Survivor Prevails In Prime


As expected, CBS' Premiere of Survivor: Guatemala delivered a big audience to President Bush for his speech at 9 p.m. Thursday night.

There was even a Texas sports link between the president, former part-owner of the Texas Rangers, and Survivor since one of the players turned out to be an incognito former Dallas Cowboys quarterback, Gary Hogeboom.

CBS more than doubled the rating and share of its next closest competitor in the 18-49 demo on the night, averaging a 5.3 rating/15 share, thanks to Survivor's 6.4/19 at 8-9, to Fox's second-place 2.4/7.

The CBS coverage of the president averaged a 4.7/13 at 9-9:30, though numbers for that live programming are subject to change when the Nielsen nationals come in and, since the speech aired without commercials, no advertisers directly benefitted from that audience.

Fox came in second after two straight nights of winning the 18-49 demo. Its top show was The O.C., which averaged a strong 3/9 at 8 p.m. in its second outing of the season.

Somewhat presciiently, Fox scheduled a repeat of just-launched sitcom, The War at Home, to follow the speech, in which the president evoked Iraq in suggesting the country would stay the course in New Orleans and not leave until the mission was accomplished. Fox's scheduling mission only accomplished a 1.6/4 at 9:30-10 for the show.

NBC nudged ABC for third with an average 2.1/6 in the demo. Its top-rated performer was the president, who averaged a 2.5/7. ABC averaged a 2.6 for fourth. Its top show was Prime Time Live at 10 (2.2/6).

The WB came in fifth with a 1.4/4, led by a repeat of new drama, Supernatural, about a pair of urban myth-busting brothers, whicht aired during--and after--the president's speech and drew a 1.6/4.

UPN was sixth with a 1/3 for repeats of Eve and Cuts.