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Pope Show Ratings Unholy for ABC

In Thursday’s prime time race for television’s most lucrative viewers, ABC’s Pope John Paul II movie posted ratings that were less than divine.

Have No Fear: The Life of Pope John Paul II averaged a 1.4 rating/4 share in the adults 18-49 demographic from 8-10 p.m., according to Nielsen fast national data.

The movie’s lackluster performance leaves the door open for CBS’ own Pope John Paul II, a two-part movie set to debut on Sunday at 9 p.m., to claim victory in the “battle of the Pope movies.” (In general, TV critics favored the CBS movie over the ABC production, but a few panned both.)

ABC finished fourth on the night, averaging 1.5/4 in prime time.

CBS was Thursday’s No. 1 network among 18-49s, winning the first two hours of prime time with Survivor (7.0/19) at 8 p.m. and a repeat of CSI (7.7/19). Overall, CBS averaged a 6.5/17 in prime time.

NBC took the 10 p.m. hour with ER (6.8/18), though CBS aired a repeat of ER time slot rival Without a Trace. NBC took second place on the night, with a 5.0/13.