24 May 2000

Walt Disney-owned ABC Television is set to claim first place in the fight for total viewers in the 1999-2000 TV season – thanks to its Who Wants to be a Millionaire? gameshow which attracts almost 28 million viewers per episode. Other ABC stalwarts that have contributed to its dominance are Lois & Clark, Home Improvement, Roseanne, Drew Carey, Dharma and Greg and Once and Again.

ABC easily beat runner-up CBS in total audience, also besting NBC in adults aged 18-49.

Through Sunday prime time, ABC averaged 14.2 million viewers - up 21% from last season when it finished third. CBS averaged 12.4m viewers, around 5% down, while NBC is a close third with 12.3m, a 2.4% decrease. Rupert Murdoch’s Fox network saw its viewing slump by 16% to 8.9 million.

The last time ABC topped the ratings league was five years ago.

News source: Wall Street Journal