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[05/24/05 - 12:00 AM]
Strong Thursday Finales Highlight NBC's Final Full Week of the '04-05 Season

[via press release from NBC]

STRONG THURSDAY FINALES HIGHLIGHT NBC'S FINAL FULL WEEK OF THE '04-05 SEASON

'ER' SEWS UP ITS HIGHEST 18-49 RATING SINCE FEB. 3 AND ITS TOP TOTAL VIEWERSHIP SINCE JAN. 27

'APPRENTICE' SURGES 80 PERCENT ABOVE ITS LEAD-IN AGAINST COMPETITION FROM A SPECIAL 'IDOL' AND EXPANDED 'CSI' FINALE

'LAW & ORDER: SVU' DOMINATES ITS HOUR IN 18-49 AND OTHER MEASURES, BEATING THE ABC-CBS COMPETITION COMBINED IN ADULTS, MEN AND WOMEN 18-34

FRIDAY'S 'DATELINE' IS #1 BY ALL KEY MEASURES, REPORTING NBC'S HIGHEST SLOT RATINGS IN 11 WEEKS AND PACING NBC TO ITS 17TH FRIDAY WIN OF THE SEASON IN 18-49

NBC APPROACHES THE '04-05 FINISH WITHIN 0.6 OF A POINT OF FIRST IN 18-49 AND 0.4 IN 18-49 NON-SPORTS

BURBANK, Calif. -- May 24, 2005 -- Strong numbers from the season finales of Thursday stalwarts "ER," "The Apprentice" and "Will & Grace" paced NBC's week of May 16-22, the last full measured week of the regular 2004-05 broadcast season, according to in-home viewing figures from Nielsen Media Research.

Through 35 full weeks (and with three nights remaining to be measured in the 2004-05 season), NBC is within 0.6 of a rating point of first place among adults 18-49 for all programs and is within 0.4 of a rating point of the primetime lead, excluding sports.

Primetime averages for all programs for the 2004-05 season in adults 18-49 are Fox (4.1/11), CBS (4.0/11), ABC (3.7/10), NBC (3.5/9), UPN (1.4/4) and WB (1.4/4). In total viewers, the 2004-05 season averages for all programs are CBS (12.9 million), ABC (10.1 million), Fox (9.9 million), NBC (9.8 million), UPN (3.4 million) and WB (3.4 million

Excluding sports, the 2004-05 season-to-date primetime averages in adults 18-49 are: CBS (3.9 rating), ABC (3.6), NBC (3.5), Fox (3.5), WB (1.4), UPN (1.3). Total viewer averages, excluding sports are: CBS (12.7 million), NBC (9.8 million), ABC (9.7 million), Fox (8.3 million), WB (3.3 million) and UPN (2.9 million).

NBC remains the industry leader in key upscale categories measured by Nielsen's National Audience Demographics (NAD) data, including ranking #1 for the season in adults 18-49 living in homes with $100,000+ annual incomes. Regular-series averages through May 8 for adults 18-49 living in homes with 100,000+ annual incomes are: NBC, 4.4 rating, ABC, 4.1; CBS, 4.1; Fox, 3.2; WB, 1.1; UPN, 0.6. NBC's concentration of 18-49 viewers living in $75,000+ homes is the network's highest ever in the nine seasons Nielsen has regularly measured this category.

Other 2004-05 Season Highlights:

* "Las Vegas" is the #1-ranked sophomore drama of the season in adults 18-49.

* The freshman series "Medium" is NBC's top-rated Monday drama in 15 seasons in adults 18-49. "Medium" has improved NBC's Monday 10 p.m. ET time period performance by 90 percent in adults 18-49 (versus NBC's regular program average for the slot prior to the debut of "Medium" on Jan. 3).

* "The Biggest Loser" was the #1 new unscripted series of the 2004-05 season in adults 18-49. Its 18-49 rating was up 116 percent versus NBC's regular program performance in the time period this season before and after "Biggest Loser."

