NBC Friday Night — with McDonald's "Mister Sterling" — Wins Ratings Race

News   NBC Friday Night — with McDonald's "Mister Sterling" — Wins Ratings Race "Mister Sterling" — the new NBC series starring Josh Brolin and three-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald — dropped slightly during its third week on the air, but helped the network win the overall Friday night ratings race.

NBC reports that the new drama had a 2.6 rating, 8 share in the advertiser-friendly 18-49 year old demographic; the previous week earned the show a 2.8 rating and a 9 share — "Sterling" debuted with a 3.6 rating, 11 share. The network also reported that the political series "generated more solid numbers, including a tie for No. 1 in households and second-place finishes among adults, men and women 25-54, women 18-49 and overall total viewers." "Sterling" — along with "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" and "Dateline NBC" — helped the peacock network win the entire Friday evening. The new series from Emmy-winning writer-producer Lawrence O'Donnell, Jr. chronicles the struggles of young Senator William Sterling Jr. (Brolin), who is thrust into the position after the Senior Senator of California dies. McDonald portrays his chief of staff, Jackie Brock; others in the series include William Russ as Tommy Doyle; David Noroña as the resident techno-wiz; and James Whitmore as the former California Governor, William Sterling, Sr.

A three-time Tony Award winner for her work in Master Class, Carousel and Ragtime, Audra McDonald was most recently on Broadway in the title role of Marie Christine. The singer-actress recently made her solo Carnegie Hall concert debut in an evening of songs scored for big bands, performing several tunes from her Nonesuch CD, "Happy Songs." McDonald's other solo recordings, "Way Back to Paradise" and "How Glory Goes," are also on the Nonesuch label.

"Mister Sterling" airs 8-9 PM ET on NBC. Check local listings.