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TELEVISION & RADIO | Prime-time TV rankings

CBS continues its summer vacation atop the ratings

Fox's 'O.C.' performs well in the sought-after demographics.

August 27, 2003|Greg Braxton

CBS' summer hot streak is continuing, as the network had seven of the top 10 most popular shows among total viewers, according to national Nielsen ratings released Tuesday.

Only two editions of the "Law & Order" franchise -- "Law & Order" and "Law & Order: SVU" -- and a preseason football game on ABC between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the St. Louis Cardinals stopped CBS' domination.

Meanwhile, NBC had its own good news, as "For Love or Money 2" earned the unscripted show its best ratings ever on Monday, winding up in the No. 13 spot.

Fox's "The O.C." also continued to perform well, particularly in the 18-34 and 18-49 demographics that advertisers covet.

Shania Twain's latest album may have fallen short of expectations, but her NBC special on Tuesday, "Shania Twain Up! Live in Chicago" was second only to CBS' Celine Dion special on March 25.

Although some unscripted series are solid performers ("Big Brother 4," "For Love or Money 2"), the low ratings for Fox's "American Juniors" (No. 72 in total viewers) is proving the "American Idol" spinoff pales next to the original.

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Here are the rankings for national prime-time network television last week (Aug. 18-24) as compiled by Nielsen Media Research. They are based on the average number of people who watched a program from start to finish. Nielsen estimates there are 272.04 million potential viewers in the U.S. age 2 and older. Viewership is listed in millions.

*--* 1 CSI CBS 14.63 2 Without a Trace CBS 12.12 3 "Code 11-14" CBS 11.85 4 60 Minutes CBS 11.37 5 Law & Order NBC 10.74

6 Everybody Loves Raymond CBS 10.58 7 CSI: Miami CBS 10.51 8 "NFL Pre-Season Football" ABC 10.42 9 King of Queens CBS 10.29 10 Law & Order: SVU (Fri.) NBC 9.95

11 Amazing Race 4 CBS 9.88 12 48 Hours Investigates (Wed.) CBS 9.81 13 For Love or Money 2 NBC 9.73 14 Big Brother 4 (Wed.) CBS 9.71 15 20/20 (Fri.) ABC 9.68

16 Friends NBC 9.58 17 Fear Factor NBC 9.56 18 Without a Trace (Sun.) CBS 9.56 19 Law & Order: SVU (Tue.) NBC 9.44 20 "Shania Twain: Live in Chicago" NBC 8.87

21 Law & Order: Criminal Intent NBC 8.82 22 Big Brother 4 (Tue.) CBS 8.81 23 Will & Grace NBC 8.49 24 "Pre-Season Showcase" ABC 8.30 25 George Lopez (Wed., 9 p.m.) ABC 8.29

26 60 Minutes II CBS 8.28 27 Will & Grace (9:30 p.m.) NBC 8.22 28 "NFL on Fox Preseason" FOX 8.15 29 "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" NBC 8.02 30 Meet My Folks NBC 8.01

31 O.C FOX 7.96 32 Restaurant NBC 7.72 33 George Lopez (Wed., 8:30 p.m.) ABC 7.69 34 My Wife and Kids ABC 7.66 35 The Simpsons FOX 7.64

36 Scrubs NBC 7.52 37 Still Standing CBS 7.50 38 King of the Hill (8:30 p.m.) FOX 7.16 39 Paradise Hotel (Wed.) FOX 7.14 40 Big Brother 4 (Sat.) CBS 7.13

41 Boomtown NBC 7.11 42 Malcolm in the Middle FOX 7.10 43 Yes, Dear CBS 7.08 44 The West Wing NBC 7.08 45 America's Funniest Home Videos ABC 7.04

46 The Drew Carey Show (9:30 p.m.) ABC 7.01 47 Malcolm in the Middle (9:30 p.m.) FOX 7.01 48 Extreme Makeover ABC 6.83 49 Law & Order (8 p.m.) NBC 6.73 50 8 Simples Rules ABC 6.69

51 "All ABC Bloopers" ABC 6.69 52 Dateline: NBC (Fri.) NBC 6.66 53 Cupid CBS 6.58 54 Paradise Hotel (Mon.) FOX 6.53 55 According to Jim ABC 6.49

56 The District CBS 6.35 57 Primetime Thursday ABC 6.30 58 That '70s Show FOX 6.09 59 Less Than Perfect ABC 6.01 60 NYPD Blue ABC 5.91

61 Life With Bonnie ABC 5.62 62 America's Most Wanted FOX 5.50 63 Bernie Mac (Wed.) FOX 5.45 64 Whose Line Is It Anyway? (Fri., 9 p.m.) ABC 5.43 65 "NFL Pre-Season Football" CBS 5.31

66 WWE Smackdown! UPN 5.29 67 American Juniors (Tue.) FOX 5.21 68 Whose Line Is It Anyway? (Fri., 9:30 p.m.) ABC 5.19 69 Cops (8:30 p.m.) FOX 5.03 70 "World Gymnastics Championships" NBC 5.02

71 "CBS NFL-Preseason Pre-Kick" CBS 4.96 72 Hack CBS 4.83 73 Judging Amy CBS 4.74 74 O.C. (Mon.) FOX 4.74 75 Futurama (7:30 p.m.) FOX 4.72

76 The Family ABC 4.58 77 Race to Altar NBC 4.54 78 The Practice ABC 4.21 79 Dragnet ABC 4.20 80 American Dreams NBC 4.19

81 Cops FOX 4.06 82 "Little League World Series" ABC 3.89 83 Futurama FOX 3.82 84 Fear Factor (Sat.) NBC 3.69 85 Wanda at Large FOX 3.67

86 Bernie Mac (Fri.) FOX 3.44 87 Reba WB 3.43 88 7th Heaven WB 3.25 >89 "NBC 2003 Fall Preview" NBC 3.15 90 O.C. (Fri.) FOX 3.04

91 Grounded for Life (9:30 p.m.) WB 2.97 92 Grounded for Life WB 2.97 93 The Parkers UPN 2.78 94 The Parkers (8:30 p.m.) UPN 2.73 95 Girlfriends UPN 2.66

96 Half and Half UPN 2.60 97 Jamie Kennedy WB 2.58 98 Everwood WB 2.49 99 Gilmore Girls WB 2.45 100 Smallville (Wed.) WB 2.42

101 Charmed WB 2.41 102 Charmed (9 p.m.) WB 2.28 103 Pepsi Smash WB 2.19 104 Enterprise (9 p.m.) UPN 2.11 105 Whose Line Is It Anyway? (Sun.) ABC 2.05

106 Enterprise UPN 1.94 107 What I Like About You (9:30 p.m.) WB 1.92 108 Smallville (Tue.) WB 1.85 109 Gilmore Girls: Beginnings WB 1.85 110 What I Like About You WB 1.84

111 One on One UPN 1.82 112 "What About Your Friends" UPN 1.73 113 Buffy the Vampire Slayer UPN 1.64 114 Abby UPN 1.54

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Network averages

Here is the number of viewers (in millions) that each network averaged per hour of prime time, for last week and for the season.

*--* Network Last week Season to date CBS 8.71 11.33

NBC 7.52 10.58

ABC 6.62 8.87

FOX 6.04 8.87

UPN 2.68 3.35

WB 2.47 3.65

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