* Freshman comedy "The Office" was television's most upscale comedy of the 2004-05 season, delivering the highest concentration of 18-49 viewers in upscale homes by several key measures, including adults 18-49 living in homes with incomes of $75,000+. "The Office" retained 93 percent of its lead-in from "Scrubs" in its Tuesday time period in which NBC this season previously averaged 84 percent retention with regular programs.

* "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" dominated its drama competition and delivered its highest-rated season ever in adults 18-49.

* "The West Wing" was television's most upscale drama of the 2004-05 season, delivering the highest concentration of 18-49 viewers in upscale homes by numerous key measures, including adults 18-49 living in homes with incomes of $75,000+.

* "The Apprentice" was television's most upscale unscripted series of the 2004-05 season, delivering the highest concentration of 18-49 viewers in upscale homes by several key measures, including adults 18-49 living in homes with incomes of $75,000+.

* "ER" was NBC's top-rated drama in adults 18-49, a distinction this series has earned in each of its 11 seasons.

* "Dateline NBC" won its Friday hour in adults 18-49 versus regular competition for the eighth season in a row (including a tie).

NBC is wrapping up the 2004-05 regular broadcast season ranked #1 in key demographics in late night, daytime (tie), morning news, evening news and Sunday morning public affairs.

Primetime averages for the week of May 16-22 in adults 18-49 were CBS (4.4/12), Fox (4.3/12), ABC (3.8/11), NBC (3.0/9), UPN (1.6/4) and WB (1.5/4). In total viewers, the weekly averages were CBS (14.1 million), Fox (10.2 million), ABC (9.9 million), NBC (8.8 million), UPN (3.7 million) and WB (3.5 million).

NBC highlights for the week of May 16-22 include:

* On Tuesday, "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" dominated its hour against special competition from CBS' "Academy of Country Music Awards," delivering its highest ratings in more than two months and beating the ABC-CBS competition combined in adults, men and women 18-34.

* On Wednesday, "Law & Order" built on its lead-in by 30 percent in 18-49 and 49 percent in total viewers, winning its hour in the latter category.

* On Thursday, the third-cycle finale of "The Apprentice" built on its lead-in by 80 percent in adults 18-49 to rank a strong #2 in 18-49 and all other key ratings measures in head-to-head competition with an "American Idol" special on Fox and a special expanded "CSI" finale on CBS.

* Also on Thursday, the 11th-season finale of "ER" sewed up its best 18-49 rating since Feb. 3 and its largest total viewership since Jan. 27, ranking #1 in most key demographics and matching the ABC-CBS competition in the hour combined in adults 18-34.

* On Friday, a special two-hour "Dateline NBC" reported NBC's best numbers in the time period in 11 weeks and ranked #1 in adults 18-49, adults 25-54 and total viewers. "Dateline" was the night's #1 telecast in 18-49 and total viewers, pacing NBC to its 17th Friday win of the season in adults 18-49 and 14th in total viewers.

* On Saturday, an encore "Law & Order" was primetime's highest-rated show in 18-49 and total viewers.

May 2005 sweep averages in adults 18-49 through Sunday, 25 nights into the 28-night period, are: CBS (4.2/12), Fox (4.0/12), ABC (3.7/11), NBC (3.2/9), UPN (1.5/4) and WB (1.4/4). In total viewers, the 25-night May sweep averages are CBS (13.9 million), ABC (9.8 million), Fox (9.4 million), NBC (9.2 million), UPN (3.5 million) and WB (3.4 million).

MONDAY

From 8-11 p.m. ET, on Monday, May 16, "Hercules" averaged a 2.6 rating, 6 share in 18-49 and 7.2 million viewers overall.

TUESDAY

At 8 p.m. ET, an encore telecast of "The Most Outrageous Live TV Moments 3" (1.8/5 in 18-49, 5.5 million viewers overall) matched NBC's highest 18-49 rating in this time period in more than two months (since Feb. 1).

At 9 p.m. ET, a special encore "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" built on its 18-49 lead-in by 61 percent to average a 2.9/7 in 18-49 and 9.7 million total viewers overall.

