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Oscar wins week's best audience

ABC benefits from the show's airing during February sweeps. Fox's 'Fiance' lures 21 million.

March 03, 2004|From Associated Press

NEW YORK — Fox's reality show "My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance" drew nearly 21 million people for its climax last week, a highlight for the network for the week and the February sweeps that end tonight.

ABC, meanwhile, had the week's highest-rated show, with Sunday's airing of the 76th annual Academy Awards, which was seen by 43.5 million people, according to Nielsen Media Research. The Oscar telecast was included in this February's sweeps and wasn't last year.

The return of Regis Philbin in "Super Millionaire" last week was only a modest success for ABC. After an opening night seen by 17.5 million people, none of the subsequent four showings was seen by more than 13.5 million.

ABC has announced "Super Millionaire" will return in May.

"We have been able to build a foundation of shows, but none is a hit," said Susan Lyne, ABC entertainment president. "That's what's keeping us in fourth place right now."

With the Oscars, ABC won last week's prime-time competition, averaging 14.4 million viewers. CBS had 12.3 million viewers, NBC had 11.1 million, Fox had 10.1 million, UPN had 4 million and the WB had 3.9 million.

NBC's "Nightly News" won the evening news ratings race, averaging 11.3 million viewers. ABC's "World News Tonight" had 10.3 million and the "CBS Evening News" 8.5 million.

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