Weakest Link lends NBC Monday muscle


NBC's new game show The Weakest Link was certainly no weak link for the network.

Against strong competition on Fox and CBS, The Weakest Link won the 8 p.m. time period in adults 18-49 (5.7 rating/ 16 share), adults 18-34 (5.6/ 17) and total viewers (14.7 million), according to Nielsen's preliminary national research. Trailing The Weakest Link in the key adult 18-49 bracket were Fox's Boston Public (4.2/12) and CBS's King of Queens (4.6/13) and Yes, Dear (4.4/12).

Weakest Link's adult 18-49 score is the highest ever for a premiere of an NBC series since the 1998 debut Will & Grace, and was a 90% improvement over the time period's previous ratings average.

But for the total night, Fox (5.0) topped NBC (4.8) in adults 18-49 and CBS (13 million) edged out NBC (12 million) in total viewers.

An Everybody Loves Raymond rerun hit a 5.7/14 and drew 16 million viewers. Ally McBeal hit a 5.7/15 and drew 11.8 million viewers.

Meanwhile, ABC's movie treatment of Billie Jean King's victory over loudmouth Bobby Riggs, When Billie Beat Bobby bombed, hitting a 2.6/7 and drawing six million viewers. - Susanne Ault