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Prime-time Tv Rankings

NBC scores with NFL openers

Six of the seven most-watched network programs are related to pro

September 16, 2009|City News Service

The start of the NFL's regular season gave NBC its first weekly prime-time ratings victory since the Super Bowl, according to figures released Tuesday by Nielsen Media Research.

NBC's "Sunday Night Football" game between the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers was the most-watched prime-time program between Sept. 7 and Sunday, averaging 21.1 million viewers.

The audience was the largest for a "Sunday Night Football" opener since the much-anticipated 2006 game between the Indianapolis Colts and New York Giants, quarterbacked by brothers Peyton and Eli Manning, respectively.

The Thursday night game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tennessee Titans was second for the week with 20.91 million viewers -- a record for a Thursday night season opener.

In a week when six of the seven most-watched programs were related to the NFL, NBC averaged 10.54 million viewers for its prime-time programming, winning for the first time since Super Bowl week.

The premiere of "The Vampire Diaries" on Thursday drew 4.91 million viewers, the most for a premiere on the CW, which is starting its fourth season.

"The Vampire Diaries" finished third in the 8-9 p.m. time slot and 45th for the week among the prime-time programming of the five major English-language networks, and won the most viewers ages 12-17 and females ages 12-17 and 18-34. The CW's other premiere for the week, "Melrose Place," drew 2.31 million viewers, finishing 80th for the week and fifth in its Tuesday 9-10 time slot but second among women ages 18-34.

ESPN's coverage of USC's 18-15 victory over Ohio State on Saturday averaged 10.59 million viewers, the most for any ESPN college football game and the most for any cable program during the week.

The game, which included Stafon Johnson's winning 2-yard touchdown run with just over one minute to play, would have ranked ninth among the prime-time programs on the major broadcast networks.

The MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday, in which rapper Kayne West drew headlines for interrupting an acceptance speech by county singer Taylor Swift, was the week's second most-watched cable program. It averaged 8.97 million viewers, its largest audience since 2004.

ESPN was the week's most-watched cable network for the second consecutive week, averaging 3.9 million viewers for its prime-time programming.

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Here are the rankings for national prime-time network television last week (Sept. 7-13) 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 NFL football: Chicago at Green Bay NBC 21.10 2 Football: Tennessee at Pittsburgh NBC 20.91 3 NFL Pregame (Sun.) NBC 17.00 4 NFL Pregame (Thu.) NBC 15.53 5 America's Got Talent (Tue.) NBC 12.03 *--*

*--* 6 Football Night in America Part 3 NBC 11.99 7 The OT FOX 11.34 8 NCIS CBS 11.22 9 60 Minutes CBS 10.52 10 America's Got Talent (Wed., 9 p.m.) NBC 10.06 *--*

*--* 11 NFL Opening Kick-Off Show NBC 9.23 12 Two and a Half Men CBS 9.02 13 The Mentalist CBS 8.34 14 The Big Bang Theory CBS 8.08 15 Hell's Kitchen FOX 7.97 *--*

*--* 16 Big Brother (Tue.) CBS 7.88 17 CSI CBS 7.56 18 Glee FOX 7.50 19 Big Brother (Thu.) CBS 7.44 20 Dateline (Fri.) NBC 7.40 *--*

*--* 21 Dateline (Mon.) NBC 6.74 22 Big Brother (Sun.) CBS 6.59 23 The Mentalist (Tue.) CBS 6.56 24 So You Think You Can Dance (Wed.) FOX 6.55 25 America's Got Talent (Tue., 8 p.m.) NBC 6.50 *--*

*--* 26 CSI: NY CBS 6.44 27 CSI: Miami CBS 6.42 28 Criminal Minds CBS 6.38 29 King of the Hill (8 p.m.) FOX 6.26 30 America's Funniest Home Videos ABC 6.06 *--*

*--* 31 King of the Hill (8:30 p.m.) FOX 6.04 32 Primetime: Family Secrets ABC 5.89 33 Law & Order: Criminal Intent (Mon., 9 p.m.) NBC 5.87 34 Law & Order: SVU (Sat.) NBC 5.86 35 Manana Es Para Siempre (Fri.) UNI 5.84 *--*

*--* 36 Law & Order: SVU (Wed.) NBC 5.60 37 Manana Es Para Siempre (Thu.) UNI 5.59 38 NASCAR Racing: Chevy Rock and Roll 400 ABC 5.53 39 America's Most Wanted: America FOX 5.37 -- Fights Back -- Law & Order: Criminal Intent (Mon., NBC 5.37 -- 8 p.m.) *--*

*--* 41 Law & Order (Sat.) NBC 5.35 42 Manana Es Para Siempre (Tue.) UNI 5.29 43 Cops (8:30 p.m.) FOX 5.17 44 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition ABC 5.04 45 Family Guy FOX 4.98 *--*

*--* 46 Wipeout ABC 4.95 47 How I Met Your Mother CBS 4.94 48 Vampire Diaries CW 4.91 49 Manana Es Para Siempre (Mon.) UNI 4.86 50 Football Night in America Part 2 NBC 4.78 *--*

*--* 51 Manana Para Siempre (Wed.) UNI 4.74 52 Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? FOX 4.61 53 Grey's Anatomy ABC 4.51 54 How I Met Your Mother (9:30 p.m.) CBS 4.46 55 Ghost Whisperer CBS 4.45 *--*

*--* 56 Castle (10 p.m.) ABC 4.34 57 Bones FOX 4.30 58 House (Mon., 8 p.m.) FOX 4.28 -- Numb3rs CBS 4.28 60 Shark Tank ABC 4.20 *--*

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