Recent PEOPLE coverboy Al Roker, who dropped 100 pounds after undergoing gastric bypass surgery last March, helped fatten up recent ratings for NBC's "Dateline" with his story, according to Nielsen Media Research.
As the "Today" show weatherman first revealed in PEOPLE last week, he lost a third of his body weight in the eight months since his surgery, going from a 56" jacket and 54" slacks to a 46" jacket and 40" slacks.
"The weight just started dropping like water," Roker, 48, told the magazine while he was relaxing at the four-story Manhattan brownstone he shares with wife Deborah Roberts, 42, and kids Leila, 4, and Nicholas, 4 months. "For the fall, down to underwear, I had to buy all new stuff," he said.
Discussion of Roker's plight and video footage of the actual surgery on the NBC newsmagazine helped attract an estimated 14.8 million viewers, according to Nielsen ratings. It was the highest-rated Tuesday episode of "Dateline" in more than a year and highest-rated show in the 10 p.m. timeslot, New York's Daily News reports.
By comparison, CBS's "Judging Amy" averaged 13.29 million viewers, while ABC's "NYPD Blue" averaged 12.06 million -- record season lows for both.
Read all about Al Roker's stunning transformation in last week's PEOPLE cover story