NBC slayed `em Wednesday night with its powerful drama lineup, anchored by
The West Wing. It won across most of the key ratings categories for
the night, according to the Nielsen Media Research fast affiliate ratings. ABC
was second in most categories and first among adults 18 through 34, largely
driven by The Bachelor 2.
NBC kept building throughout the night, starting with the premiere of
Ed at 8 p.m., which was the weakest of the network's three dramas but a
solid competitor in its time period. Indeed, from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m., ABC, NBC and CBS
all tied in household share with My Wife & Kids/George Lopez,
Ed and 60 Minutes II, respectively. But the ABC sitcoms easily won
the key adult demos, had a slight household ratings edge and had the largest
average audience with about 2 million viewers to spare over the course of the
hour. Ed, however, was a solid second in the demo competition.
At 9 p.m., West Wing took flight and boosted NBC's total audience by
more than 5 million viewers, easily winning the circulation battle, but it ran into
serious competition from The Bachelor on ABC in the key demo
contests. Bachelor was tops among adults 18 through 49 and 18 through 34,
while West Wing won adults 25 through 54. Wing was second in the
adult demos where ABC was first. CBS, with Amazing Race was third, ahead
of Major League Baseball playoff competition on Fox.
Indeed, with strong regular programming from the other networks, Fox didn't
manage to win any of the key male demos outright -- it tied for first with men
18 through 34 and was second with men 18 through 49 and 25 through 54 behind
At 10 p.m., Law & Order walloped the two new medical shows on ABC
(MDs) and CBS (Presidio Med), as well the baseball playoff, in
all of the key ratings categories. The medical shows were fairly competitive with
each other, with ABC's show having just a slight edge in the key adult demos. But
both shows were well behind both Law & Order and somewhat behind
For the night, the fast affiliate household ratings: NBC 10.4/17, ABC
6.9/17, Fox 6.5/11 and CBS 5.9/10.
Adults 18 through 49: NBC 5.4/14, ABC 4.8/13, Fox 3.4/9 and CBS 3.1/8.
Adults 25 through 54: NBC 6.6/16, ABC 4.9/13, Fox 3.9/9 and CBS 3.4/8.
Adults 18 through 34: ABC 4.9/15, NBC 4.3/13, Fox 2.8/8 and CBS 2.3/7.
Meanwhile, in webletville, UPN won the 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. battle with
Enterprise, which beat The WB Television Network's Dawson's Creek in
households in the Nielsen metered markets (5.4/8 versus 4.4/7).
But the tide turned at 9 p.m. when The WB debuted Birds of Prey and
averaged a 6.4/9, almost double the 3.3/5 average for UPN's Twilight
For the night The WB averaged 5.4/8 in the metered markets, while UPN did a