Survivor spurs CBS ratings romp

With more than a little help from Survivor, CBS TV President and CEO Les Moonves proclaimed his network the winner of the household ratings race for the 2000-2001 season and said CBS will likely topple ABC in terms of total viewers for the season.

With only two days left, CBS is averaging an 8.6 rating/14 share in households, 12.53 million viewers and a 4.0/11 in adults 18-49 for the year, according to Nielsen Media Research. NBC is in second place in households with an 8.0/13 average, while ABC is in a dog-fight with CBS for the total viewers crown-averaging 12.50 million viewers thus far. "We are virtually in a dead heat, we are slightly ahead of ABC in total viewers.we think we are going to do it, but we are not sure, so we'll leave it right there."

CBS also will win the May sweep in both households and total viewers, averaging a 8.7/15 in and 12.69 million viewers respectively. It's CBS's first May sweep victory in both categories since 1983. Moonves also said CBS will air reality series Big Brother three times a week during the summer starting in early July and that the network will likely hold back a good portion of its Thursday night inventory for scatter sales if the upfront market is sluggish. - Joe Schlosser