World Series-hosting NBC was No. 1 during Halloween week, all right, but CBS was the week's big winner, boasting the most watched drama series ("Touched by an Angel"), most watched sitcom ("Everybody Loves Raymond"), most watched newsmagazine ("60 Minutes") and most watched movie ("Anya's Bell"). And Fox finally saw some light at the end of its 1999-2000 season ratings tunnel.
Here's a look at the week's treats and tricks:
"Ally McBeal." Finally, some good news at Fox. The promise they'd see The Skinny One having sex with a stranger in a carwash appealed to 16 million viewers--"Ally McBeal's" biggest season premiere audience ever. Monday's season opening episode was the No. 1 choice of women, and among adults age 18-49--the network's fave demographic--"McBeal" was No. 2 last week, behind only Game 4 of the World Series. This helped ease Fox's latest blow: the feeble premiere of Monday's 8 p.m. show, "Time of Your Life."
"The X-Files." No place like "Home" for Fox on Halloween night. The ultra-icky "Home" episode of "The X-Files"--paired with two Halloween episodes of "The Simpsons"--treated Fox to its highest-rated Sunday since Super Bowl XXXIII.
CBS's Monday. More people watched CBS's Monday lineup--including the week's most watched sitcom, "Everybody Loves Raymond"--than NBC's powerhouse Thursday slate. That said, CBS's Monday was an all-original lineup; NBC's Thursday was all reruns. But whose fault was that?
"Charlie Brown." In his 24th Halloween week appearance on CBS, the bald-headed boy snared 10.3 million viewers, finishing a strong second in his Friday 8 p.m. time slot with fewer than 3 million viewers separating him from the slot-winning episode of "Providence" on NBC--which was being aired for the very first time. Charlie ranked No. 51 for the week--out of 115 prime-time programs--and was No. 4 among kids.
World Series. The last two games were the most watched of the Yankees' four-game sweep of the Atlanta Braves, and this year's Series overall was up vs. last year. But last year's Series, on Fox, was the least watched ever, and this year's goes down in the books as the second least watched.
NBC's Thursday. NBC suits say they didn't have a chance to promote the Thursday lineup because they didn't know there would be no Game 5 of the World Series. Boo hoo. Why didn't they promote that Thursday slate--which by the way was their usual Thursday lineup--at the end of Game 4, when they had about 28 million viewers hanging around on the air? Poor planning cost NBC its least watched Thursday during a regular TV season ever, except when a major holiday has fallen on a Thursday.
"Cold Feet." NBC finally pulled the plug on this new Friday series after its second week posting the network's smallest audience ever in its 10 p.m. time slot for original programming.
WB Radio Music Awards. Made-up-for-TV trophy show brings WB its smallest Thursday number so far this season.
The week's 10 most watched programs, in order: NBC's coverage of World Series Game 4, World Series Game 3; ABC's "Monday Night Football"; CBS's "Touched by an Angel," "Everybody Loves Raymond" and "Becker"; NBC's "Friends"; CBS's "60 Minutes"; Fox's "Ally McBeal"; and NBC's "Frasier."
CAPTION: "Ally McBeal" drew 16 million viewers to watch Calista Flockhart's steamy scene in a car wash.