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Prime-time Tv Rankings

CBS No. 1 despite 'Idol'

March 11, 2009|City News Service

Fox's three "American Idol" broadcasts won the top three prime-time slots last week, while ABC drew its largest audience in five-plus years for "The Bachelor," but CBS' strength in scripted shows made it the most-watched network for the 18th time in the 24-week season.

With 10 of the week's top 16 programs, CBS averaged 11.23 million viewers for its prime-time programming between March 2 and Sunday, according to figures released Tuesday by Nielsen Media Research.

A guest appearance on CBS' "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" by singer-songwriter Taylor Swift helped make the show the week's most-watched scripted program. It was also the fourth most-watched program overall, with 20.88 million viewers, the most since William Petersen's final episode Jan. 15.

Four hours of programming of "The Bachelor" helped ABC increase its audience 8% over the previous week.

NBC's struggle to attract viewers continued. Its most-watched show, "The Biggest Loser," was 35th with 8.95 million viewers. Fox finished first for the fifth consecutive week among viewers ages 18 to 49.

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Here are the rankings for national prime-time network television last week (March 2-8) 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 (Tue.) FOX 24.31 2 American Idol (Wed.) FOX 22.78 3 American Idol (Thu.) FOX 21.50 4 CSI CBS 20.87 5 The Bachelor: After the Final Rose ABC 17.47 *--*

*--* 6 The Bachelor ABC 15.48 7 Two and a Half Men CBS 15.47 8 NCIS CBS 13.67 9 Desperate Housewives ABC 13.65 10 CSI: Miami CBS 13.42 *--*

*--* 11 60 Minutes CBS 13.31 12 The Mentalist CBS 12.63 13 Cold Case CBS 12.62 14 Eleventh Hour CBS 12.05 15 Survivor: Tocantins CBS 11.85 *--*

*--* 16 Rules of Engagement CBS 11.82 17 24 FOX 11.14 18 How I Met Your Mother CBS 11.09 -- Ghost Whisperer CBS 11.09 20 The Bachelor: After the Final ABC 10.90 -- Rose (Part 2) *--*

*--* 21 CSI: NY CBS 10.83 -- The Big Bang Theory CBS 10.83 23 Lost ABC 10.65 24 Without a Trace CBS 10.47 25 Brothers & Sisters ABC 10.31 *--*

*--* 26 Lie to Me FOX 10.20 27 Criminal Minds CBS 10.14 28 The Amazing Race 14 CBS 10.13 29 Numb3rs CBS 10.12 30 Flashpoint CBS 9.86 *--*

*--* 31 Hell's Kitchen FOX 9.71 32 Extreme Makeover: Home ABC 9.40 -- Edition (8 p.m.) 33 The Unit CBS 9.38 34 Crimetime Saturday CBS 9.00 35 The Biggest Loser 7 NBC 8.95 *--*

*--* 36 48 Hours Mystery CBS 8.81 37 ER NBC 8.71 38 Office NBC 8.54 39 20/20 Special Edition (Fri.) ABC 8.45 40 The Celebrity Apprentice NBC 7.69 *--*

*--* 41 20/20 (Fri.) ABC 7.60 42 Medium NBC 7.26 43 30 Rock NBC 7.25 44 Heroes NBC 7.15 45 Family Guy FOX 7.09 *--*

*--* 46 Law & Order: SVU NBC 7.04 47 America's Funniest Home Videos ABC 6.94 48 Crimetime Saturday (8 p.m.) CBS 6.88 49 Chuck NBC 6.66 50 Ugly Betty ABC 6.34 *--*

*--* 51 SNL (Sun., 8 p.m.) NBC 6.10 52 The Simpsons FOX 5.96 53 Cops 2 FOX 5.73 54 Grey's Anatomy (Thu., 9 p.m.) ABC 5.70 55 Knight Rider NBC 5.68 *--*

*--* -- Homeland Security USA ABC 5.68 57 Law & Order NBC 5.65 58 America's Most Wanted: America FOX 5.62 -- Fights Back 59 Cops FOX 5.49 60 My Name Is Earl NBC 5.45 *--*

*--* 61 American Dad FOX 5.37 62 Life on Mars ABC 5.34 63 Law & Order (Sat.) NBC 5.21 -- The New Adventures of Old Christine CBS 5.21 65 Gary Unmarried CBS 5.11 *--*

*--* 66 King of the Hill FOX 4.95 67 Manana Para Siempre (Mon.) UNI 4.93 68 Cuidado con el Angel (Mon.) UNI 4.90 69 Dateline (Fri.) NBC 4.86 70 Manana Para Siempre (Wed.) UNI 4.83 *--*

*--* 71 Cuidado con el Angel (Wed.) UNI 4.64 72 Manana Para Siempre (Tue.) UNI 4.63 73 Cuidado con el Angel (Tue.) UNI 4.62 74 Manana Para Siempre (Thu.) UNI 4.61 75 Lost (Wed., 8 p.m.) ABC 4.57 *--*

*--* 76 Manana Para Siempre (Fri.) UNI 4.56 77 America's Funniest Home Videos (Sat.) ABC 4.54 78 Private Practice ABC 4.41 79 Cuidado con el Angel (Fri.) UNI 4.38 80 Wife Swap ABC 4.27 *--*

*--* 81 Cuidado con el Angel (Thu.) UNI 4.25 82 Life NBC 4.24 83 Kath & Kim NBC 4.09 84 Howie Do It (8 p.m.) NBC 4.03 85 Howie Do It (8:30 p.m.) NBC 3.97 *--*

*--* 86 America's Next Top Model CW 3.92 87 Tontas No Van Cielo (Mon.) UNI 3.87 88 Tontas No Van Cielo (Wed.) UNI 3.78 *--*

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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 CBS 11.23 11.18 FOX 11.2 8.97 ABC 7.97 8.47 NBC 6.02 7.86 UNI 3.73 3.92 *--*

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