Channel 54 picks up steam in ratings of Nov. sweeps

December 10, 1990|By David Zurawik | David Zurawik,Sun TV Critic

Move over Al, Sally and Rod. Make room for the Deacon, Mama and Fred.

Local ratings were released yesterday showing what Baltimore area viewers watched during the important November "sweeps" ratings period. And, while the relative rankings of newscasts on Channels 13, 11 and 2 did not show much change from a year ago, independent station WNUV-TV (Channel 54) enjoyed impressive growth with reruns of "Amen," "Mama's Family" and "Sanford & Son."

* At 6:30 p.m., "Sanford and Son," starring Redd Foxx, was watched by more women 18 to 49 (the key demographic for sales) than any show except local news on WJZ-TV (Channel 13), which won the time period.

* At 7 p.m., "Mama's Family," starring Vicki Lawrence, was watched in about 56,000 households. Only "Wheel of Fortune" on WMAR-TV (Channel 2) and "ABC World News Tonight" on Channel 13 were more popular with women 18 to 49.

* At 7:30 p.m., "Amen," starring Sherman Hemsley, was also watched in about 56,000 homes and managed to double the audience Channel 54 had last year with reruns of "Kate and Allie."

Another viewing pattern in Baltimore suggested by the November audience measurement from Arbitron is the popularity of shows featuring black stars, such as "Amen" and "Sanford and Son."

Reruns of "The Bill Cosby Show" on Channel 13 at 5 p.m. won its time period. But even more impressive was that it more than doubled its nearest competition, Channel 2 News, in the number of women 18 to 49 who watched it. Arsenio Hall, on WBFF-TV (Channel 45), beat Johnny Carson and the "Tonight Show" in overall numbers and did better than any other show except "Who's The Boss?" on WBAL-TV (Channel 11) with women 18 to 49.

Oprah Winfrey was again gangbusters for Channel 2 at 4 p.m. with an audience of 119,000 homes, almost three times the nearest competition. "Tim & Daphne," which is being tried out on Channel 2 at 11 a.m., finished a respectable third with an audience of about 18,000 homes.

There was some good -- though probably not unexpected -- news for each of the network affiliates in this audience survey.

* Channel 13 continued to be No. 1 with all its evening and late night newscasts.

* Channel 2 is second at 5 p.m. (to Cosby) and 6 (to Channel 13 News).

* Channel 11 is second at 11 p.m.

The Nielsen ratings were also released yesterday. The differences between Nielsen and Arbitron were not significant.

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