NBC, which became an industry laughing-stock during the regular season with the Leno-O'Brien fiasco and a schedule replete with critically reviled shows, easily won the final week of the summer season. It was certainly helped by its telecast of Sunday Night Football, which saw 23.1 million people tuning in for the N.Y. Giants/Indianapolis Colts contest. The network also got a boost from the final two summer installments of America's Got Talent , which attracted 16.41 million viewers for the results show on Wednesday and 14.6 million for the final performances on Tuesday. NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams also coasted to a win among the nightly newscasts, capturing 7.79 million viewers. ABC World News with Diane Sawyer placed second with 7.11 million viewers, while the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric remained far behind with 4.97 million. ( Broadcasting and Cable magazine observed that all of the network newscasts lost viewers this past season, the Nightly News down an average of 138,000 viewers; World News down 256,000, and Evening News down 343,000. Among total viewers for the week, NBC led with an average 5.5 rating and a 10 share. CBS placed second with a 5.0/9. ABC followed with a 3.3/6, while Fox trailed with a 2.4/4.
The top ten shows of the week according to Nielsen Research 1. Sunday Night Football, NBC, 13.8/23; 2. Sunday Night Football Pre-Kickoff, NBC, 11.2/19; 3. America's Got Talent (Wednesday), NBC, 9.5/16; 4. America's Got Talent (Tuesday), NBC, 8.7/14; 5. 60 Minutes , CBS, 8.6/14; 6. Football Night In America , NBC, 8.2/14; 7. Survivor Nicaragua , CBS, 6.8/12; 8. NCIS , CBS, 6.7/12; 8. Outlaw , NBC, 6.7/12; 10. Undercover Boss , CBS, 5.5/9.