Pope Show Ratings Unholy for ABC

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In Thursday’s prime time race for television’s most lucrative viewers, ABC’s Pope John Paul II movie posted ratings that were less than divine.

Have No Fear: The Life of Pope John Paul II averaged a 1.4 rating/4 share in the adults 18-49 demographic from 8-10 p.m., according to Nielsen fast national data.

The movie’s lackluster performance leaves the door open for CBS’ own Pope John Paul II, a two-part movie set to debut on Sunday at 9 p.m., to claim victory in the “battle of the Pope movies.” (In general, TV critics favored the CBS movie over the ABC production, but a few panned both.)

ABC finished fourth on the night, averaging 1.5/4 in prime time.

CBS was Thursday’s No. 1 network among 18-49s, winning the first two hours of prime time with Survivor (7.0/19) at 8 p.m. and a repeat of CSI (7.7/19). Overall, CBS averaged a 6.5/17 in prime time.

NBC took the 10 p.m. hour with ER (6.8/18), though CBS aired a repeat of ER time slot rival Without a Trace. NBC took second place on the night, with a 5.0/13.