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Prime-Time TV Rankings

Network viewership declines

May 21, 2008|Steven Herbert | City News Service

Even the finales for such hits as CBS' "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" and ABC's "Desperate Housewives" are not immune from prime-time television's post-writers strike decline in viewership, according to figures released Tuesday by Nielsen Media Research.

In a week when total viewership on the five major networks was 13% less than the similar week a year ago, the audience for Thursday's "CSI" season finale, the week's most-watched scripted series, was down 12% to 18.06 million viewers; "Desperate Housewives" fell 11% to 16.84 million; and "Grey's Anatomy" decreased 31% to 15.55 million.

On a more upbeat note, CBS' coverage of Sunday's Academy of Country Music Awards reversed the usual trend of declining ratings for awards shows by drawing 11.73 million viewers, 26% more than last year's record-low of 9.28 million, finishing 15th for the week.

CBS was the winner for the fourth consecutive week, averaging 10.33 million viewers for its 22 hours of prime-time programming between May 12 and Sunday. ABC was second with 9.56 million. Fox was third, averaging 9.2 million viewers, despite the usual 1-2 finish by "American Idol."

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday, May 22, 2008 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 30 words Type of Material: Correction
Television ratings: An article in Wednesday's Calendar section about prime-time television ratings referred to last week's episode of "Grey's Anatomy" as its season finale. The finale is scheduled for tonight.

TNT was cable's most-watched network for the third consecutive week, averaging 3.07 million viewers for its prime-time programming, thanks in part to a 1-2 finish by its Wednesday NBA playoff doubleheader.

The Lakers' 111-104 victory over the Utah Jazz in Game 5 of their Western Conference semifinal series last Wednesday was cable's most-watched program with 5.45 million viewers, which would have placed it 57th among the programs on the five major broadcast networks.

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Here are the rankings for national prime-time network television last week (May 12-18) 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 Network Viewers 1 American Idol (Wed.) FOX 24.86 2 American Idol (Tue.) FOX 24.77 3 Dancing With the Stars (Mon.) ABC 18.47 4 CSI (9 p.m.) CBS 18.06 5 Dancing With the Stars Results (Tue.) ABC 16.99 *--*

*--* 6 Desperate Housewives ABC 16.84 7 Grey's Anatomy ABC 15.55 8 House FOX 15.02 9 NCIS CBS 14.88 10 Without a Trace CBS 14.54 *--*

*--* 11 CSI: Miami CBS 13.92 12 Two and a Half Men CBS 13.82 13 Criminal Minds (Wed.) CBS 12.88 14 CSI: NY CBS 11.86 15 "Academy of Country Music Awards" CBS 11.73 *--*

*--* 16 Law & Order: SVU (Tue.) NBC 11.50 17 Hell's Kitchen FOX 11.31 18 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (8 p.m.) ABC 11.22 19 Lost ABC 10.96 20 60 Minutes CBS 10.79 *--*

*--* 21 Rules of Engagement CBS 10.62 22 Samantha Who? ABC 10.24 23 Shark CBS 10.00 24 Numb3rs CBS 9.78 25 Bones FOX 9.68 *--*

*--* 26 How I Met Your Mother CBS 8.93 27 Bachelor: London Calling ABC 8.85 28 Medium NBC 8.73 29 Ugly Betty ABC 8.46 30 Law & Order (Wed.) NBC 8.46 *--*

*--* 31 Ghost Whisperer CBS 8.44 32 ER NBC 8.43 33 Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? FOX 8.42 34 Criminal Minds (Tue.) CBS 8.37 35 The Office (Thu.) NBC 8.21 *--*

*--* 36 Women's Murder Club ABC 7.91 37 Boston Legal ABC 7.80 38 The Big Bang Theory CBS 7.79 39 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (7 p.m.) ABC 7.67 40 CSI (8 p.m.) CBS 7.60 *--*

*--* 41 Moonlight CBS 7.47 42 Price Is Right Primetime CBS 7.23 43 Deal or No Deal (Wed.) NBC 7.22 44 My Name Is Earl NBC 7.17 45 Back to You FOX 7.06 *--*

*--* 46 America's Funniest Home Videos ABC 6.82 47 Don't Forget the Lyrics FOX 6.65 48 Wife Swap ABC 6.28 49 Law & Order: SVU (9 p.m.) NBC 6.21 50 The Simpsons (8 p.m.) FOX 6.19 *--*

*--* 51 Family Guy FOX 6.18 52 20/20 ABC 6.12 53 48 Hours Mystery CBS 6.02 54 Til Death FOX 5.90 55 Supernanny ABC 5.89 *--*

*--* 56 American Dad FOX 5.64 57 King of the Hill (8:30 p.m.) FOX 5.40 58 Al Diablo con los Guapos (Thu.) UNI 5.38 59 Al Diablo con los Guapos (Mon.) UNI 5.11 60 Crimetime Saturday (9 p.m.) CBS 5.05 *--*

*--* 61 Law & Order (Sat.) NBC 5.00 62 American Gladiators (Mon.) NBC 4.99 63 Al Diablo con los Guapos (Tue.) UNI 4.97 64 Fuego en la Sangre (Mon.) UNI 4.89 65 Cops (8:30 p.m.) FOX 4.87 *--*

*--* 66 America's Most Wanted FOX 4.81 67 Fuego en la Sangre (Wed.) UNI 4.78 68 Fuego en la Sangre (Tue.) UNI 4.76 69 America's Top Model 4 (Wed.) CW 4.75 70 Law & Order: SVU (Sun.) NBC 4.74 *--*

*--* 71 Fuego en la Sangre (Thu.) UNI 4.63 72 Crimetime Saturday (8 p.m.) CBS 4.62 73 Aqui y Ahora UNI 4.52 74 According to Jim (8:30 p.m.) ABC 4.45 75 Dateline: NBC (Sun.) NBC 4.43 *--*

*--* 76 Al Diablo con los Guapos (Wed.) UNI 4.42 77 Fuego en la Sangre (Fri.) UNI 4.40 78 Dateline: NBC (Fri.) NBC 4.32 79 Nuestra Belleza UNI 4.30 80 According to Jim (8 p.m.) ABC 4.22 *--*

*--* 81 Friday Night Smackdown! CW 4.18 82 Most Outrageous Moments (8:30 p.m.) NBC 4.05 83 Al Diablo con los Guapos (Fri.) UNI 3.98 84 Most Outrageous Moments (8 p.m.) NBC 3.95 85 Cops (8 p.m.) FOX 3.94 86 Smallville CW 3.85 *--*

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 10.33 10.05

ABC 9.56 8.85

FOX 9.20 10.76

NBC 5.54 7.78

UNI 3.58 3.54

CW 2.68 2.46 *--*

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