a second Big Brother series, CBS has begun soliciting contestants for a sequel on its Web site

Saturday's ratings for the Olympics improved slightly, as the games turned in a 12.9/23 during primetime and a 12.2/22 between 7:30 p.m. and midnight. Sunday's final-events and closing-ceremonies ratings, which were not available at our deadline, were expected to fall somewhat lower. If they do, the two weeks of telecasts could average less than a 14.0, far short of the 16.1 rating that NBC guaranteed advertisers and well behind the 17.5 that it had been expecting. There seemed little doubt that the figures would wind up producing the worst ratings since Mexico City in 1968 and possibly the worst in history.

Source: Studio Briefing