Year’s Top 10 Most Watched TV Programs Lead By ‘Super Bowl XLIV’ & ‘American Idol’

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Everybody loves top 10 lists!

Top 10 TV Programs – Single Telecast
Rank Telecast Originator Date Aired Total Persons Rating
1 Super Bowl XLIV CBS 2/7/10 36.5
2 Super Bowl XLIV Post Game CBS 2/7/10 25.8
3 Super Bowl Kick-Off CBS 2/7/10 20.8
4 FOX NFC Championship FOX 1/24/10 19.8
5 AFC Championship on CBS CBS 1/24/10 16.1
6 Academy Awards ABC 3/7/10 14.3
7 Undercover Boss CBS 2/7/10 13.2
8 FOX NFC Playoff-Sun FOX 1/17/10 12.9
9 AFC Divisional Playoff-Sun CBS 1/17/10 12.2
10 FOX NFC Wildcard Game FOX 1/10/10 11.8
Source: The Nielsen Company.

*Top Telecasts: Note: Data from January 1, 2010 – November 28, 2010. Persons 2+ Ratings include Live and Same Day timeshifted viewing. Excludes telecasts under 5 minutes.

Top 10 TV Programs – Regularly Scheduled
Rank Program Originator Total Persons Rating
1 American Idol -Tuesday FOX 7.9
2 American Idol -Wednesday FOX 7.5
3 Dancing with the Stars ABC 7.1
4 NBC Sunday Night Football NBC 7.0
5 Dancing w/Stars Results ABC 5.5
6 Sunday Night NFL Pre-Kick NBC 5.3
7 NCIS CBS 5.0
8 NFL Regular Season L ESPN 4.9
9 Survivor: Heroes-Villains CBS 4.3
10 NCIS: Los Angeles CBS 4.2
10 Two and a Half Men CBS 4.2
Source: The Nielsen Company.

*Top Primetime programs: Note Data from January 1, 2010 – November 28, 2010, regularly scheduled programs. Persons 2+ Ratings include Live and Same Day timeshifted viewing. Excludes programs with less than 4 telecasts and programs under 5 minutes.

Note: A “Total Persons” rating point equals 2.95 million viewers, which is 1% of the US TV population 2 and older. We typically do not report Total Persons ratings, and instead the actual viewership average. Not sure why Nielsen went with it in these tables.

Source: Nielsen’s annual lists of “Top 10’s”, and I’ll be posting a number of them over the next few days.

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