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‘Millionaire’ Carries ABC to Win

January 18, 2000

NEW YORK (AP) _ ABC must be feeling like a million bucks, and then some.

Its smash-hit ``Who Wants to be a Millionaire″ helped carry the network to a prime-time television ratings win last week, as the game show’s seven nightly airings all landed in the Top 10.

Wednesday’s broadcast nabbed the top spot with an extraordinary 20.6 household rating and 32 share, according to Nielsen Media Research figures, for the largest audience of any program thus far in the 1999-2000 season.

It was ABC’s best week since November 1995, the network said Tuesday.

For the week of Jan. 10-16, ABC won with an average 17.60 million viewers (11.2 household rating, 18 share), while CBS was second with 13.29 million viewers (9.0 rating, 14 share) and NBC averaged 12.04 million viewers (8.3 rating, 13 share). Fox had 9.74 million viewers (6.2 rating, 10 share).

Among the emerging networks, UPN had 3.94 million viewers (2.6 rating, 4 share), while the WB had 3.22 million viewers (2.3 rating, 4 share). The Pax network had 0.93 million viewers (0.7 rating, 1 share).

In the evening news wars, ``NBC Nightly News″ was the frontrunner with a total of 11.79 million viewers (8.7 rating, 17 share), while ABC’s ``World News Tonight″ totaled 11.69 million (8.5 rating, 16 share) and ``CBS Evening News″ had 10.21 million (7.5 rating, 14 share).

A rating point represents 1,008,000 households, or 1 percent of the nation’s estimated 100.8 million TV homes. The share is the percentage of in-use televisions tuned to a given show.

For the week of Jan. 10-16, the top 10 shows, their networks and ratings were: ``Who Wants to be a Millionaire″ (Wednesday), ABC, 20.6; ``E.R.,″ NBC, 18.8; ``Who Wants to be a Millionaire″ (Tuesday), ABC, 18.1; ``Who Wants to be a Millionaire″ (Thursday), ABC, 17.8; ``Who Wants to be a Millionaire″ (Sunday), ABC, 16.5; ``Who Wants to be a Millionaire″ (Monday), ABC, 16.3; ``Who Wants to be a Millionaire″ (Friday), ABC, 15.8; ``Friends,″ NBC, 15.1; ``Who Wants to be a Millionaire″ (Saturday), ABC, 14.1; ″60 Minutes,″ CBS, 13.7.

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