More TV viewers were watching reports about the budget crisis last week than most entertainment programs. NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams averaged 7.9 million viewers for the week. That would have put it at seventh place on the Nielsen primetime ratings list. ABC World News with Diane Sawyer with an average of 7.4 million viewers for the week, would have landed in eighth place. Even the also-ran CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley would have landed in the top thirty with 5.6 million viewers. Together, all three network newscasts averaged 20.9 million viewers. Reflecting the usual summer doldrums, when the major broadcast networks air mostly rerun scripted shows and inexpensive reality fare, CBS, the top-rated network among total adults, averaged just 6 million viewers for the week, winding up with a 3.9 rating and a 7 share. NBC, the No. 2 network for the week -- its ratings were swollen by its two America's Got Talent shows -- averaged 5 million viewers (3.1/5). ABC placed third with 4.6 million viewers (2.9/5), while Fox trailed with an average of 4.1 million viewers (2.5/4). (Fox remained the top-rated network among the key 18-49 demographic group, however.)
The top ten shows of the week according to Nielsen Research 1. America's Got Talent (Tuesday), NBC, 6.6/11; 2. America's Got Talent (Wednesday), NBC, 6.0/10; 3. NCIS, CBS, 5.9/10; 4. 60 Minutes, CBS, 5.8/11; 5. The Bachelorette , ABC, 5.4/9; 6. Big Brother 13 (Sunday), CBS, 4.7/8; 7. The Big Bang Theory, CBS, 4.4/8; 7. Flashpoint, CBS, 4.4/9; 9. B ig Brother 13 (Thursday), CBS, 4.3/7; 910. N CIS Los Angeles , CBS, 4.3/7.