At 10 p.m. ET, "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (5.7/15 in 18-49, 16.2 million viewers overall) dominated the hour against special competition from CBS' "Academy of Country Music Awards." "SVU" won the time period in adults 18-49 by a 25 percent margin of victory (5.5 vs. 4.4 for CBS' awards special) and beat the ABC-CBS competition combined in adults, men and women 18-34. This was the highest-rated episode of "SVU" since March 8 in the key demographic of adults 18-49.

WEDNESDAY

At 8 p.m. ET, "Dateline NBC" averaged a 1.7/5 in 18-49 and 6.4 million viewers overall. "Dateline" beat rival newsmagazine "60 Minutes Wednesday" in adults 18-49, adults 25-54 and most other key demos.

At 9 p.m. ET, the conclusion of "Revelations" (3.0/8 in 18-49, 8.1 million viewers overall) built on its 18-49 lead-in by 76 percent. From half-hour to half-hour, "Revelations" grew by 31 percent in 18-49 (to a 3.4 from a 2.6).

At 10 p.m. ET, "Law & Order" (3.9/10 in 18-49, 12.1 million viewers overall) improved on its 18-49 lead-in from the previous hour by 30 percent in adults 18-49. "Law & Order" won the hour in total viewers.

THURSDAY

NBC matched its highest Thursday nightlong 18-49 rating since Feb. 17.

From 8-9 p.m. ET, the hour-long seventh-season finale of "Will & Grace" (3.5/10 in 18-49, 7.9 million viewers overall) matched that series' highest 18-49 rating since March 17. "Will & Grace" ranked #2 in the time period in 18-49 (tied with Fox's "The O.C."), total viewers and other key ratings categories and grew by 39 percent in 18-49 from its first half-hour to its second (to a 3.9 from a 2.8).

From 9-9:59 p.m. ET, the third-cycle finale of "The Apprentice" (6.3/15 in 18-49, 14.0 million viewers overall) built on its lead-in by 80 percent in adults 18-49 to rank #2 in 18-49 and all other key ratings measures while facing head-to-head competition from an "American Idol" special on Fox and a special expanded "CSI" finale on CBS. "The Apprentice" beat the slot's #3 program, Fox's "Idol" special, by a 53 percent margin in adults 18-49 (6.1 vs. 4.0 for the "American Idol" special).

From 9:59-11 p.m. ET, the 11th-season finale of "ER" (8.6/21 in adults 18-49, 18.8 million viewers overall) sewed up its best 18-49 rating since Feb. 3 and its largest total viewership since Jan. 27. "ER" was #1 in most key demographics and matched the ABC-CBS competition in the hour combined in adults 18-34. In the key demographic of adults 18-49, "ER" won the hour by a comfortable 26 percent margin (8.6 vs. 6.8) despite CBS' "Without a Trace" having inherited a 95 percent lead-in advantage from "CSI" (12.3 vs. 6.3 in the 9-10 p.m. hour). In its second half-hour, "ER" stretched its lead over the second-place "Without a Trace" to 35 percent in adults 18-49 (8.8 vs. 6.5) from 17 percent in the first half-hour (8.3 vs. 7.1).

FRIDAY

From 8-10 p.m. ET, "Dateline NBC" (2.8/10 in 18-49, 9.5 million viewers overall) reported NBC's highest 18-49 rating in this time period in 11 weeks (since March 4) and ranked #1 in adults 18-49, adults 25-54 and total viewers. From its first half-hour to its fourth, "Dateline" grew in 18-49 rating by 62 percent (to a 3.4 from a 2.1).

At 10 p.m. ET, an encore "Law & Order: Trial by Jury" (2.5/8 in 18-49, 8.7 million viewers overall) ranked #1, beating its first-run competition in adults 18-49, total viewers and other key measures.

SATURDAY

At 8 p.m. ET, an encore "Crossing Jordan" averaged a 1.0/4 in 18-49 and 3.9 million viewers overall.

At 9 p.m. ET, a rebroadcast "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (1.8/6 in 18-49, 6.3 million viewers overall) built on its 18-49 lead by 80 percent to lift NBC to a strong #2 finish in the hour in 18-49 and other key ratings categories. "SVU" was #1 or tied for #1 in all key adult female demographics.

