Staff -- Broadcasting & Cable, 3/31/2002 7:00:00 PM
Court rules against Fox on Zahn
A New York trial judge last week threw out Fox News Channel's lawsuit alleging that N.S. Bienstock superagent Richard Leibner acted unethically and in violation of Paula Zahn's contract with Fox. CNN courted Zahn, then hosting a prime time show for Fox, to host a revamped morning show. Fox News chief Roger Ailes contended that she was barred by contract from negotiating with other parties. The court disagreed. Fox says it will appeal.
Oscar boost for ABC
Driven by the Academy Awards show, ABC won the week of March 18-24 in total viewers (13 million) and adults 18-49 (4.5 rating/12 share), according to Nielsen. CBS and NBC tied for second among adults 18-49; CBS was second (11.7 million) in total viewers.
Though the lowest-rated Oscar telecast on record, the show gave ABC its largest audience of the season. An estimated 77 million viewers tuned in to some portion.
Maybe there isn't a Seinfeld jinx
Nielsen ratings for Watching Ellie, starring former Seinfeld star Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, bounced back. After a strong start five weeks ago, the sitcom declined dramatically. Last Tuesday, it rebounded 17% among adults 18-49, to a 4.2/11, edging out CBS's JAG (4.1/11) and just behind Fox's new Andy Richter Controls the Universe (4.4/12).
Separately, ABC's highly touted The Court came in a lackluster third in its premiere Tuesday night, at 7.0/12 behind CBS's Judging Amy (10.2/17) and NBC's Dateline (7.5/13).
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