NBC won most important category, representing viewers age 18 to 49, CBS lead with overall viewers, and Fox took the adults 18 to 34 crown -- as well as title of "most improved" of any of the big four networks across a number of areas.
In the the key adults 18 to 49 race, NBC scored a Nielsen 4.8 rating and 13 share, barely beating out Fox's 4.5 rating and 12 share, which grew 7% year-to-year in the category. (Each rating point represents 1.022 million households; a share is the percentage of households where TVs are turned on.) While CBS also grew 7% in the adults 18 to 49 to a 4.0 rating and 11 share, the network still sits in fourth place behind ABC's 4.4 rating and 12 share, which sank 20% year-to-year.
The WB also improved after last season's hiccup, when it lost its WGN Superstation coverage. It gained 19% in adults 18 to 34 and 18% in adults 18 to 49. UPN lost 12% in adults 18 to 34, gained 7% in adults 25 to 54, and was even in adults 18 to 49.
The top-rated regularly scheduled show was CBS's Survivor: The Australian Outback, with 29.76 million average viewers per broadcast. In second place was NBC's ER, averaging 22.44 million viewers. -- Wayne Friedman
Copyright May 2001, Crain Communications Inc.