'Survivor' Tops 'Millionaire'

Looks like CBS may have stumbled upon Regis Philbin’s Achilles Heel. The network’s reality-based “Survivor” topped ABC’s “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” in this week’s Nielsen ratings, drawing nearly 3 million more viewers than the quiz show hosted by Reege. Episode two of “Survivor” drew an average of 18.2 million people, a jump of 17% from its debut last week. By contrast, “Millionaire” averaged 15.6 million viewers, a 7% decrease from last week. Furthermore, “Survivor” had nearly double the viewers in critical 18-34 and 18-49 demographic groups. More proof of the power of “Survivor”? It not only topped “Millionaire,” but NBC’s broadcast of game one of the NBA Finals and the Britney Spears concert special on Fox.

  • Another bad break for “Millionaire”: Deaf schoolteacher Peter F. Liberti Jr. filed a federal lawsuit against ABC and the show this week, saying that the program violates the Americans With Disabilities Act by not accommodating deaf people when it comes to telephone auditions to find contestants for the program. His lawyer suggested that it might be appropriate to ask for $1 million in damages, but said he would settle for his client’s being given a chance to participate on the show.
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