Monday, March 3, 2008

Oprah gives ABC a big night

By James Hibberd
1 hour, 50 minutes ago

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) -
Oprah gave big to ABC on
Sunday night as the premiere of her new reality show triumphed
in the Nielsen ratings.

Critics might have been less than kind, but the debut of
the talk-show host's philanthropic reality effort "Oprah's Big
Give" was the highest-rated program of the night, according to
preliminary returns.

Additionally, the "Big Give" audience spilled over into the
under-the-radar debut of another ABC reality title, "Here Come
the Newlyweds," helping ABC win the night among key measures.

ABC opened with "America's Funniest Home Videos" (8.2
million total viewers, 2.7 rating among adults 18-49/8 share),
followed by "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" (14.8 million,
5.1/13), "Big Give" (15.6 million, 5.3/12) and "Newlyweds"
(10.3 million, 4.1/11). ABC won every hour from 8-11 p.m., with
"Big Give" becoming third-most-watched freshman series debut
this season (following Fox's "Moment of Truth" and "Terminator:
The Sarah Connor Chronicles").

In second place, Fox's ratings are preliminary because
"NASCAR: Spring Cup" (12.5 million, 4.7/13) pushed the start
times of Fox's comedies to about 8:30 p.m. "NASCAR" was
followed by "The Simpsons" (7.9 million, 3.8/9), "King of the
" (7.7 million, 4.1/10), "Family Guy" (7.1 million, 3.7/9)
and the debut of "Unhitched" (2.5/6).

CBS was third with "60 Minutes" (12.1 million, 2.1/6), "Big
Brother" (6.2 million, 2.3/6), a repeat of "Cold Case" (7.4
million, 1.9/5) and "Dexter" (6.9 million, 2.0/5).

Fourth-place NBC had a two-hour "Dateline" (7.4 million,
1.9/5), "Deal or No Deal" (8.7 million, 2.3/5) and the
time-period premiere of "Law & Order: SVU" (8.1 million,

The CW aired a mix of comedies and repeats (averaging 1.3
million, 0.5/1).

On Friday, round two between the new end-of-week game shows
went to CBS. The second episode of "The Price Is Right Million
Dollar Spectacular" was Friday's highest-rated show. NBC's
"Amnesia," which also premiered the week before, fell sharply.

"Price" (9.5 million total viewers, 2.2 adults 18 to 49
rating and a 7 share) and "Amnesia" (5.1 million, 1.3/4) air
head-to-head at 8 p.m. and both lost some ground. But "Price"
fell only 12% to lead the night while "Amnesia" dropped 46% and
was Friday night's second-lowest-rated show.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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