Networks Give Up Viewers For Lent
Adding to the networks' current woes, the number of viewers for their current fare dropped again last week amid numerous reruns and failing new series. Even Fox's American Idol , which continues to pull in enormous audiences, was down more than 10 percent from the comparable week last year. Running counter to the exodus, the debut of the police drama Southland on the fourth-place network NBC produced the best numbers for a new show in the 10 00 p.m. hour in years -- with the second half hour attracting nearly 11 million viewers. Ironically, it's an hour that NBC has written off as too problematic and has decided to fill with a nightly Jay Leno variety show in the fall. Overall, CBS finished the week with an average 7.0 rating and a 12 share. Fox placed second (but remained first among adults 18-49) with a 5.4/9. ABC came in a distant third with a 4.9/8, while NBC remained in the cellar with a 4.0/7.
The top ten shows of the week according to Nielsen Research 1. American Idol (Wednesday), Fox, 13.4/21; 2. American Idol (Tuesday), Fox, 13.1/21; 3. Dancing With the Stars (Monday), ABC, 12.5/19; 4. NCIS, CBS, 10.9/17; 5. NCAA Basketball Championships (Monday), CBS, 10.8/18; 6. The Mentalist , CBS, 10.3/16; 7. CSI Crime Scene Investigation , CBS, 10.1/17; 8. Dancing With the Stars (Tuesday), ABC, 9.1/14; 9. Criminal Minds , CBS, 8.5/13; 10. (Tie) CSI NY , CBS, 7.9/13; 10. (Tie) House , Fox, 7.9/12; 10. (Tie) Without a Trace , CBS, 7.9/13.