Sunday was a tough day for CBS all around.
For the second time, the network was forced to call off the 53rd Annual Emmy
Awards telecast, given the circumstances in Afghanistan. The Emmys are, of
course, a night of celebration for the industry, and after the cancellation
Sunday, announced by CBS chief Les Moonves, there was confusion about whether
the show will ever happen.
But for CBS to cancel it meant that it was giving up a sure ratings hit. For
example, ABC recorded a 14.2/23 rating and share in TV households for its 8 p.m.
to 11 p.m. Emmy broadcast last year, more than double the audience of its
CBS, in contrast, averaged a 4.3 from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday (all of the
networks had news specials on the air strikes from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.) for a
quickly assembled lineup of Everybody Loves Raymond, King of
Queens and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, coming in last among the
'Big Four,' according to Nielsen Media Research overnight ratings.
The network did win the largest share of audience for its expanded 60
Minutes from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. with an 8.1 rating in households. That
broadcast included an appearance by veteran newsman Walter Cronkite, who had
been scheduled to open the Emmy telecast on CBS with a tribute to firefighters,
police officers and soldiers.
The big winner Saturday night in TV households was CBS with a 6.5 rating for
its lineup of older-skewing dramas.
ABC was Saturday's winner among 18-49ers with its theatrical, Good Will
Hunting. The big loser was NBC's previously strong Fear Factor. A
special episode of the reality show drew a 2.9 household rating, the lowest of
any of the Big Four's offerings for the night.
On Friday night, slow-starting Once & Again on ABC improved
slightly in its second half hour, from a 4.6 in households from 10 p.m. to 10:30
p.m. to a 5.1 from 10:30 p.m. to 11 p.m., but it was still third among the 'Big
Three,' beating only Fox in the time period, and its 4.9 rating/9 share was down
from its first-week 5.1/9 average.