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Prime-Time TV Rankings

Fox wins with 'Idol' finale

May 29, 2008|From City News Service

The season finale of "American Idol" enabled Fox to end CBS' four-week winning streak in the prime-time television ratings race, according to figures released Wednesday by Nielsen Media Research.

With the week's two "American Idol" broadcasts finishing in their customary 1-2 position, Fox averaged 12.48 million viewers for its 15 1/2 hours of prime-time programming between May 19 and Sunday. The week included the final three days of the official 2007-08 television season, in which Fox finished first in total viewers for the first time in its history.

CBS finished second for the week overall and had seven of the 10 most-watched scripted programs.

But CBS didn't fare as well in the news arena. Average viewership for the "The CBS Evening News With Katie Couric" sank to 5.33 million, its third record low in the last six weeks under Nielsen Media Research's People Meter system, which began in September 1987.

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Here are the rankings for national prime-time network television last week (May 19-25) 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 Net-work Viewers *--*

*--* 1 American Idol (Wed.) FOX 31.66 2 American Idol (Tue.) FOX 27.06 3 Dancing With the Stars (Tue., 9 p.m.) ABC 20.12 4 Dancing With the Stars (Mon.) ABC 19.22 5 Grey's Anatomy (Thu.) ABC 18.09 *--*

*--* 6 NCIS CBS 16.52 7 House FOX 16.36 8 CSI: Miami CBS 16.26 9 Two and a Half Men CBS 14.70 10 Criminal Minds CBS 13.15 *--*

*--* 11 Rules of Engagement CBS 12.29 12 CSI: NY CBS 11.83 13 Hell's Kitchen FOX 11.44 14 Deal or No Deal (Thu.) NBC 10.33 15 Bones FOX 10.30 *--*

*--* 16 Shark CBS 10.27 17 Ugly Betty ABC 8.75 18 Dancing With the Stars (Tue., 8 ABC 8.74 p.m.) So You Think You Can FOX 8.74 Dance 20 Law & Order (Wed., 10 p.m.) NBC 8.57 *--*

*--* 21 "Sprint Cup Winners Circle" FOX 8.39 22 The Bachelorette ABC 8.08 23 How I Met Your Mother (Mon.) CBS 7.99 24 Without a Trace CBS 7.72 25 Price Is Right Primetime CBS 7.59 *--*

*--* 26 "NASCAR Sprint Cup" FOX 7.58 27 The Big Bang Theory (Mon.) CBS 7.34 28 60 Minutes CBS 7.33 29 Numb3rs CBS 7.03 30 CSI CBS 6.63 *--*

*--* 31 Cold Case (9 p.m.) CBS 6.53 32 Boston Legal ABC 6.47 33 Cold Case (8 p.m.) CBS 6.34 34 Law & Order: SVU (Sun.) NBC 6.16 35 Dateline: NBC (Fri.) NBC 5.91 *--*

*--* 36 Last Comic Standing (Thu.) NBC 5.86 37 Dateline: NBC (Mon.) NBC 5.85 38 Law & Order: SVU (Tue., 10 p.m.) NBC 5.76 39 Ghost Whisperer (9 p.m.) CBS 5.75 40 "NBA Playoffs"(Sat., 8:30 p.m.) ABC 5.45 *--*

*--* 41 Law & Order (Wed., 8 p.m.) NBC 5.40 42 48 Hours Mystery CBS 5.39 43 Ghost Whisperer (8 p.m.) CBS 5.13 44 Most Outrageous Moments (Fri., 8:30 p.m.) NBC 5.06 45 Law & Order (Wed., 9 p.m.) NBC 5.05 *--*

*--* 46 Al Diablo con los Guapos (Mon.) UNI 5.00 47 Al Diablo con los Guapos (Thu.) UNI 4.98 48 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition ABC 4.96 Fuego en la Sangre (Mon.) UNI 4.96 50 Al Diablo con los Guapos (Tue.) UNI 4.83 *--*

*--* 51 20/20 ABC 4.79 52 Fuego en la Sangre (Tue.) UNI 4.75 53 Al Diablo con los Guapos (Wed.) UNI 4.73 54 Most Outrageous Moments (Fri., 8 p.m.) NBC 4.69 55 Al Diablo con los Guapos (Fri.) UNI 4.64 *--*

*--* 56 Fuego en la Sangre (Wed.) UNI 4.54 57 America's Funniest Home Videos ABC 4.37 58 Fuego en la Sangre (Thu.) UNI 4.35 59 America's Most Wanted FOX 4.33 60 How I Met Your Mother (Thu.) CBS 4.25 *--*

*--* 61 Cops (8:30 p.m.) FOX 4.21 62 Friday Night Smackdown CW 4.17 63 The Big Bang (Thu.) CBS 4.08 64 "Vinegar Hill" CBS 4.04 65 American Gladiators NBC 4.03 *--*

*--* 66 The Unit CBS 4.01 "Cheaper By the FOX 4.01 Dozen" 68 Most Outrageous (Tue., 8:30 p.m.) NBC 3.99 69 Law & Order (Sun.) NBC 3.97 70 Most Outrageous Moments (Tue., 8 NBC 3.95 p.m.) *--*

*--* 71 Grey's Anatomy (Fri.) ABC 3.88 Law & Order: SVU (Tue., 9 NBC 3.88 p.m.) 73 Dateline: NBC (Sun.) NBC 3.80 74 Most Outrageous (Sat., 9 NBC 3.78 p.m.) 75 Cops (8 p.m.) FOX 3.49 *--*

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 Lastweek Seasonto date FOX 12.48 10.80

CBS 8.53 10.01

ABC 8.42 8.83

NBC 5.25 7.71

UNI 3.35 3.53

CW 2.22 2.45 *--*

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