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CSI, Dancing With the Stars and NCIS Most-Watched In Prime Time

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October 28th, 2008

CBS and ABC took the top five spots when it came to broadcast primetime shows with the largest average audiences, with Fox sneaking into the top ten twice with the 2008 World Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and Tampa Bay Rays.

CBS had the most shows on this list, with 9, a sports-fueled Fox was second with six and ABC was third with five.  The peacocks at NBC were completely shut out.

We believe this list mostly just amounts to bragging rights and it's the 18-49 demographic viewing that generally pays the bills.  So  while Desperate Housewives had fewer viewers than NCIS, it still had much more advertising revenue because it was number one among 18-49 year olds while NCIS was number twenty-three.

You can see the full top twenty shows among 18-49 year olds, that list is quite different than the one below.  NBC fared at least a bit better on that list where it placed The Office, The Saturday Night Live Weekend Update special, and HeroesFringe and How I Met Your Mother also made that list, but not this one.

Only eight shows averaged more than fifteen million viewers, and Grey's Anatomy was not one of them.  Worse still for Shonda Rhimes and crew is that Grey's, while still a "hit" in the demos is starting to slip, and among 18-49 year olds, Desperate Housewives jumped ahead of it (Desperate Housewives was already ahead in total viewers).

The 2008 World Series on Fox will go down as the lowest-rated, barring some miracles and a game seven, and that isn't a surprise to us.  But three out of four games still made this list.  Game three on Saturday didn't, however.  It was number twenty-eight.

Nielsen Top Twenty Shows by viewers for the week ending 10/26/08:

Rank Shows Net # Viewers (LIVE+SD) (000) HH RATING (LIVE+SD) HH SHARE (LIVE+SD) # OF HOMES (LIVE+SD) (000) 18-49 Rank
1 CSI CBS 19,492 11.7 17 13,403 3
2 DANCING WITH THE STARS ABC 18,497 12.0 18 13,723 13
3 NCIS CBS 17,226 10.7 17 12,257 23
4 DANCING W/STARS RESULTS ABC 16,350 10.7 16 12,231 22
5 DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES ABC 15,953 10.1 15 11,620 1
6 FOX WORLD SERIES GAME 4(S) FOX 15,479 9.3 15 10,689 6
7 Mentalist, THE CBS 15,282 9.6 14 11,026
8 Criminal Minds CBS 15,012 9.5 14 10,838 12
9 FOX WORLD SERIES GAME 1(S) FOX 14,634 9.2 15 10,480 8
10 TWO AND A HALF MEN CBS 14,630 8.9 13 10,150 5
11 GREY'S ANATOMY-THU 9PM ABC 14,451 9.5 14 10,887 4
12 CSI: NY CBS 14,390 9.2 15 10,577 20
13 CSI: MIAMI CBS 13,505 8.9 15 10,142 21
14 SURVIVOR: GABON CBS 13,309 7.8 12 8,874 10
15 OT, THE FOX 13,277 8.2 14 9,396 7
16 HOUSE FOX 13,085 7.8 12 8,951 2
17 FOX WORLD SERIES GM4-PRE(S) FOX 13,059 8.0 13 9,135 9
18 60 Minutes CBS 12,816 8.5 14 9,740
19 FOX WORLD SERIES GAME 2(S) FOX 12,777 8.1 13 9,263 14
20 EXTREME MAKEOVER:HM ED-8P ABC 12,257 7.3 11 8,375 18

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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