NBC’s ‘Dateline’ Bests ABC’s ’20/20′ On Friday

By Merrill Knox 

A two-hour edition of NBC’s “Dateline” went head-to-head with ABC’s “20/20” in the 10 p.m.ET timeslot on Friday night. Although “Dateline” bested “20/20” in both total viewers and the A25-54 demographic, both newsmagazines were topped by drama “Blue Bloods,” on CBS.

“Dateline” averaged 6.1 million viewers and a 2.0 rating in the A25-54 demographic for the 10 p.m. hour. “20/20” — which was a Diane Sawyer “Hidden America” special — drew 4.7 million viewers and a 1.7 rating  in the demo.

Although “20/20” placed third, the ABC newsmagazine saw an audience surge over the lead-in programming — a repeat of  “Suburgatory” at 9 p.m. — to the tune of 1.6 million viewers. It was also the best showing for “20/20” in two months.