No lift for controversial Lennon ‘Dateline’
November 21, 2005
NBC’s John Lennon-focused two-hour edition of Dateline on Friday didn’t give the show the ratings boost NBC was hoping for. It averaged a 1.8 overnight rating among viewers Friday night, equaling its season average in the demo. The program, remembering the 25th anniversary of Lennon’s murder, was cloaked in controversy over an interview of Lennon assassin Mark David Chapman. A spokesman for Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono, called the stunt macabre and outrageous, telling The New York Daily News, “It sends out a message to other disturbed people that killing is a way to fame.” But very few people saw Chapman’s rants, and NBC ended up a distant third for the night.
CBS was first with a 3.4 average rating and an 11 share. ABC was second at 2.5/8, NBC third at 2.0/6, UPN fourth at 1.7/5, Fox fifth at 1.4/4 and the WB sixth at 1.3/4.
CBS swept the night, beginning with a 3.4 average rating at 8 p.m. for Ghost Whisperer. ABC was second with a 2.2 average for Supernanny and NBC, Fox and UPN all tied for third at 1.6, NBC for the first hour of Dateline, Fox for Bernie Mac (1.7) and Malcolm in the Middle (1.4), and UPN for Friday Night Smackdown.
That show, which featured a tribute to the late Eddie Guerrero, averaged 4.9 million viewers over its two hours, a season high.
At 9 p.m. CBS led with a 3.2 average for Close to Home. ABC was second with a 2.3 average for Hope & Faith (2.6) and Hot Properties (2.1) and NBC third with a 1.9 for the second half of Dateline.
During the 10 p.m. hour CBS was on top once more with a 3.4 average for Numb3rs. ABC was second that hour with a 2.9 for 20/20 and NBC third with a 2.4 for a repeat of Law & Order: Criminal Intent.
CBS took the night among households with a 7.9 average rating and a 14 share. NBC was second at 5.0/9, ABC third at 4.9/9, UPN fourth at 3.1/5, Fox fifth at 2.4/4 and the WB sixth at 2.2/4.
On Saturday night Harry Potter fever led to a first-place finish among 18-49s for ABC, which averaged a 2.7 overnight rating and an 8 share. Fox was a close second at 2.5/8, with CBS and NBC tied for third at 2.0/6.
Fox started the night in the lead with a 2.5 average rating at 8 p.m. hour for back-to-back episodes of Cops. ABC was second that hour with a 2.2 average for the first hour of the movie Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and CBS third with a 1.7 for a Without a Trace rerun.
ABC took the lead at 9 p.m. with a 2.8 average for the second hour of “Potter.” Fox was second with a 2.6 for America’s Most Wanted and CBS third with a 2.2 for a repeat of CSI: Miami.
At 10 p.m. ABC led with a 3.1 average for the last hour of Potter, the highest-rated hour of the night. NBC was second with a 2.5 for a repeat of Law & Order: SVU and CBS third with a 2.1 for a 48 Hours Mystery.
CBS finished first for the night among households with a 5.2 average rating and a 9 share. NBC finished second at 5.0/9, ABC third at 4.7/8, Fox fourth at 4.0/7, the WB fifth at 1.3/2 and UPN sixth at 1.2/2.
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