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Nielsen Ratings Top 20: NBC Takes Gold, Silver and Bronze Again

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August 19th, 2008

Michael Phelps Swims To Eighth Gold Medal

This probably won't shock you any, NBC wrapped up the top seven spots with the nightly Olympic coverage. Please note that the numbers reflected for the Olympic airings below are not just the 8pm-11pm primetime portion of the coverage that we normally report on in our overnight updates, but represent the full broadcast which began in primetime, but ended after. Often significantly after -- Tuesday's coverage ran until 12:19am, for example, and the numbers below reflect the full duration.

NBC also solidly won the 18-49 demographic (and the 18-34, for that matter), with each of the nightly airings of the Olympics taking the top 7 spots among 18-49 year olds too. We only saw the top 25 shows among 18-49 year olds this week, so if you don't see a ranking it just means the show wasn't among the top 25.

While we are used to seeing significant gaps between the number one show and the number twenty show, we're not used to seeing margins like these! Considering that the gap between the top airing - Tuesday's Olympic coverage (34.01 million), averaged roughly 26 million more viewers than the number eight show, Two and a Half Men (8.07 million) the twenty-eight million plus that it eclipsed the number 20 show (CSI) by, hardly seems too surprising.

Tuesday's airing garnered the highest household rating, the most viewers and the most viewers 18-49, with Saturday's airing which included Michael Phelps' record-breaking eighth gold medal in one Olympic games coming in second in terms of viewers, though third among households. The Olympics generally have been more of a family viewing event with over 1.5 viewers per household, a very sizeable multiplier when compared to shows like Two and a Half Men (1.33 viewers per household), Big Brother's Tuesday airing (1.35 viewers per household) and CSI (1.26 viewers per household).

Though Univision had no shows in the top 20 when it came to total viewers, they had nine out of twenty-five shows among 18-49 year olds - Al Diablo con los Guapos by itself had five airings in the top twenty among 18-49 year olds. UNI was the second best network among 18-49 and 18-34 year olds for the week, ahead of CBS, ABC, FOX and the CW.

Nielsen Top Twenty Shows by viewers for the week ending 08/17/08:

Rank Shows Net HH RATING (LIVE+SD) HH SHARE (LIVE+SD) # OF HOMES (LIVE+SD) (000) # Viewers (LIVE+SD) (000) 18-49 Rank
1 SUM OLYM TUESDAY NBC 19.9 34 22,502 34,014 1
2 SUM OLYM SATURDAY NBC 17.8 32 20,073 31,593 2
3 SUM OLYM MONDAY NBC 17.6 29 19,848 30,173 3
4 SUM OLYM THURSDAY NBC 17.9 31 20,157 29,708 4
5 SUM OLYM WEDNESDAY NBC 16.7 28 18,782 27,656 5
6 SUM OLYM SUNDAY NBC 16.0 27 18,076 27,184 6
7 SUM OLYM FRIDAY NBC 15.4 28 17,350 26,071 7
8 TWO AND A HALF MEN CBS 5.3 8 6,022 8,068 8
9 NCIS (R) CBS 4.9 8 5,485 7,218
10 60 Minutes (R) CBS 4.7 9 5,302 7,088
11 Criminal Minds (R) CBS 4.3 7 4,874 6,428
12 Big Brother 10-TUE CBS 4.2 6 4,713 6,358 9
13 CSI: MIAMI (R) CBS 4.4 7 4,929 6,305 23
14 FLASHPOINT CBS 4.2 7 4,753 6,113
15 Big Brother 10-THU CBS 3.9 7 4,343 5,864 12
16 CSI: NY (R) CBS 4.1 7 4,592 5,785
17 OLD CHRISTINE (R) CBS 3.7 6 4,225 5,628 22
18 Big Brother 10-SUN CBS 3.5 6 3,904 5,529 14
19 20/20-FRI ABC 4.0 7 4,472 5,523
20 CSI (R) CBS 3.7 6 4,195 5,325

Nielsen Ratings Data: ©2008 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved

All numbers above based on live plus same day DVR viewing.

 
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