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'Big Bang' viewership explodes

October 30, 2009|City News Service

CBS' "The Big Bang Theory" is continuing to prove that its ratings success was not just a summer phenomenon.

The comedy drew its best-ever audience of 13.47 million viewers last week, finishing 13th for the week despite competing against the second most-watched show of the week, ABC's "Dancing With the Stars," according to figures released this week by the Nielsen Co.

Viewership for "The Big Bang Theory" was up substantially this summer, a trend that continued against tougher competition when the new television season began in September. The comedy drew what was its best-ever audience of 12.96 million viewers for its season premiere Sept. 21 and has built since then.

CBS' usual stalwarts enabled it to be the most-watched network for the fifth time in the season's five weeks, averaging 10.74 million viewers for its prime-time programming between Oct. 19 and Sunday.

For the fifth consecutive week, CBS had the most-watched program, "NCIS," and the most-watched new series, the spinoff "NCIS: Los Angeles."

Fox Broadcasting was second, averaging 10.28 million, thanks almost exclusively to its sports programming. Sunday's decisive Game 6 of the American League Championship Series between the Angels and Yankees was fourth for the week, with 15.48 million viewers, while Game 5 on Thursday was 19th, with 11.85 million.

ABC was third for the week, averaging 9.06 million.

The ESPN "Monday Night Football" game between the Denver Broncos and San Diego Chargers was the week's most-watched cable program, with 13.47 million viewers, which would have placed it 14th among the programs on the five major broadcast networks.

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Here are the rankings for national prime-time network television last week (Oct. 19-25) as compiled by Nielsen Co. 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.

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*--* -- Program Net- work View- ers *--*

*--* 1 NCIS CBS 21.25 2 Dancing With the Stars ABC 16.82 3 NCIS: Los Angeles CBS 16.48 4 Baseball: ALCS Game 6: Angels at Yankees (Sun.) FOX 15.48 5 The OT FOX 15.07 *--*

*--* 6 Grey's Anatomy (Thu., 9 p.m.) ABC 15.06 7 Football: Cardinals at Giants NBC 14.97 8 Dancing With the Stars (Results) ABC 14.92 9 Criminal Minds CBS 14.27 10 Desperate Housewives ABC 14.18 *--*

*--* 11 Two and a Half Men CBS 14.07 12 Baseball Pregame (Sun.) FOX 13.71 13 The Big Bang Theory CBS 13.47 14 The Good Wife CBS 13.26 15 CSI: Miami CBS 13.16 *--*

*--* 16 CSI: NY CBS 13.01 17 Survivor: Samoa CBS 12.90 18 60 Minutes CBS 12.47 19 Baseball: ALCS Game 5: Yankees at Angels FOX 11.85 20 The Mentalist CBS 11.79 *--*

*--* 21 House FOX 11.65 22 The Amazing Race CBS 11.22 23 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (8 p.m.) ABC 10.59 24 Baseball: ALCS Game 4: Yankees at Angels FOX 10.30 25 NFL Pre-Game (Sun.) NBC 10.24 *--*

*--* 26 CSI CBS 10.14 27 Brothers & Sisters ABC 9.97 28 Private Practice ABC 9.93 29 FlashForward ABC 9.87 30 The Biggest Loser NBC 9.82 *--*

*--* 31 Castle ABC 9.69 32 Cold Case CBS 9.30 33 Law & Order: SVU NBC 9.15 34 The Office NBC 8.73 35 Modern Family ABC 8.66 *--*

*--* 36 Ghost Whisperer CBS 8.59 37 Medium CBS 8.48 38 America's Funniest Home Videos ABC 8.45 39 Accidentally on Purpose CBS 8.26 40 Numb3rs CBS 8.18 *--*

*--* 41 How I Met Your Mother CBS 8.06 42 Football Night America (Part 3) NBC 7.97 43 Dateline (Fri.) NBC 7.82 44 Lie to Me FOX 7.79 45 Three Rivers CBS 7.78 *--*

*--* 46 Cougar Town ABC 7.31 47 The Forgotten ABC 7.30 48 Law & Order NBC 7.24 49 Mercy NBC 7.19 50 Glee FOX 7.15 *--*

*--* 51 So You Think You Can Dance (Wed.) FOX 6.91 52 48 Hours Mystery CBS 6.85 53 30 Rock NBC 6.84 54 Gary Unmarried CBS 6.76 55 The New Adventures of Old Christine CBS 6.58 *--*

*--* 56 The Middle ABC 6.52 57 The Jay Leno Show (Fri.) NBC 6.22 58 Shark Tank ABC 5.92 59 Hank ABC 5.77 60 20/20 (Fri.) ABC 5.72 *--*

*--* -- Heroes NBC 5.72 62 Football: Oregon St. vs. USC ABC 5.59 63 Sortilegio (Wed.) UNI 5.47 64 The Jay Leno Show (Tue.) NBC 5.46 -- Trauma NBC 5.46 *--*

*--* 66 The Jay Leno Show (Wed.) NBC 5.14 67 48 Hours Mystery (9 p.m.) CBS 5.11 68 Sortilegio (Tue.) UNI 5.04 -- Community NBC 5.04 70 The Jay Leno Show (Thu.) NBC 4.97 *--*

*--* 71 Parks and Recreation NBC 4.92 72 Sortilegio (Mon.) UNI 4.91 73 Eastwick ABC 4.77 74 Law & Order: SVU (Sat.) NBC 4.75 75 The Jay Leno Show (Mon.) NBC 4.74 *--*

*--* 76 Sortilegio (Thu.) UNI 4.74 77 Football Pregame (Sat.) ABC 4.59 78 Supernanny ABC 4.53 79 Sortilegio (Fri.) UNI 4.48 80 Ugly Betty ABC 4.42 *--*

*--* 81 En Nombre del Amor (Wed.) UNI 4.19 -- Cops 2 FOX 4.19 83 En Nombre del Amor (Tue.) UNI 4.04 84 Cops FOX 3.93 85 Cops (Sat., 9 p.m.) FOX 3.91 *--*

*--* 86 En Nombre del Amor (Mon.) UNI 3.89 87 En Nombre del Amor (Thu.) UNI 3.83 88 Cops (Sat., 9:30 p.m.) FOX 3.75 89 Rosa de Guadalupe (Fri.) UNI 3.57 90 En Nombre del Amor (Fri.) UNI 3.54 *--*

*--* 91 Crimetime Saturday (8 p.m.) CBS 3.46 *--*

*--* 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 CBS 10.74 12.3 Fox 10.28 8.7 ABC 9.06 9.96 NBC 7.24 7.82 UNI 3.53 3.64 *--*

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