Rep. Gary Condit killed NBC's winning streak among young viewers last week. The California Democrat's interview with Connie Chung on "PrimeTime Thursday," which averaged nearly 24 million viewers, not only produced ABC's first weekly ratings win since March, when it aired the Academy Awards, it also snuffed out NBC's 18-week run in the No. 1 spot among 18- to 49-year-olds.
Here's a look at the week's Chungs and Condits:
Connie Chung. Chung's Condit grilling was the week's most watched program; it was also the summer's biggest TV draw and the best-scoring TV news show in more than two years.
Little League World Series. An average of 8.6 million people caught ABC Sports' first-ever live prime-time broadcast of the Little League world championship (it's been airing on the network since 1963 and live since 1985). That's also more people than watched either CBS or Fox's prime-time preseason football coverage last week. That's also more people than watched Madonna's HBO concert last week.
Madonna. Chameleon Girl's "Drowned World Tour" television special, telecast last Sunday, scored 5.7 million viewers. That's about 300,000 shy of Cher's haul with her August '99 HBO concert -- but Madonna's costumes were way better. And, in case you forgot, Bruce Springsteen's HBO concert last April nabbed just 3.7 mil, while 'N Sync in July 2000 pulled in 4.3 mil. Girls rule.
"Big Brother." CBS's reality series last week delivered its biggest Tuesday (9.3 million) and Saturday (7.1 million) audiences ever.
"The Wayne Brady Show." ABC has ordered six more episodes of its new variety show after looking at three weeks' numbers; since its debut, the series has been the most watched show in its Wednesday time slot among kids, teens and young adults.
"Witchblade." TNT claims that 35 million "unduplicated viewers" sampled this girl-and-her-blade series during its 11-week run. If so, the series season finale last Tuesday was a ratings flop. The finale averaged just 3.1 million viewers, which means almost everyone who'd checked out the show did not bother sitting through the one-hour season wrapper.
"Providence." NBC's re-start of the touchy-feely drama on Friday stalled with little more than 4 million viewers -- the series's smallest audience ever. One of its problems was distribution -- the series was preempted in 8 percent of the country last week, including here in Washington, where Channel 4 carried a Redskins preseason game instead. The return of "Providence" was the week's least watched program among the four major broadcast networks.
"Merlin." When NBC's two-part special-effects extravaganza originally aired back in 1998, more than 35 million people watched. When NBC condensed it into three hours and reran it last Sunday -- poof! -- 30 million viewers had magically disappeared.
The week's 10 most watched programs, in order: ABC's "PrimeTime Thursday," and Sunday "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire"; CBS's "60 Minutes"; ABC's "Millionaire" Tuesday and Thursday editions; CBS's "Everybody Loves Raymond"; NBC's "Will & Grace" and "Friends"; ABC's "Millionaire" Friday edition; and NBC's "Law & Order."