NBC won the battle of Pearl Harbor-themed specials over the long holiday weekend, as television viewing declined sharply once the latest ratings sweeps ended May 23, based on viewing estimates issued Wednesday by Nielsen Media Research.
With a tide of reruns following sweeps, the week's Top 10 programs were all televised on or before Wednesday night. That roster included the second part of "Anne Frank," starring Hannah Taylor-Gordon, an ABC historical drama, which, in a down year for TV movies and miniseries, finished as the second most-watched two-part movie of the season, behind only ABC's Judy Garland biography.
NBC broadcast its National Geographic-produced Pearl Harbor special on Sunday--a nightwhen viewing levels are higher--while ABC's updated 10-year-old Pearl Harbor special, hosted by David Brinkley, fared considerably less well on Saturday night.
Buoyed by strong season-finale ratings for "Law & Order" and "Frasier," NBC won its second consecutive week, following a six-week run by CBS, which has been without "Survivor." Despite competition from "Anne Frank," CBS' "Everybody Loves Raymond" also recorded its highest rating in 15 weeks.
Fox's lineup included the Essence Awards and a repeat of its Barbra Streisand concert special, which attracted the smallest audience among programs televised last week by the four major networks.
Here is the number of viewers that each network averaged per hour of prime time, for last week and for the season.
Last Season week to date NBC 10.81 million 11.56 CBS 10.34 12.46 ABC 9.12 12.40 FOX 8.01 9.55 UPN 4.56 3.75 WB 3.73 3.73