ABC and NBC aired dueling Superstorm Sandy specials last night. “20/20″ branded theirs “Heroes Among Us” while Dateline’s was “Sandy: Rescue and Recovery”
TVbytheNumbers has the overnight ratings which show “20/20″ drew 5.42 million viewers (1.5 rating in 18-49) while “Dateline” drew 3.83 million (1.1 rating in 18-49). “20/20″ won the hour among the younger demo. But both shows were beaten by CBS’s “Blue Bloods” which pulled in 11 million viewers. ABC and NBC both lost viewers from the 9pm lead-in: “Shark Tank” on ABC and “Grimm” on NBC.
As it turns out, last night’s “Dateline” almost didn’t air. As of Friday morning “Revolution” was in the Friday 10pm timeslot. That decision, replacing the news show with an entertainment show, didn’t sit well with NBC News staffers who had been working on Hurricane Sandy aftermath stories for several days. Lester Holt reported in depth from Breezy Point, Dennis Murphy from the Jersey Shore and Jeff Rossen reported on a crackdown on unlicensed contractors. At some point, NBC executives put “Dateline” back on at 10pm (my cable guide still had “Revolution” on at 10).
Earlier in the night, NBC’s “Come Together” telethon aiding Sandy survivors tied for second in 18-49 viewers with a 1.5 rating, and third in total viewers drawing 6.26 million.