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TELEVISION & RADIO | Prime-Time TV Rankings

Games vault NBC to top spot

August 18, 2004|Jonathan Taylor

When you spend nearly $800 million for rights to televise a two-week event, you expect to dominate the ratings. And so, while the first two nights of NBC's coverage of the Summer Olympics in Athens were down from the comparable tallies at the start of the 2000 Games in Sydney, the network is touting its overall dominance of last week's ratings.

NBC claimed the top three spots among total viewers, as well as in the various demographic measurements that networks and advertisers usually care about most. Well, almost: Fox's coverage of the 2004 Teen Choice Awards was the most-watched show last week among teenage girls.

And aided by a strong tune-in for Sunday night's coverage, NBC finally broke CBS' lock on viewers for the week as a whole, averaging 15.1 million viewers, nearly twice what No. 2 CBS drew, according to data released Tuesday by Nielsen Media Research.

In the scramble for the leftovers, CBS continued to score well with its lineup featuring repeats of its hit comedies and dramas, mixed with fresh episodes of the unscripted series "Amazing Race 5" and "Big Brother 5."

ABC didn't have much luck with its new Tuesday night documentary series, "In the Jury Room"; it finished in 61st place.

With USA's "The 4400" having ended its successful run, TNT's coverage of NASCAR's Nextel Cup races once again topped the cable list.

Jonathan Taylor

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(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX)

Here are the rankings for national prime-time network television last week (Aug. 9-15) 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.

*--* Program Net- work View- ers Program Net- work View- ers

*--*

*--* 1 Summer Olympics (Sun.) NBC 25.82 2 Summer Olympics (Fri.) NBC 25.38 3 Summer Olympics (Sat.) NBC 19.82 4 Everybody Loves Raymond CBS 11.79 5 CSI CBS 11.52

6 Law and Order: SVU NBC 11.10 7 CSI: Miami CBS 10.90 8 Two and a Half Men CBS 10.85 9 AFC-NFC Hall of Fame Game ABC 10.84 10 Without a Trace CBS 10.74

11 Amazing Race: 5 CBS 10.39 12 AFC-NFC Showcase ABC 10.31 13 Big Brother 5 (Thu.) CBS 9.51 14 Big Brother 5 (Tue.) CBS 9.32 15 Law and Order NBC 9.29

16 Trading Spouses FOX 9.20 17 60 Minutes CBS 8.92 18 Last Comic Standing 2 (Thu.) NBC 8.81 19 Law and Order (9 p.m.) NBC 8.35 20 Last Comic Standing 2 (Tue.) NBC 8.14

21 Cold Case CBS 8.02 22 America's Funniest Home Videos (Sun.) ABC 7.81 23 Navy NCIS CBS 7.75 24 Extreme Makeover (9 p.m.) ABC 7.70 25 Yes, Dear CBS 7.57

26 60 Minutes II CBS 7.46 27 48 Hours Mystery CBS 7.33 28 Fear Factor NBC 6.98 29 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (Sun.) ABC 6.90 30 Still Standing CBS 6.80

31 For Love or Money 4 NBC 6.80 32 20/20 (Fri.) ABC 6.77 33 King of Queens (9:30 p.m.) CBS 6.76 34 Primetime Thursday ABC 6.70 35 Extreme Makeover (8 p.m.) ABC 6.66

36 America's Funniest Home Videos ABC 6.61 37 Most Outrageous Game Show Moments 2 NBC 6.57 38 CSI (Sun.) CBS 6.56 39 King of Queens CBS 6.37 40 Trading Spouses (Mon.) FOX 6.36

41 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (Tue.) ABC 6.28 42 2004 Teen Choice Awards FOX 6.19 43 According to Him ABC 6.14 44 My Wife & Kids (8:30 p.m.) ABC 6.10 45 Cops (9:30 p.m.) FOX 6.01

46 My Wife and Kids ABC 5.92 47 Cops (9 p.m.) FOX 5.86 48 Will & Grace NBC 5.79 49 Big Brother 5 (Sat.) NBC 5.64 50 Will & Grace (8 p.m.) NBC 5.58

51 Less Than Perfect ABC 5.44 52 ER NBC 5.17 53 Cops (8:30 p.m.) FOX 5.14 54 That '70s Show FOX 5.10 55 Blue Collar TV WB 4.84

56 The Days ABC 4.75 57 North Shore FOX 4.71 58 The Simpsons FOX 4.67 59 George Lopez ABC 4.55 60 Cops FOX 4.48

61 In the Jury Room ABC 4.41 62 Navy NCIS (Sat.) CBS 4.33 63 WWE Smackdown! UPN 4.16 64 In the Jury Room (Wed.) ABC 4.08 65 Quintuplets FOX 4.03

66 Amish in the City UPN 4.02 67 AFI 100 Years 100 Songs CBS 4.01 68 Wonderful World of Disney ABC 4.00 69 The Drew Carey Show ABC 3.94 70 The Drew Carey Show (9:30 p.m.) ABC 3.75

71 Summerland WB 3.68 72 Celebrity Boxing FOX 3.60 73 Reba (Thu.) WB 3.58 74 Amazing Race: 5 (Sat.) CBS 3.54 75 Arrested Development (Sun.) FOX 3.50

76 Hope & Faith ABC 3.41 77 Less Than Perfect (Fri.) ABC 3.39 78 "Man vs. Beast" (9 p.m.) FOX 3.36 79 8 Simple Rules ABC 3.33 80 Smallville (9 p.m.) WB 3.21

81 "Alien vs. Predator" FOX 3.02 82 "Man vs. Beast" FOX 2.96 83 Whose Line Is It Anyway? (10:30 p.m.) ABC 2.94 84 Whose Line Is It Anyway? ABC 2.87 85 Malcolm in the Middle FOX 2.86

86 Casino FOX 2.82 87 Smallville WB 2.75 88 Half and Half UPN 2.69 89 Gilmore Girls WB 2.67 90 Reba WB 2.65

91 Blue Collar TV (Fri.) WB 2.48 92 7th Heaven WB 2.46 93 One on One UPN 2.44 94 Oliver Beene FOX 2.35 95 Summerland (Mon.) WB 2.25

96 The Player UPN 2.21 97 All of Us UPN 2.15 98 Eve UPN 2.10 99 Girlfriends (9:30 p.m.) UPN 2.10 100 Girlfriends UPN 2.00

101 Charmed (9 p.m.) WB 1.89 102 Charmed WB 1.87 103 The Player (Tue.) UPN 1.80 104 Steve Harvey's Big Time (7:30 p.m.) WB 1.80

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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 NBC 15.14 10.15

CBS 7.65 11.91

ABC 6.16 8.19

FOX 4.71 8.59

WB 2.47 3.31

UPN 2.45 3.20

*--*

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