Old and New Put CBS on Top
By Verne Gay
October 2, 2002
Who's the king of prime time? For the first week of a new season that so far appears strangely . . . normal . . . the answer is in: CBS.
According to the week's final Nielsen numbers released yesterday, the network squeaked past 2001-02 leader NBC. (See ratings below.)
In household ratings, CBS was up 7 percent vs. launch week a year ago, while its three rivals were down. NBC easily won the week in the all-crucial young adult ratings, however, with "Friends" as the top-rated show.
CBS' victory was powered, in part, by new shows. "CSI: Miami" was No. 5, while "Without a Trace" came in 15th.
But CBS won thanks to its standard bearers - "CSI," "Survivor" and "Everybody Loves Raymond." Of the top 30 prime-time shows, CBS had 13 to NBC's 12.
"I've been in the business long enough [to know] that one week does not the season make," CBS Television president Leslie Moonves told The Associated Press. "Anything can happen." Yes, but Moonves should also know that the network that has popped the first week has won the entire season eight of 10 times since 1991.
The news was mostly good for The WB, which had one of the best season premiere weeks in its history, in part due to "Smallville."
For ABC and Fox, the news was mostly sober: Newcomer "8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter," with a two-week track, appears to be doing well; "Push, Nevada" does not. Meanwhile, no Fox show appeared in the top 25.
Copyright © 2002, Newsday, Inc.