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by TV News Desk
From 9-11 p.m. ET, an encore telecast of "Dateline NBC" (1.7/5 in 18-49, 6.8 million viewers overall) reported the #1 18-49 and total-viewer results of the night on ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox. "Dateline NBC" won the time period among those networks in adults 18-49, adults 25-54 (with a 2.4 rating), total viewers and virtually every other key ratings category. From its first half-hour to its fourth, "Dateline" grew by 54 percent in adults 18-49 (to a 2.0 rating from a 1.3), by 47 percent in adults 25-54 (2.8 vs. 1.9) and by 51 percent or 2.7 million persons in total viewers (8.0 million vs. 5.3 million).
"Dateline's" 6.8 million viewer average is the show's biggest overall audience for a Friday telecast since September 23, 2011 (7.2 million). In 18-49, "Dateline" matched its second-highest rating of the season, behind only the December 14 telecast that focused on the Newtown, Conn. School shootings (2.0).
In the 10:30 lead-in to local news, "Dateline NBC" delivered a 100 percent margin of victory in the key news demo of adults 25-54 (with a 2.8 rating vs. a 1.4 for ABC's second-place news special).
The December 28 edition of "Dateline NBC" covered the story of a young Florida mother who was abducted and taken for ransom, only to have three attempts to drop the ransom fail.
NBC won Friday among ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox in adults 18-49, adults 25-54, total viewers and most other key categories.
NOTE: All ratings are "live plus same day" from Nielsen Media Research unless otherwise indicated.