Fox, NBC dominate May sweeps

Powered by American Idol: Search for a Superstar, Fox will win two consecutive sweep periods
in the key adult 18-through-49 demographic for the first time in its history,
Fox TV Entertainment Group chairman Sandy Grushow said Wednesday.

American Idol is so strong that even NBC Entertainment president Jeff
Zucker took a moment during his own conference call to acknowledge the show.

Prior to the finale of American Idol Wednesday night -- which is
projected to attract one-third of the television audience -- Fox was tied with NBC
in the demo, each with a 4.4 rating and 13 share, but both networks expect
Fox to come out the winner.

Season-to-date, NBC will win adults 18 through 49 with a 4.5 versus Fox's
4.3, but Grushow said he thinks Fox's strength could propel the network to its
first season-to-date win next year.

Both Zucker and ABC Entertainment chairman Lloyd Braun took exception to
assertions made by CBS chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves Tuesday.

Zucker said there's no way CBS is more profitable on Thursday night than NBC
is, while Braun said ABC will in fact tie CBS for third in adults 18 through 49
for the season, even though Moonves disagrees.

The WB Television Network is coming off perhaps the best year in its history, finishing the
sweep in third place in its key demo of females 12 through 34 and continuing to
see growth throughout May, which surprised even WB Entertainment president
Jordan Levin.

UPN remains down for the May sweep and looks forward to fall when it enters
a rebuilding year now that Buffy the Vampire Slayer has gone off the

Paige Albiniak

Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.