Pop star Michael Jackson gave ABC's normally moribund Thursday-night ratings
a jolt that catapulted the network to a first-place finish across most of the
key ratings categories.
Viewing to the two-hour (8 p.m. to 10 p.m.) interview with Jackson peaked
from 9:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., when almost 30 million people tuned in.
The nearest competitor was CSI: Crime Scene Investigation on CBS from
9 p.m. to 10 p.m., which drew 25.3 million viewers versus 29.3 million for the
The interview fed enough viewers into ABC newsmagazine PrimeTime
Thursday that it beat ER in total viewership and adults 25 through 54
(something that rarely happens).
For the night, ABC was first in total viewers (25.7 million), households and
adults 18 through 49 and 25 through 54. NBC won among adults 18 through 34.
For the night, the Nielsen Media Research fast affiliate household ratings:
ABC 16.2/24, NBC 12.5/18, CBS 11.2/17 and Fox 2.9/4.
Adults 18 through 49: ABC 10.6/25, NBC 9.3/22, CBS 6.1/14 and Fox 1.7/4.
In the local Nielsen metered markets, UPN's SmackDown! wrestling
averaged a 4.1/6 while The WB Television Network averaged a 1.8/3 with High
School Reunion (a repeat), Surreal Life and The Jamie Kennedy