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Prime-Time TV Rankings

Olympics dominate; reruns take the silver

September 01, 2004|Jonathan Taylor

For the second week in a row, prime-time TV viewership was thoroughly dominated by NBC's coverage of the Summer Olympics in Athens, followed by CBS' mix of repeats and veteran reality shows. No other network even made the top 20.

Although Olympics dominated the week ending Sunday, the Games did not draw quite the viewership of the first week. With fewer marquee events like gymnastics and swimming, viewership dipped from sky-high to merely impressive, according to data released Tuesday by Nielsen Media Research. The Aug. 23 programming -- highlighted by the last night of women's gymnastics and the women's softball gold medal game -- was the week's most-watched.

CBS occupied the remaining 13 slots in the top 20 and 18 of the top 30. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer is behind the three dramas that round out the top 10.

Aside from pre-season NFL football, ABC doesn't enter the list until a rerun of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" in 25th place. A repeat episode of "The Simpsons" is Fox's first appearance on the list, in 27th place.

Those two networks, which tend to skew younger, did better among 18- to 49-year-old viewers, a key demographic for advertisers. ABC's "Monday Night Football" and "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" and Fox's "The Simpsons," "Family Guy" and "That '70s Show" made the top 20 in that measurement.

Overall for the week, NBC was the most-watched network, averaging 22 million viewers, followed by CBS (7.4), ABC (4.5), Fox (4.3), UPN (2.5) and the WB (2.3).

In cable, a contest of a different kind dominated viewership. MTV's "2004 Video Music Awards" Sunday night was the runaway winner, attracting 10.3 million viewers. The post-show and pre-show drew 4.5 million and 4 million viewers, respectively. NASCAR auto racing also did well, with the "Sharpie 500" from Bristol, Tenn., and the post-race show finishing second and third, respectively.

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(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX)

Here are the rankings for national prime-time network television last week (Aug. 23-29) 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 "2004 Summer Olympics" (Mon.) NBC 25.94 2 "2004 Summer Olympics" (Tue.) NBC 24.97 3 "2004 Summer Olympics" (Wed.) NBC 24.26 4 "2004 Summer Olympics" (Thu.) NBC 21.51 5 "2004 Summer Olympics" (Fri.) NBC 20.14

6 "2004 Summer Olympics" (Sun.) NBC 19.56 7 "2004 Summer Olympics" (Sat.) NBC 18.03 8 CSI CBS 12.55 9 Amazing Race: 5 CBS 10.49 10 Without a Trace CBS 10.47

11 CSI: Miami CBS 10.19 12 Big Brother 5 (Tue.) CBS 9.67 13 60 Minutes CBS 9.58 14 Everybody Loves Raymond CBS 9.43 15 Two and a Half Men CBS 8.82

16 Cold Case CBS 8.78 17 Big Brother 5 (Thu.) CBS 8.65 18 48 Hours Mystery CBS 8.10 19 Navy NCIS CBS 8.05 20 60 Minutes II CBS 7.34

21 "Pre-Season Showcase" ABC 7.26 22 "NFL Pre-Season Football" (Mon.) ABC 7.13 23 Still Standing CBS 6.35 24 Yes, Dear CBS 6.16 25 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (Sun.) ABC 6.00

26 King of Queens CBS 5.96 27 The Simpsons FOX 5.90 28 King of Queens (9:30 p.m.) CBS 5.89 My Wife and Kids ABC 5.89 30 "Tomorrow Never Dies" CBS 5.83

31 America's Most Wanted FOX 5.64 32 Family Guy (9:30 p.m.) FOX 5.54 33 Family Guy (9 p.m.) FOX 5.34 34 Cops (8:30 p.m.) FOX 5.20 35 Family Guy (8:30 p.m.) FOX 5.18

36 George Lopez ABC 5.09 37 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (Tue.) ABC 5.05 38 20/20 ABC 4.93 39 48 Hours Investigates CBS 4.88 40 That '70s Show (Tue., 9:30 p.m.) FOX 4.77

41 According to Jim ABC 4.75 That '70s Show (Mon., 8:30 p.m.) FOX 4.75 43 Extreme Makeover ABC 4.70 44 8 Simple Rules ABC 4.67 45 Family Guy (8 p.m.) FOX 4.62

46 "Charlie's Angels" ABC 4.50 47 That '70s Show (Tue., 9 p.m.) FOX 4.47 That '70s Show (Mon., 8 p.m.) FOX 4.47 49 "NFL Pre-Season Football" (Sat.) CBS 4.46 50 Trading Spouses FOX 4.36

WWE Smackdown! UPN 4.36 52 "NFL on Fox Pre-Season" FOX 4.32 53 The Practice ABC 4.29 54 Cops FOX 4.24 55 Hope & Faith ABC 4.13

56 Less Than Perfect (Fri.) ABC 4.12 57 Less Than Perfect (Tue.) ABC 4.01 58 Arrested Development FOX 4.00 59 Blue Collar TV WB 3.98 60 Malcolm in the Middle FOX 3.84

61 JAG CBS 3.81 62 In the Jury Room (Wed.) ABC 3.78 63 In the Jury Room (Tue.) ABC 3.71 64 The Drew Carey Show (9 p.m.) ABC 3.65 65 Reba (Thu.) WB 3.60

66 Simple Life (9:30 p.m.) FOX 3.57 67 Simple Life (9 p.m.) FOX 3.56 68 Casino FOX 3.53 69 Joan of Arcadia CBS 3.51 70 Simple Life (8 p.m.) FOX 3.43

71 The Drew Carey Show (9:30 p.m.) ABC 3.36 72 "Little League World Series" (Sun.) ABC 3.35 73 Simple Life (8:30 p.m.) FOX 3.31 74 Amish in the City UPN 3.29 75 Casino (Sun.) FOX 3.08

76 Reba WB 2.99 77 Oliver Beene FOX 2.89 78 Steve Harvey's Big Time (7:30 p.m.) WB 2.76 79 7th Heaven WB 2.74 80 Girlfriends UPN 2.70

81 Smallville WB 2.65 Half and Half UPN 2.65 83 Whose Line Is It Anyway? (10:30 p.m.) ABC 2.63 84 Eve UPN 2.61 85 One On One UPN 2.53

86 Girlfriends (9:30 p.m.) UPN 2.52 87 "Little League World Series" (Sat.) ABC 2.48 88 Blue Collar TV (Fri.) WB 2.42 89 All of Us UPN 2.41 90 Gilmore Girls WB 2.38

91 Charmed WB 2.25 Smallville (9 p.m.) WB 2.25 93 Steve Harvey's Big Time WB 2.18 94 Whose Line Is It Anyway? ABC 2.12 95 Grounded for Life WB 2.11

96 Charmed (9 p.m.) WB 2.03 97 What I Like About You WB 1.91 The Player (Wed.) UPN 1.91 99 The Player (Tue.) UPN 1.60 100 Everwood WB 1.58

101 One Tree Hill WB 1.57 102 Studio 7 WB 1.37 103 Amish in the City (Fri.) UPN 1.03 104 Enterprise UPN 0.98

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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 22.03 10.70

CBS 7.37 11.72

ABC 4.54 8.04

FOX 4.33 8.41

UPN 2.52 3.17

WB 2.30 3.27

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