NBC routed network rivals with its first full week of Winter Olympics competition. But the Torino Games took a back seat to several customary hits in the weekly Nielsen rankings.
Fox's American Idol kept its grip last week on the top two slots, with Wednesday's edition the week's top-rated show and Tuesday's broadcast No. 2. In third place, the ABC medical drama Grey's Anatomy was as healthy as ever, and its Sunday night lead-in, Desperate Housewives, was fourth. Fifth, sixth and seventh place were claimed by Olympics coverage airing on Monday, Saturday and Thursday, respectively.
ABC's Dancing with the Stars was next, followed by the Olympics' Sunday telecast, with Fox's doctor drama House rounding out the Top 10. Friday, Tuesday and Wednesday Olympics broadcasts took 11th, 13th and 15th place, according to Nielsen.
Overall, NBC won the week in prime time, averaging 19.4-million viewers , while ABC had 11.4-million and Fox 10.4-million. CBS, the season-to-date champion, fell to fourth place for the week with 10.2-million viewers. Univision had 4.1-million, the WB 3.7-million, UPN 2.6-million, Telemundo 1.1-million and Pax TV 440,000.
NBC's Nightly News won the evening news derby, averaging 10.2-million viewers. ABC's World News Tonight had 9-million, and the CBS Evening News 8.1- million.
1. American Idol-Wed., Fox, 28.8-million viewers
2. American Idol-Tue., Fox, 27.0-million
3. Grey's Anatomy, ABC, 24.4-million
4. Desperate Housewives, ABC, 23.4-million
5. Olympics-Mon., NBC, 21.1-million
6. Olympics-Sat., NBC, 19.7-million
7. Olympics-Thur., NBC, 19.4-million
8. Dancing with the Stars, ABC, 19.3-million
9. Olympics-Sun, NBC, 19.23-million
10. House, Fox, 19.20-million
11. Olympics-Fri., NBC, 18.9-million
12. CSI, CBS, 18.8-million
13. Olympics-Tue., NBC, 18.4-million
14. Lost, ABC, 18.2-million
15. Olympics-Wed., NBC, 17.9-million
16. Survivor, CBS, 17.0-million
17. Dancing with the Stars results, ABC, 15.8-million
18. Without a Trace, CBS, 14.7-million
19. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, ABC, 14.6-million
20. Two and a Half Men, CBS, 13.6-million