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Prime-Time TV Rankings

Olympics give NBC a boost

August 13, 2008|From City News Service

NBC's coverage of the first three days of the Summer Olympics proved to be immune from the trend of declining viewership for most forms of television programming, drawing nearly 27% more viewers than the corresponding period in the Athens Games four years ago, according to figures released Tuesday by Nielsen Media Research.

The average of 30.4 million viewers for the first three days of the Beijing Games was 26.7% more than the 24 million for the same period during the Athens Games.

The three nights of NBC's Olympics coverage were the week's three most-watched programs. NBC also had the most-watched non-Olympics program, the two-hour Tuesday edition of "America's Got Talent," fourth overall with 12.61 million viewers.

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Here are the rankings for national prime-time network television last week (Aug. 4-10) 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 286 million potential viewers in the U.S. ages 2 and older. Viewership is listed in millions.

*--* Program Nework Viewers *--*

*--* 1 Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony NBC 34.89 2 Summer Olympics (Sun.) NBC 32.26 3 Summer Olympics (Sat.) NBC 24.08 4 America's Got Talent NBC 12.61 5 Two and a Half Men CBS 9.98 *--*

*--* 6 So You Think Can Dance (Thu.) FOX 9.69 7 Criminal Minds CBS 9.11 8 So You Think Can Dance (Wed.) FOX 8.96 9 NCIS CBS 8.70 10 CSI: Miami CBS 7.89 *--*

*--* 11 Old Christine CBS 7.60 12 America's Got Talent (Thu.) NBC 7.57 13 Wipeout ABC 7.34 14 CSI: NY CBS 7.03 15 Big Brother 10 (Tue.) CBS 6.44 *--*

*--* 16 How I Met Your Mother CBS 6.36 17 60 Minutes CBS 6.32 18 The Big Bang Theory CBS 6.30 19 Flashpoint CBS 6.26 20 Nashville Star NBC 6.21 *--*

*--* 21 Celebrity Family Feud NBC 6.12 22 CSI CBS 6.09 23 Without a Trace CBS 5.93 24 Greatest American Dog CBS 5.89 25 House FOX 5.56 *--*

*--* 26 Big Brother 10 (Thu.) CBS 5.53 27 American Gladiators NBC 5.43 28 Big Brother 10 (Sun.) CBS 5.40 29 Primetime: China Inside Out ABC 5.37 30 America's Got Talent (Wed.) NBC 5.17 *--*

*--* 31 Hopkins ABC 4.92 32 Fuego en la Sangre (Mon.) UNI 4.84 33 Law & Order NBC 4.78 34 Al Diablo con Guapos (Tue.) UNI 4.77 35 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition ABC 4.72 *--*

*--* 36 Fuego en la Sangre (Tue.) UNI 4.69 37 Cold Case (10 p.m.) CBS 4.63 38 Al Diablo con Guapos (Wed.) UNI 4.62 *--*

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 5.68 9.19

ABC 3.68 7.93

NBC 17.67 7.51

FOX 5.02 9.65

UNI 3.31 3.49 *--*

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