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Football seals deal for NBC

September 10, 2008|From City News Service

A pair of NFL telecasts and the three most-watched entertainment programs gave NBC its fifth consecutive victory in the prime-time television rankings race, its longest streak in four years, while the CW had unprecedented success thanks to the return of "Gossip Girl" and the premiere of "90210."

NBC averaged 9.19 million viewers for its prime-time programming from Sept. 1 through Sunday, according to figures released Tuesday by Nielsen Media Research. Fox Broadcasting was second with 7.23 million, followed by CBS with 5.32 million, ABC with 4.13 million and the CW with 3.12 million.

Three of NBC's previous first-place finishes during the current streak were either totally or partially the result of its Beijing Olympics coverage. NBC also finished first for the fifth consecutive week among viewers ages 18 to 49, the group it, ABC and Fox target and advertisers covet.

NBC's coverage of the "Sunday Night Football" game between the Chicago Bears and the Indianapolis Colts was the week's most-watched program, averaging 18.35 million viewers, while its Thursday night game between the New York Giants and the Washington Redskins was second for the week with 13.53 million viewers.

Viewership for Sunday's game was up 1% from the 18.16 million who watched last year's "Sunday Night" opener between the Giants and the Dallas Cowboys. The Thursday game viewership was down 24% from the 17.79 million for the 2007 Thursday opener between the New Orleans Saints and the Indianapolis Colts, which NBC attributed to starting 90 minutes earlier because of coverage of the Republican National Convention, with the game beginning when many potential viewers were not home.

The heavily promoted two-hour premiere of "90210" was 60th for the week with 4.65 million viewers but was the week's most-watched program among women ages 18 to 34, the first time a CW program has achieved that feat.

The Labor Day season premiere of "Gossip Girl" was 78th for the week and fourth in its Monday 8-9 p.m. time slot with 3.43 million viewers, its second most-watched audience ever, trailing only its premiere

The "NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams" was the most-watched network newscast for the 14th consecutive week, with 8.23 million viewers, while ABC's "World News With Charles Gibson" was second, averaging 7.7 million." "CBS Evening News With Katie Couric" was third for the 102nd consecutive week, averaging 5.53 million viewers.

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Here are the rankings for national prime-time network television last week (Sept. 1-7) 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 View- ers Program Net- work View- ers *--*

*--* 1 NFL: Chicago at Indianapolis (Sun.) NBC 18.35 2 NFL: Wash. at N.Y. Giants (Thu.) NBC 13.53 3 NFL Pre-game (Sun.) NBC 13.34 4 NFL Post-game (Sun.) FOX 12.91 5 Deal or No Deal (Mon.) NBC 10.96 *--*

*--* 6 America's Got Talent NBC 10.77 7 America's Got Talent (Wed.) NBC 10.25 8 60 Minutes CBS 10.07 9 Football Night America (Part 3) NBC 10.03 10 Bones FOX 9.74 *--*

*--* 11 The OT FOX 8.99 12 Republican Convention (Thu.) NBC 8.66 13 Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? (Fri. 9 p.m.) FOX 8.57 14 NCIS CBS 8.17 15 Two and a Half Men CBS 7.83 *--*

*--* 16 House FOX 7.75 17 CSI CBS 7.27 18 Big Brother 10 (Sun.) CBS 7.20 19 Hole in the Wall (Sun.) FOX 7.15 20 America's Toughest Jobs NBC 7.14 *--*

*--* 21 20/20 (Fri.) ABC 6.75 22 Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? FOX 6.64 23 Big Brother 10 (Thu.) CBS 6.57 24 Prison Break FOX 6.53 25 Big Brother 10 (Tue.) CBS 6.46 *--*

*--* 26 Al Diablo con Guapos (Thu.) UNI 6.07 27 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (8 p.m.) ABC 5.98 28 Republican Convention (Thu.) ABC 5.97 29 New Adventures of Old Christine CBS 5.95 30 Republican Convention (Wed.) ABC 5.90 *--*

*--* 31 Cops 2 FOX 5.88 32 Wipeout ABC 5.84 33 Al Diablo con Guapos (Tue.) UNI 5.83 34 Family Guy (Sun., 9:30 p.m.) FOX 5.78 35 Criminal Minds CBS 5.75 *--*

*--* 36 America's Funniest Home Videos ABC 5.58 37 Fuego en la Sangre (Wed.) UNI 5.57 38 Al Diablo con Guapos (Mon.) UNI 5.53 39 Al Diablo con Guapos (Wed.) UNI 5.52 40 Fuego en la Sangre (Tue.) UNI 5.47 *--*

*--* 41 Republican Convention (Mon.) NBC 5.45 42 The Simpsons (Sun., 8:30 p.m.) FOX 5.37 43 America's Most Wanted: America Fights Back FOX 5.35 44 Republican Convention (Thu). CBS 5.30 45 Kitchen Nightmares FOX 5.28 *--*

*--* 46 Football Night America (Part 2) NBC 5.27 47 Family Guy FOX 5.20 48 Fuego en la Sangre (Mon.) UNI 5.16 49 Fuego en la Sangre (Fri.) UNI 5.06 50 House (Tue., 8 p.m.) FOX 4.96 *--*

*--* Al Diablo con Guapos UNI 4.96 (Fri.) 52 Greatest American Dog CBS 4.95 53 48 Hours Mystery CBS 4.91 54 Cops FOX 4.89 55 U.S. Open Tennis Women's Final CBS 4.85 (Sun.) *--*

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