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Prime-Time TV Rankings

CBS wins despite baseball

October 29, 2008|Scott Collins

The World Series lifted Fox to victory among young adults last week, but the matchup between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Tampa Bay Rays still wasn't enough to roll back CBS, which ran to its fourth straight weekly win among total viewers.

Fox surged on three prime-time baseball games for the week ending Oct. 26, with the most-watched being Sunday's Game 4, with 15.5 million viewers, according to figures published Tuesday by Nielsen Media Research.

Yet CBS still took three nights -- Tuesday, Thursday and Friday -- among total viewers. Thursday's "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" was the week's most-watched show (19.5 million viewers), notwithstanding competition from the World Series (12.8 million for Game 2) and ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" (14.4 million).

CBS was also the only network to grow (by 2%) in total viewers, compared with the same week last year. Its rivals were all down by double digits.

NBC continued to sputter, especially without its customary Sunday night football game. It was the only network that failed to win at least one night among the ad-friendly group of viewers ages 18 to 49. And some of its once-reliable series are flirting with record lows, including "Deal or No Deal" and "Heroes." ABC, also troubled this fall, drew strong results from the Saturday Penn State-Ohio State football game (10.4 million).

Overall, CBS led in viewers with an average of 11.3 million, trailed by Fox (10.9 million), ABC (10 million) and NBC (6.1 million).

On basic cable, ESPN's Monday face-off between the Denver Broncos and the New England Patriots was the week's No. 1 program, with 10.8 million viewers.

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(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX)

Here are the rankings for national prime-time network television last week (Oct. 20 - 26) 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 CSI CBS 19.49 2 Dancing With the Stars ABC 18.50 3 NCIS CBS 17.23 4 Dancing With the Stars: Results ABC 16.35 5 Desperate Housewives ABC 15.95 *--*

*--* 6 World Series Game 4 FOX 15.48 7 The Mentalist CBS 15.28 8 Criminal Minds CBS 15.01 9 World Series Game 1 FOX 14.63 Two and a Half Men CBS 14.63 *--*

*--* 11 Grey's Anatomy (Thu., 9 p.m.) ABC 14.45 12 CSI: NY CBS 14.39 13 CSI: Miami CBS 13.50 14 Survivor: Gabon CBS 13.31 15 The OT FOX 13.28 *--*

*--* 16 House FOX 13.08 17 World Series Game 4 Pregame FOX 13.06 18 60 Minutes CBS 12.82 19 World Series Game 2 FOX 12.78 20 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (8 p.m.) ABC 12.26 *--*

*--* 21 Cold Case CBS 11.97 22 Eleventh Hour CBS 11.85 23 Without a Trace CBS 11.63 24 Football (Sat.) ABC 10.37 25 Ghost Whisperer CBS 10.14 *--*

*--* 26 Worst Week CBS 9.87 27 Brothers & Sisters ABC 9.86 28 World Series Game 3 FOX 9.84 29 World Series Game 1 Pregame FOX 9.73 30 Amazing Race 13 CBS 9.70 *--*

*--* 31 Samantha Who? ABC 9.64 32 Law & Order: SVU NBC 9.50 33 How I Met Your Mother CBS 9.45 34 Numb3rs CBS 9.33 The Big Bang Theory CBS 9.33 *--*

*--* 36 The Unit CBS 9.16 37 Dancing With the Stars (Recap) ABC 9.04 38 Fringe FOX 8.91 39 ER NBC 8.82 40 Saturday Night Live: Weekend Update (Thu.) NBC 8.80 *--*

*--* 41 Ugly Betty ABC 8.70 42 America's Funniest Home Videos ABC 8.61 43 Heroes NBC 8.51 44 Boston Legal ABC 8.14 45 Eli Stone ABC 8.01 *--*

*--* 46 Private Practice ABC 7.98 Office NBC 7.98 48 Life on Mars ABC 7.86 49 The New Adventures of Old Christine CBS 7.76 50 Deal or No Deal (Wed.) NBC 7.61 *--*

*--* 51 Gary Unmarried CBS 7.56 52 20/20 (Fri.) ABC 7.50 53 The Biggest Loser 6 NBC 7.41 54 Knight Rider NBC 7.23 55 Crimetime Saturday CBS 7.15 *--*

*--* 56 Chuck NBC 6.87 57 Crimetime Saturday (8 p.m.) CBS 6.73 58 World Series Game 2 Pregrame FOX 6.54 59 Football Pre-Game (Sat.) ABC 6.49 60 My Name Is Earl NBC 6.39 *--*

*--* 61 48 Hours Mystery CBS 6.15 62 Deal or No Deal (Fri.) NBC 6.12 63 Crusoe NBC 6.09 64 Saturday Night Live: Weekend Update (Sat., 10:30 p.m.) NBC 6.03 65 Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? FOX 5.87 *--*

*--* 66 Dirty Sexy Money ABC 5.74 67 Saturday Night Live: Weekend Update (Sat., 10 p.m.) NBC 5.70 68 Pushing Daisies ABC 5.69 My Own Worst Enemy NBC 5.69 70 Don't Forget the Lyrics FOX 5.62 *--*

*--* 71 Fuego en la Sangre (Wed.) UNI 5.60 72 Life NBC 5.59 73 Fuego en la Sangre (Fri.) UNI 5.52 74 Fuego en la Sangre (Thu.) UNI 5.48 75 Prison Break FOX 5.45 *--*

*--* 76 Fuego en la Sangre (Mon.) UNI 5.40 77 The Ex List CBS 5.33 78 World Series Game 3 Pregame FOX 5.28 79 Cuidado con el Angel (Fri.) UNI 5.16 80 Fuego en la Sangre (Tue.) UNI 5.12 *--*

*--* Cuidado con el Angel (Mon.) UNI 5.12 82 Cuidado con el Angel (Wed.) UNI 5.10 83 Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles FOX 5.02 84 Supernanny ABC 5.00 85 Cuidado con el Angel (Thu.) UNI 4.99 *--*

*--* 86 Kath & Kim NBC 4.99 87 Cuidado con el Angel (Tue.) UNI 4.91 88 "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" NBC 4.56 89 America's Next Top Model CW 4.44 90 Lipstick Jungle NBC 4.31 *--*

*--* 91 Querida Enemiga (Thu.) UNI 4.18 92 Smallville CW 4.15 93 Querida Enemiga (Wed.) UNI 4.12 94 Wife Swap ABC 4.02 95 Noche 10 Gordo Flaca (Thu.) UNI 4.01 *--*

*--* 96 Querida Enemiga (Tue.) UNI 3.98 97 Show Suenos Sangre Mi (Sun.) UNI 3.97 98 Querida Enemiga (Mon.) UNI 3.91 *--*

-- Scott Collins

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