The life and times of the artist always to be known as Prince deservingly got the full network news mag treatment from both ABC and NBC last night. With the acclaimed musician and Oscar winner’s sudden passing on April 21, 20/20 (1.3/5) aired “Prince: Death of a Legend” at 10 PM and Dateline (0.9/3) had the Lester Holt hosted “Prince: Life & Death of an Icon” on Friday.
Coming off far stronger lead-ins that what the NBC news mag had, the multi-hosted ABC show took off like a little red corvette with a 30% surge over last week. That’s a 10-week high for 20/20 while Dateline actually dipped 10% among adults 18-49 from its April 15 show.
On the first night of Passover and an otherwise pretty steady primetime, the Disney-owned net was Number #1 in the demo with a 1.1/4 rating while CBS topped in viewership with 6.99 million – even with usual audience top dog Blue Bloods (0.9/3) in repeat.
ABC’s night started off with season finales for both Last Man Standing (1.0/4) and Dr. Ken (0.9/4). Both were down a tenth from last week, however, LMS saw just a 9% dip year-to-year to remain pretty steady with its Season 4 ender of April 17, 2015. As for the on the bubble Dr. Ken, it’s worth noting the first season of the comedy saw a 17% uptick for the net in the slot over last year to what was actually the best ABC has done in the Friday 8:30 PM period since 2012/2013. Shark Tank (1.2/4) abdicated its usual demo top spot to the 20/20 special on the Purple One with an 8% slip.
The Amazing Race (1.0/4), Hawaii Five-O (1.1.4) and Fox’s Hell’s Kitchen (0.9/3) were all even with their April 15 offerings. NBC’s Caught On Camera With Nick Cannon (0.7/3) and Grimm (0.9/3) were up 17% and 13% respectively. However, bit of caution there and a notice to expect adjustments as NBC was pre-empted in the big San Francisco market for MLB. There was also baseball preemptions in Chicago on the CW, which could also see The Vampire Diaries (0.5/2) adjusted in final numbers. As it is, TVD is currently up 25% over last week.
“Dearly beloved we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life” – Prince