Tough Week for ABC and Fox, as Ratings Tank

Nona's Named the Winner of 'Hell's Kitchen' (Photo: Fox)

Nona's Named the Winner of 'Hell's Kitchen' (Photo: Fox)


NEW YORK – It only seems like ABC and Fox were impersonating cable networks last week.

The two broadcasters had a depressing week in the Nielsen Co.’s ratings report. Combined, their average viewership in prime time didn’t match what top-rated CBS had. CBS has won every week but one in the current TV season, Nielsen said.

The most-watched show on ABC last week was the movie “The Santa Clause 3,” with 6.4 million viewers. It ranked No. 31 on Nielsen’s list, behind 18 programs broadcast on CBS.

Fox’s most popular show came in at No. 38, “Hell’s Kitchen,” with 5.9 million viewers.

Two versions of Univision’s Spanish-language telenovela, “Soy Tu Duena,” had more viewers than anything on either ABC or Fox, Nielsen said. The week was dominated by reruns and holiday programming.

Football is NBC’s saving grace. Sunday’s tight NFL matchup between Green Bay and New England was easily the week’s most popular thing on television, beating second-place “NCIS” by nearly 5 million viewers.

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CBS’ “60 Minutes,” featuring a two-part Lesley Stahl report on people with unusually acute memories, had a strong week. Its 18.7 million viewers ranked third for the week. “60 Minutes” said it has received a few dozen e-mails since the show from people who say they either have or know someone who is able to recall nearly every day of their lives, like the six people featured in Stahl’s report.

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CBS averaged 11.1 million viewers for the week (6.7 rating, 11 share), NBC had 8.5 million (5.1, 9), ABC had 4.7 million (2.9, 5), Fox had 4.6 million (2.8, 5), the CW had 1.34 million and ION Television 1.31 million (both 0.9, 1).

Among the Spanish-language networks, Univision led with a 3.5 million prime-time average (1.8 rating, 3 share), Telemundo had 920,000 (0.5, 1), TeleFutura had 780,000 (0.4, 1), Azteca had 240,000 and Estrella 210,000 (both 0.1, 0).

NBC’s “Nightly News” topped the evening newscasts with an average of 9.7 million viewers (6.3, 12). ABC’s “World News” was second with 8.3 million (5.4, 10) and the “CBS Evening News” had 6.2 million viewers (4.1, 8).

A ratings point represents 1,149,000 households, or 1 percent of the nation’s estimated 114.9 million TV homes. The share is the percentage of in-use televisions tuned to a given show.

For the week of Dec. 13-19, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: NFL Football: Green Bay at New England, NBC, 24.17 million; “NCIS,” CBS, 19.87 million; “60 Minutes,” CBS, 18.73 million; “Sunday Night NFL Pre-Kick,” NBC, 17.11 million; “NCIS: Los Angeles,” CBS, 16.82 million; “Two and a Half Men,” CBS, 13.95 million; “Criminal Minds,” CBS, 13.77 million; “Survivor: Nicaragua Finale,” CBS, 13.59 million; “The Big Bang Theory,” CBS, 13.24 million; “Survivor: Nicaragua,” CBS, 12.32 million.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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