Pat Sajak's new CBS late night talk show beat the "Tonight" show in the overnight Nielsen ratings released Tuesday - but Johnny Carson didn't show up for the match.
It was substitute host Jay Leno who took the fall as Sajak scored a 7 rating and 25 share, compared to "Tonight's" 6.1 rating and 18 share.That was just the beginning of the good news for CBS. The network not only held onto second place again last week, but it came within a tenth of a rating point of tying first-place NBC.
It was the Sunday night lineup, including the NFL championship post-game show that ran over into prime time, that was the big winner for CBS. The network also won Monday night.
NBC won the week with a 15.5 rating and a 24 share. CBS was second with a 15.4 rating and 24 share, and ABC was third with a 12.8 rating and 20 share.
In the television season to date, NBC claims it is 16 weeks old and ABC and CBS say it began on Oct. 24.
In the NBC version, NBC leads with a 15.8 rating and a 26 share. ABC is second with a 13.0 rating and a 21 share and CBS comes in last with a 12.2 rating and a 20 share.
In the alternative count, NBC wins with a 15.1 rating and a 25 share, ABC has a 13.0 rating and a 21 share and CBS a 12.4 rating and a 20 share.
In news, "CBS Evening News" with Dan Rather remained in first place with a 13.5 rating and a 23 share. ABC's "World News Tonight" with Peter Jennings came in second with a 12.3 rating and a 21 share. "NBC Nightly News" with Tom Brokaw had an 11.6 rating and a 20 share.