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60 Minutes, NFL, CSI and NCIS lead weekly Nielsen broadcast viewing

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November 18th, 2008

The economy may be bad. Business may be bad and CBS may have taken an incomprehensibly-sized write down for the last quarter, but when it comes to TV viewing, CBS ought to feel pretty good about the television broadcast network mother ship. A presidential-elect Barack Obama fueled 60 Minutes led to its best results since 1999, and CSI, and NCIS – which had its largest average audience ever in its history (now in its sixth season) all made the top four.

CBS dominated the top 20, with twelve shows, ABC had five, NBC had two -- Sunday Night Football, which came in second place for the week, and first among 18-49 year olds, as well as the Sunday Night Football pregame. Fox could muster but one show in the top 20, House, though the Fox network did win among 18-34 year old viewers for the week.

Some will chime in about CBS’ older skew (myself included) because it’s true it does skew older – but it was still the number on network for the week among 18-49 year old viewers. On the other hand, it was the number four network among 18-34 year olds, but remember that the relative difference between number one Fox and CBS was only about 250,000 viewers aged 18-34 on average. We believe the 18-49 demo pays most of the bills.

Though it’s true CBS had four shows on this list that were not among the top twenty-seven shows among 18-49 year olds (we only saw rankings for the top 27 this week), it placed two shows in the 18-49 top twenty that didn’t make this list: The Big Bang Theory (#17) and How I Met Your Mother (#12).

Nielsen Top Twenty Shows by viewers for the week ending 11/16/08:

Rank Shows R=Repeat S=Special P=Premiere Net # Viewers (LIVE+SD) (000) HH RATING (LIVE+SD) HH SHARE (LIVE+SD) 18-49 Rank
1 60 Minutes   CBS 25,104 15.1 23 2
2 NBC Sunday Night Football   NBC 19,272 11.6 18 1
3 CSI   CBS 19,050 11.6 17 6
4 NCIS   CBS 18,745 11.2 17 15
5 Dancing with the Stars   ABC 18,693 11.9 17 10
6 Desperate Housewives   ABC 16,842 10.3 15 3
7 DANCING W/STARS RESULTS   ABC 16,521 10.8 16 26
8 Mentalist, THE   CBS 16,516 10.1 15 16
9 CMA AWARDS(S) S ABC 15,905 9.6 15 7
10 GREY'S ANATOMY-THU 9PM   ABC 14,902 9.8 15 4
11 Criminal Minds   CBS 14,833 9.3 14 20
12 Two and a Half Men   CBS 14,504 8.9 13 8
13 CSI: MIAMI   CBS 13,815 9.0 15 21
14 HOUSE   FOX 13,062 7.7 12 5
15 SURVIVOR: GABON   CBS 12,885 7.6 12 14
16 COLD CASE   CBS 12,277 7.8 12  
17 WITHOUT A TRACE   CBS 12,232 7.9 13  
18 Amazing Race 13   CBS 12,127 7.3 11  
19 SUNDAY NIGHT NFL PRE-KICK   NBC 11,922 7.1 11 9
20 ELEVENTH HOUR   CBS 11,627 7.6 13  

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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