While special-event programming like the Super Bowl, the Winter Olympics, and the Oscars has been drawing record or near-record audiences this year, the day-to-day primetime schedules of the networks have been declining, the Associated Press observed today. It cited the example of CSI Crime Scene Investigation , whose ratings are down 22 percent from last year and Desperate Housewives, which is off 13 percent. The A.P. quoted Horizon Media analyst Brad Adgate as saying, "That's where the rubber meets the road, because that's ever week." Bucking the trend, the wire service noted, are CBS's The Big Bang Theory and NCIS . Thanks to its Oscars telecast, the pre-Oscar Red Carpet coverage, Barbara Walters's celebrity special and the finale of The Bachelor , ABC was the clear winner last week with an average rating of 7.4 and a 12 share. Fox, thanks primarily to American Idol , placed second with a 6.5/11. CBS, the usual winner, came in third with a 6.4/11, while NBC trailed with a 4.1/7.
The top ten shows of the week according to Nielsen Research 1. Academy Awards, ABC, 23.3/37; 2. Oscar's Red Carpet 2010 , ABC, 15.2/24; 3. American Ido l (Wednesday), Fox, 13.4/21; 4. American Idol (Tuesday), Fox, 13.1/20; 5. NCIS , CBS, 11.8/18; 6. American Idol (Thursday), Fox, 11.2/18; 7. Two and a Half Men, CBS, 10.1/15; 8. The Bachelor, ABC, 9.6/15; 9. Barbara Walters Special, ABC, 9.4/16; 9. CSI Crime Scene Investigation , CBS, 9.4/15; 9. The Mentalist, CBS, 9.4/17.