CBS combined the most-watched Grammy telecast since 2004 with the week's two most-watched scripted programs for its 16th ratings victory in the season's 19 weeks.
CBS averaged 12.02 million viewers for its prime-time programming between Jan. 25 and Sunday, according to figures released Tuesday by the Nielsen Co.
CBS' coverage of Sunday's Grammy Awards ceremony was the week's most-watched program, averaging 25.87 million viewers, its largest audience since the 2004 ceremony, which averaged 26.29 million viewers. Viewership was up 36% over last year's 19.05 million.
Despite the increase, Sunday's viewership was just more than half the record 51.67 million viewers for the 1984 ceremony. CBS' "NCIS" was the week's most-watched scripted program, finishing fourth overall behind the Grammys and two "American Idol" episodes with 20.22 million viewers. "NCIS" came the closest it ever has to topping an "Idol" episode, with 4.23 million fewer viewers.
Through three weeks and six episodes, "American Idol" viewership is down 3% overall from last season, declining to 27 million from 27.9 million.
ESPN's coverage of the Pro Bowl drew its largest audience since 2000, averaging 12.3 million viewers, which would have placed it ninth among the prime-time programs on the five major broadcast networks.