Thanks to enormous ratings for the finale of American Idol, Fox trounced its competition in the ratings for total viewers and adults 18-49 in the final week of the May sweeps, which coincides with the final week of the 2010-2011 season. The network averaged 6.9 million viewers for the week, miles ahead of No. 2 CBS, which averaged 4.8 million. Even more striking, Fox averaged 4.4 million viewers 18-49, nearly double ABC's 2.4 million and 2 1/2 times the 1.7 million that CBS and NBC each attracted during the week. ABC owed nearly all of its success in the demo to three shows Dancing With The Stars, which closed out the season, The Bachelorette , which made its season debut, and Modern Family . Its next highest-rated show, The Middle, came in at No. 35. Among the nightly newscasts, NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams remained the leader with 9.02 million total viewers. ABC World News with Diane Sawyer came in second with 8.09 million viewers. And the CBS Evening News , with Harry Smith acting as the transition anchor, placed third with 6.16 million viewers (slightly higher than Katie Couric's season's average of 5.99 million).
The top ten shows of the week according to Nielsen Research 1. American Idol (Wednesday), Fox, 15.6/25; 2. Dancing with the Stars (Monday), ABC, 14.2/23; 3. Dancing with the Stars (Tuesday 9 00 p.m.), ABC, 13.3/20; 4. American Idol (Tuesday), Fox, 11.4/18; 5. Dancing with the Stars (Tuesday 8 00 p.m.), ABC, 6.8/11; 5. Glee, Fox, 6.8/10; 7. NCIS, CBS, 6.4/10; 8. Modern Family, ABC, 6.1/10; 9. The Bachelorette, ABC, 6.0/9; 10. The Mentalist, CBS, 5.8/10.