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'Angels' draws large audience

Part one of HBO miniseries watched by 4.2 million Sunday
/ Source: The Associated Press

The first installment of HBO’s much-praised miniseries, “Angels in America,” was seen by 4.2 million viewers Sunday — making the first half of the six-hour drama the year’s most-watched made-for-cable movie.

While the viewership was roughly a third of what the last original episode of “The Sopranos” drew on a Sunday a year ago and paled in comparison with the 17.3 million people who saw CBS’ “Undercover Christmas” on Sunday, HBO pronounced itself pleased.

HBO is airing the AIDS-era epic adapted from the stage by Tony Kushner in one-hour chunks before the second half is shown next Sunday, and will also offer the miniseries in one six-hour sitting.

“This is only the beginning of what we hope is an enormous audience when this plays out over an aggressive schedule,” HBO spokeswoman Tobe Becker said Tuesday.

Meanwhile, CBS’ indefatigable “Survivor” was the week’s most popular program, drawing 22.2 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research.

NBC’s “Average Joe” had 14 million viewers last week and, preliminary ratings indicate, drew 17.4 million people to its finale Monday.

Fox scores with 'Simple Life'
Hit-starved Fox may have a success on its hands with Paris Hilton and “The Simple Life.” The first two episodes of the reality series were seen by 13 million viewers last week and, most encouragingly for Fox, the second one outdrew the first.

CBS, clearly the dominant network so far this season, averaged 13 million viewers last week (8.5 rating, 14 share). NBC had 10.6 million viewers (7.0, 11), ABC 9.8 million (6.4, 10), Fox 7.6 million (4.9, 8), the WB 3.7 million (2.4, 4), UPN 3.1 million (2.1, 3) and Pax TV 1.1 million (0.7, 1).

NBC’s “Nightly News” won the evening news ratings race, averaging 11.5 million viewers (7.9 rating, 15 share). ABC’s “World News Tonight” had 10.2 million (7.1, 14) and the “CBS Evening News” 8.5 million (5.9, 11).

A ratings point represents 1,084,000 households, or 1 percent of the nation’s estimated 108.4 million TV homes. The share is the percentage of in-use televisions tuned to a given show.

For the week of Dec. 1-7, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: “Survivor: Pearl Islands,” CBS, 22.2 million; “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” CBS, 22.1 million; “ER,” NBC, 20.7 million; “60 Minutes,” CBS, 18.7 million; “CBS Sunday Movie: Undercover Christmas,” CBS, 17.3 million; “Everybody Loves Raymond,” CBS, 16.8 million; “Law & Order,” NBC, 16.6 million; “NFL Monday Night Football: Tennessee at N.Y. Jets,” ABC, 16.4 million; “CSI: Miami,” CBS, 15.5 million; “Cold Case,” CBS, 15.4 million.