CBS may have been shut out of the top four positions on the Nielsen ratings chart for last week, but it nevertheless wound up as the No. 1 network for the week among total adults and adults 18-49. Particularly impressive is that the network averaged 16.7 million viewers for its coverage of the NCAA basketball semifinal game on Saturday night -- a night that the television networks have written off in the general belief that younger viewers do not stay home on Saturday nights. The huge audience for the basketball game certainly seems to demonstrate that if they are offered appealing fare, they'll stay home to watch it. (The theatrical box office was down 30 percent last weekend, due in part, analysts indicated, to the hoops competition.) With less dire news coming in from Libya and Japan, ratings for all the evening newscasts dipped. NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams averaged 8.76 million viewers for the week. In second place was ABC World News with Diane Sawyer which averaged 7.86 million viewers. The CBS Evening News with Katie Couric trailed with 5.61 million viewers. For the week among total adults, CBS led with a 7.1 average and a 12 share. ABC finished second with a 5.8/10. Fox was third with a 4.8/8, while NBC trailed with a 3.4/6.
The top ten shows of the week according to Nielsen Research 1. Dancing with the Stars (Monday), ABC, 13.9/21; 2. American Idol (Wednesday), Fox, 13.6/21; 3. American Idol (Thursday), Fox, 12.9/21; 4. Dancing with the Stars (Tuesday), ABC, 12.0/18; 5. NCIS, CBS, 11.3/18; 6. NCAA Basketball Championship Kentucky vs. Connecticut (Saturday), CBS, 9.5/17; 7. NCIS Los Angeles, CBS, 9.3/14; 8. The Mentalist, CBS, 9.0/15; 9. Body of Proof (Tuesday), ABC, 8.9/14; 10. Grey's Anatomy, ABC, 8.3/13.