Wednesday's TV Column incorrectly reported that "Geraldo Rivera Reports" had brought NBC its smallest audience in the Friday 10 p.m. time slot in nine months. It was NBC's smallest audience for original programming in the time slot in nine months. (Published 09/18/1999)

The smallest prime-time Emmy Awards audience in nearly a decade was still big enough to put Fox in first place for the week--just 300,000 viewers ahead of CBS.

Here's a look at the week's trophies and toss-aways.


MTV Video Music Awards. MTV is available in 70 million homes; Fox is available in 100 million homes. MTV's 16th annual trophy show bagged nearly 12 million viewers--the most-watched basic-cable entertainment show ever. The prime-time Emmy's 51st awards ceremony snared 17.4 million--the franchise's smallest audience since 1990. You do the math.

"Get Real." The recipient of Virtue Czar William Bennett's latest Silver Sewer Award debuted last week and was the No. 4 show among adults 18-34 and No. 6 among teens. That's out of 114 shows that aired in prime time on the broadcast networks last week.

"Everybody Loves Raymond." Shut out at the Emmys, it was still the week's most-watched non-Emmy program.

"Dateline Tuesday." This edition of the NBC newsmagazine was the week's No. 1 regularly scheduled show among adults ages 18-49, the group that advertisers lust after. It's the first time in "Dateline's" eight years that it's ever topped that chart.

"60 Minutes II." Is Mike Wallace looking over his shoulder? "60 Minutes II" beat "60 Minutes" last week for the first time. Granted, "60 Minutes" was delayed by more than an hour due to an overrun in tennis coverage and aired opposite the Emmys. But the newsmag spinoff enjoyed its biggest audience since moving to its Tuesday time slot.


51st Annual Emmy Awards. Don't fall for that 38.4 million figure you'll see or hear reported in various places--Sunday's broadcast had an average audience of 17.5 million viewers. The puffed-up number is how many people saw as little as six minutes of the three-hour broadcast and is for setting ad rates only, not for the record books. Emmy's audience of 17.5 million is its smallest since 1990--when it also aired on Fox. Last year's four-hour 50th anniversary prime-time Emmy Ordeal averaged 19.4 million viewers.

"Star Trek: Voyager." UPN's "Star Trek" boldly went to Tuesday night, where it had never gone before--and crashed and burned. Its audience of 1.5 million was a record low, and with it UPN scored its worst Tuesday ever, which is saying a lot, 'cause UPN has had some pretty lousy Tuesdays.

"Geraldo Rivera Reports." The Mustachioed One's prime-time special brought in NBC's littlest audience for Fridays at 10 p.m. in nine months.

Disney's 1 Saturday Morning. This "Saturday" show aired on Friday--don't ask--at 9:30 p.m., causing ABC to suffer its worst performance ever in that time slot with original programming. So much for synergy.

"Beverly Hills, 90210." Could this be the last season for Fox's long-running prime-time soap? Wednesday's season-debut audience of 9.5 million was down considerably compared with last year's 11.9 million.

The week's 10 most-watched programs, in order, were: Fox's "51st Annual Emmy Awards"; CBS's "Everybody Loves Raymond"; NBC's Tuesday "Dateline"; CBS's "60 Minutes II"; MTV's "1999 MTV Music Video Awards"; CBS's "60 Minutes"; NBC's "Frasier," "Friends" and "ER"; and CBS's "JAG."

CAPTION: Ray Romano of CBS's "Everybody Loves Raymond," the week's most-watched non-Emmy show.