NBC Edges ABC in Friday Newsmagazine Face-Off; CBS Beats Them Both

By Chris Ariens Comment

“Dateline” and “20/20” went head-to-head last night, with both newsmagazines recounting the tragic end to the Josh Powell story. In the end, the two news shows essentially evenly split the audience.

“Dateline,” which spent the hour on the Powell story with Keith Morrison reporting from Puyallup, WA, drew 5.18M. While “20/20,” with Chris Cuomo anchoring from Washington, brought in 5.16M. “20/20” devoted half its show to the Powell story. “Dateline” also edged out “20/20” in the A18-49 demo with a 1.5 rating/4 share to ABC’s 1/4 rating. The two tied in A18-34 (0.8/3).

Both shows were beat out by CBS’s “Blue Bloods” which drew more than the combined average of ABC and NBC with 11.77 million total viewers.

Today in Tacoma, WA hundreds of mourners attended a funeral service for 7-year-old Charlie and 5-year-old Braden Powell, killed by their father last Sunday. Josh Powell took his own life, in the process, blowing up the house he’d been living in.