Hillary Clinton Packs a Pow in Ratings

updated 06/10/2003 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/10/2003 01:35PM

Amid a sea of reruns, Hillary Rodham Clinton is a summer TV ratings champ.

The New York senator's Sunday sit-down with Barbara Walters on ABC -- to hype Clinton's new memoir, "Living History" -- grabbed the attention of more than 13 million viewers, according to preliminary figures from Nielsen Media Research.

In New York City, where the liberal Senator Clinton is particularly popular, 723,000 households tuned in to hear her, easily beating CBS's "60 Minutes," with its 498,000 viewers, according to Nielsen numbers.

Sunday night's other big TV events, the 57th annual Tony Awards on CBS and the New Jersey Nets-San Antonio Spurs NBA championship game on ABC, obviously played to two entirely different audiences.

Sunday night's NBA Finals between the Nets and Spurs drew only an 8.7 rating and 14 share in the metered markets, down 26 percent from last year's game three of the finals, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

In terms of Tony numbers, the three-hour show, hosted by Hugh Jackman, wooed an estimated 7.95 million viewers, down from last year's record-low of 7.98 million -- although advertisers reportedly realize that theater buffs have generally healthy bank accounts. (They better: Tickets to best musical winner "Hairspray" and most other musicals are $100.)

In addition, this year's young-adult viewership was up nearly 20 percent.

Still, the show did draw some complaints to CBS over an on-camera kiss between partners Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, who won the Tony for the "Hairspray" score. A network spokesman, speaking to reporters, characterized the reaction -- 10 phone calls and 68 e-mails -- as "light to moderate."

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