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Prime-Time TV Rankings

Viewers show up for Obama talk

September 04, 2008|Scott Collins | Times Staff Writer

Trailing clouds of Olympic glory, NBC pulled out a modest ratings win last week with the return of familiar unscripted fare, such as "Deal or No Deal" and "America's Got Talent."

In the first week following the end of the Beijing Olympics, NBC's prime time averaged 5.9 million viewers, according to figures released Wednesday by Nielsen Media Research. Trailing NBC for the week ending Aug. 31 were CBS (5.3 million), Fox (4.6 million) and ABC (4.1 million).

NBC had the three most-watched programs of the week, and its premiere of "America's Toughest Jobs" landed at No. 7 (7.3 million). The show retained a solid 96% of the key adults aged 18 to 49 audience from its "Deal or No Deal" lead-in.

ABC, CBS and NBC each sank to low ratings among young adults during the 10 p.m. hour Monday through Wednesday, with live coverage of the Democratic convention.

But the numbers jumped on Thursday, when Sen. Barack Obama addressed the Democratic throng in Denver. Among broadcasters, ABC led the way in coverage of Obama's acceptance speech, with 6.6 million tuning in.

Meanwhile, CNN's coverage of Obama's address was the week's No. 1 program on basic cable (8.1 million), besting TNT's cop drama "The Closer" (7.4 million).

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(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX)

Here are the rankings for national prime-time network television last week (Aug. 25-31) 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 America's Got Talent NBC 11.12 2 Deal or No Deal (Mon.) NBC 11.00 3 America's Got Talent (Wed.) NBC 10.34 4 Two and a Half Men CBS 9.03 5 60 Minutes CBS 8.03 *--*

*--* 6 NCIS CBS 7.45 7 America's Toughest Jobs NBC 7.30 8 Criminal Minds CBS 6.93 9 House FOX 6.81 10 The New Adventures of Old Christine CBS 6.63 *--*

*--* 11 Democratic National Convention (Thu.) ABC 6.58 12 Wipeout ABC 6.32 13 Big Brother 10 (Tue.) CBS 6.28 14 Democratic National Convention (Thu.) NBC 6.10 15 Bones (Wed., 9 p.m.) FOX 6.06 *--*

*--* 16 Democratic National Convention (Tue.) NBC 5.98 17 Big Brother 10 (Thu.) CBS 5.97 18 CSI: New York (Sun.) CBS 5.89 19 Big Brother 10 (Sun.) CBS 5.70 20 Greatest American Dog CBS 5.68 *--*

*--* 21 Bones (Wed., 8 p.m.) FOX 5.64 22 Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? (Thu. 9 p.m.) FOX 5.60 College Football (Sat.) ABC 5.60 24 How I Met Your Mother CBS 5.54 25 The Big Bang Theory CBS 5.48 *--*

*--* 26 Democratic National Convention (Wed.) NBC 5.46 27 Al Diablo con Guapos (Mon.) UNI 5.34 28 Al Diablo con Guapos (Tue.) UNI 5.32 29 CSI CBS 5.30 30 Cold Case CBS 5.28 *--*

*--* 31 Numb3rs (9 p.m.) CBS 5.23 32 Fuego en la Sangre (Tue.) UNI 5.22 33 Moment of Truth (Thu., 9 p.m.) FOX 5.18 34 Fuego en la Sangre (Mon.) UNI 5.17 35 Movie: "National Treasure"(Sun.) NBC 5.16 *--*

*--* 36 Al Diablo con Guapos (Thu.) UNI 5.13 37 America's Most Wanted: America Fights Back FOX 5.02 38 Al Diablo con Guapos (Wed.) UNI 4.98 39 Crimetime Saturday CBS 4.97 40 Fuego en la Sangre (Wed.) UNI 4.93 *--*

*--* 41 House (Tue.) (8 p.m.) FOX 4.87 42 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition ABC 4.86 43 Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? (Fri., 8 p.m.) FOX 4.82 44 Democratic National Convention (Tue.) ABC 4.76 45 Democratic National Convention (Thu.) CBS 4.72 *--*

*--* 46 Democratic National Convention (Mon.) NBC 4.71 47 Fuego en la Sangre (Thu.) UNI 4.68 48 Al Diablo con Guapos (Fri.) UNI 4.65 49 20/20 (Fri.) ABC 4.58 50 48 Hours Mystery CBS 4.46 *--*

*--* 51 Cops FOX 4.44 52 Ghost Whisperer CBS 4.43 53 Dateline (Fri.) NBC 4.40 54 America's Funniest Home Videos ABC 4.35 55 Fuego en la Sangre (Fri.) UNI 4.30 *--*

*--* 56 Prison Break (Mon., 9 p.m.) FOX 4.29 57 Law & Order: Criminal Intent (Sat., 10 p.m.) NBC 4.24 *--*

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 5.69 7.89

CBS 5.05 8.61

FOX 4.47 8.82

ABC 4.03 7.36

UNI 3.57 3.45 *--*

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