ABC’s “World News Tonight” reigns supreme in the evening news race again - but only by the thinnest of margins.
Peter Jennings’ program, which was knocked off its perch earlier this year by the “NBC Nightly News,” beat Tom Brokaw’s program in the Nielsen Media Research rankings last week for the seventh consecutive week.
For the second quarter of the year, Jennings’ resurgent broadcast beat Brokaw by an average rating of 7.6 to 7.5. That’s only about 100,000 viewers out of the 28.4 million who regularly watch one of the three evening news shows.
NBC won the overall race for the last full week of June. Its 7.4 rating and 15 share topped second-place CBS, which had a 6.8 rating and 13 share. ABC had a 6.2 rating and 12 share, followed by Fox’s 4.4 rating and 9 share.
Viewers aren’t necessarily buying NBC’s “it’s new to you” campaign for selling reruns: The network’s average audience of 10.2 million last week is about two-thirds the audience for an average week of the television season.
Those who do tune in to TV are embracing newsmagazines, some of the only new fare the networks are offering. Five of the week’s eight top-rated programs were newsmagazines.
The weekly evening news ratings put ABC at a 7.2 rating and 17 share, NBC at a 7.0 rating and 17 share, and “The CBS Evening News” at a 6.2 rating and 15 share.
For the week of June 23-29, the top 10 shows, their networks and ratings, were:
“Seinfeld,” NBC, 13.7; “20/20,” ABC, 12.6; “Dateline NBC-Tuesday,” 12.1; “Suddenly Susan,” NBC, 11.9; “ER,” NBC, 11.6; “PrimeTime Live,” ABC, 10.8; “Dateline NBC-Monday,” 10.4; “60 Minutes,” CBS, 10.2; “Touched By an Angel,” CBS, 9.7; “Friends,” NBC, 9.6; and “Home Improvement,” ABC, 9.6.
Roseanne talk show coming
NBC has bought Roseanne’s new talk show for its owned stations in five of the top 10 markets in the country.
It is set to debut in the fall of 1998. The show will be syndicated by King World, whose production arm will co-produce along with Rosie’s own company.
The one-hour daytime program will also be seen on NBC stations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia, for starters.
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