At 10 p.m. ET, an encore "Law & Order" (2.5/8 in 18-49, 8.8 million viewers overall) was the top-rated program in primetime on Saturday in adults 18-49 and total viewers. "Law & Order" won the hour in 18-49 and other key ratings measures.

SUNDAY

From 7-8 p.m. ET, "Dateline NBC" averaged a 1.7/6 in 18-49 and 6.7 million viewers overall.

At 8 p.m. ET, "The Contender" (2.6/7 in 18-49, 5.9 million viewers overall) built on its lead-in by 53 percent in 18-49 and by 142 percent in adults 18-34 (2.9 vs. 1.2). As it has with all 11 telecasts in this time period, "Contender" bulked up significantly from its first half-hour to its second, this week increasing its 18-49 rating by 30 percent (to a 3.0 from a 2.3).

At 9 p.m. ET, a special encore "Crossing Jordan" averaged a 1.5/3 in 18-49 and 4.9 million viewers overall.

At 10 p.m. ET, a special rebroadcast of "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" built on its 18-49 lead-in by 67 percent to deliver a 2.5/6 in 18-49 and 8.0 million viewers overall.

WEEKLY AVERAGES
Average rating, share and audience in each category

ADULTS 18-49

CBS 4.4/12, 5.7 million
Fox 4.3/12, 5.6 million
ABC 3.8/11, 5.0 million
NBC 3.0/9, 4.0 million
UPN 1.6/4, 2.0 million
WB 1.5/4, 2.0 million

Each rating point equals 1.30 million viewers

ADULTS 25-54

CBS 5.3/14, 6.5 million
Fox 4.6/12, 5.6 million
ABC 4.3/11, 5.3 million
NBC 3.7/9, 4.5 million
WB 1.5/4, 1.8 million
WB 1.4/4, 1.7 million

Each rating point equals 1.22 million viewers

TOTAL VIEWERS

CBS 5.1/14, 14.1 million
Fox 3.7/10, 10.2 million
ABC 3.6/10, 9.9 million
NBC 3.2/8, 8.8 million
WB 1.3/3, 3.7 million
WB 1.3/3, 3.5 million

Each rating point equals 2.78 million viewers

SEASON-TO-DATE AVERAGES Average rating, share and audience in each category

ADULTS 18-49

Fox 4.1/11, 5.3 million
CBS 4.0/11, 5.2 million
ABC 3.7/10, 4.9 million
NBC 3.5/9, 4.6 million
WB 1.4/4, 1.8 million
UPN 1.4 /4, 1.8 million

Each rating point equals 1.30 million viewers

ADULTS 25-54

CBS 4.9/12, 6.0 million
ABC 4.3/10, 5.2 million
Fox 4.3/10, 5.2 million
NBC 4.2/10, 5.1 million
UPN 1.4/3, 1.7 million
WB 1.3/3, 1.7 million

Each rating point equals 1.22 million viewers

TOTAL VIEWERS

CBS 4.7/12, 12.9 million
ABC 3.6/9, 10.1 million
Fox 3.6/9, 9.9 million
NBC 3.5/9, 9.8 million
UPN 1.2/3, 3.4 million
WB 1.2/3, 3.4 million

Each rating point equals 2.78 million viewers





  [may 2005]  
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· 60 MINUTES (WED.) (CBS)
· AMERICAN IDOL (ABC)
· APPRENTICE, THE (NBC)
· BIGGEST LOSER, THE (USA)
· CONTENDER, THE (EPIX)
· CROSSING JORDAN (NBC)
· CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION (CBS)
· DATELINE NBC (NBC)
· ER (NBC)
· HERCULES (NBC)
· LAS VEGAS (NBC)
· LAW & ORDER (NBC)
· LAW & ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT (USA)
· LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT (NBC)
· LAW & ORDER: TRIAL BY JURY (NBC)
· MEDIUM (CBS)
· OC, THE (FOX)
· OFFICE, THE (NBC)
· REVELATIONS (NBC)
· SCRUBS (ABC)
· WEST WING, THE (NBC)
· WILL & GRACE (NBC)
· WITHOUT A TRACE (CBS)





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