BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Entertainment  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Wednesday, 22 May, 2002, 11:04 GMT 12:04 UK
Friends wins ratings fight
Friends
The latest series of Friends is currently on E4 in the UK
Friends has enjoyed a revival in the TV ratings, taking the crown as the most-watched show in the US.

The sitcom held off challenges from other hit shows including CSI, ER and Everybody Loves Raymond to win the most viewers in the latest US TV season.

It finished its eighth series on a high on 16 May, when almost 35 million people tuned in to see the series finale, The One Where Rachel Gave Birth.

It was the most-watched episode of any series this season, and was the second highest total in Friends' history.

$1m each

The success of Friends and ER has helped NBC to become the most popular US TV network, despite appearing to be left behind by its rivals in the ratings battle just two years ago.

The finale of Friends' eighth series, which provided some unexpected twists in the delivery room, was watched by 34.9 million people.

The only episode to attract more was 1996's post-Super Bowl episode, which drew 52.9 million viewers.

Big names including Brad Pitt and Sean Penn were among the stars who have made recent guest appearances.

There is still one last series of Friends to be made, for which each actor will earn $1m (685,000) per episode.

'Dominant'

NBC drew an average of 13.5 million viewers for prime-time shows in the latest season - a million more than the next network, CBS, which has shows like CSI and Survivor.

ABC came third with an average of 9.7 million viewers, while Fox had 9.2 million.

Just two years ago, NBC appeared to be losing out in the ratings drive to CBS and ABC as the schedules were dominated by reality TV and game shows.

"This dominant performance in May is a function of our underlying schedule that will return virtually intact next season," NBC Entertainment president Jeff Zucker said.

NBC also attracted the most young viewers, who are more attractive to advertisers.

See also:

27 Feb 02 | Entertainment
12 Feb 02 | Entertainment
21 Oct 01 | Entertainment
21 Mar 02 | Entertainment
15 May 02 | Entertainment
09 May 01 | Entertainment
26 Sep 01 | Entertainment
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Entertainment stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Entertainment stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes