ABC still has Monday blues


Ratings for ABC's new Monday-night dramas improved time periods but
still left the network in fourth place overall for the night.

That was good enough for ABC, which has had a tough time programming Monday
nights with the exception of Monday Night Football.

Veritas: The Quest improved 8 p.m. for ABC by 57 percent in total viewers
with 9.1 million tuning in, and by 65 percent in adults 18 through 49 with a

That beat shows such as The Drew Carey Swho, Whose Line Is It
and rebroadcasts of USA Network's Monk, all of which have played on
ABC at 8 p.m.

Veritas faced tough competition from Fear Factor on NBC,
Bridezillas on Fox and King of Queens and Yes, Dear on CBS.

At 10 p.m., the Skeet Ulrich-starrer Miracles also entered the field
in a tough time period, facing CSI: Miami on CBS and Crossing
on NBC.

Still, the show delivered the best ratings for ABC of any series in the slot
since March 2001, with 8.7 million watching and a 3.6/9 among adults 18 through

The downer of the night was that David E. Kelley's The Practice scored
its lowest ratings since it aired on Saturday nights in 1997.

Looking at the ratings for Fox's Joe Millionaire, however, it's clear
that most of the TV audience was watching the lying bachelor woo women.

Joe Millionaire scored a 7.6/18 among adults 18 through 49 and a 12.5/23
among adults 18 through 34, meaning that not too many viewers in the key demos
were left for anyone else.

Still, The Practice managed to build from the first half-hour to the
second, which ABC took as a good sign.

ABC moved the legal drama to avoid launching three new dramas in one night.
ABC executives plan to be "very patient" with all of the shows, a spokesman said.