NBC wins sweep, plots original summer

NBC programmers proclaimed victory in adults 18-49 for the May sweep and the 2000-2001 season and also announced the network will be "one-third" original during the upcoming summer months.

NBC researchers project the network will win the May sweep with a 5.0 or 5.1 rating in adults 18-49, well ahead of second place Fox at a 4.3 or 4.4 rating in the key demo. NBC will win the 18-49 battle for the entire season with a 4.8 rating-and according to NBC execs, it would have at least been a 4.9 if it weren't for the failure of the XFL. NBC projects Fox will finish the season with a 4.5 rating in adults 18-49 and ABC with a 4.4.

The network claimed the top drama (E.R.) and top comedy (Friends) for the season and May sweep. NBC dipped 4% in adults 18-49 versus the 1999-2000 season, something NBC Entertainment President Jeff Zucker said he was "thrilled about because normal erosion is about 5%." NBC executives didn't spend much time talking about the total viewers race, where NBC will likely finish third behind CBS and ABC in the category.

Reality programming will play a big role ub NBC's summer push. Its schedule will feature weekly editions of Fear Factor and Spy TV on during the summer months, plus two weekly installments of Weakest Link. Weakest Link will air in originals each Monday at 9 p.m. ET/PT and at 10 p.m. on Sundays in repeats. Also headed to NBC this summer are original comedy series Go Fish, Downer Channel and Kristin. The network also plans to air original episodes of Mysterious Ways during the summer. - Joe Schlosser