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Ratings Archives: May1997

The May sweeps of 1997 were mostly predictable, but there were some interesting highlights.

The first week of May (Week ending May 4), saw ELLEN top the charts, besting the NBC Must See Thursday line up. The "Coming Out" episode of ELLEN drew over 36 million viewers and a 35 household share. However, the event watchers did not stick around long. The following week ELLEN drew only half as many viewers and ranked 10th for the week. The week after that, the sitcom drew just 16.4 million viewers for its season finale and was down to 17th in the weekly rankings.

Picking up where we left April, THE SHINING mini series still had four more hours to air. Part 2 aired on April 28 and drew just over 18 million viewers, slightly down from Part 1. Part 3 didn't air until May 1st, but drew almost the same ratings as Part 2. In all, the mini series did well for ABC, but it had to be a disappoint that it was not a huge hit or was a memorable TV event. 15 years later, it is mostly forgotten and the original 1970's version is still what people remember when THE SHINING is mentioned.

CBS had better success with its Sweeps mini series THE LAST DON. The three night, six hour event averaged roughly 22 million viewers.

The more successful mini series was from NBC. It aired the four hour, two night THE ODESSY. The two nights averaged about 27 million viewers

It has been a while since the broadcast networks gave us big mini series during the sweeps periods. With the success of History's HATFIELDS AND MCCOYS in the summer of 2012, we could see at least one network give it a try to see if viewers are receptive, in the near future.

TV-aholic on FacebookNielsen Broadcast ratings charts for April 28 to June 1, 1997
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