‘Body of Proof’ Slays Ratings, ‘Chaos’ Crashes and Burns

Dana Delany in 'Body of Proof' (Photo: ABC)

Dana Delany in 'Body of Proof' (Photo: ABC)


NEW YORK – Criminal investigations are the oxygen of prime-time network television these days, and actress Dana Delany is the most recent person to find out.

Her new show, “Body of Proof,” finished in the Nielsen Co.’s top 10 last week for its debut episode Tuesday. It was the second most-watched series debut this season, after CBS’ “Hawaii Five-0,” and led ABC to its best week in the Nielsen Co. ratings since November with the exception of Oscars week.

Delany plays Megan Hunt, a neurosurgeon whose career is ruined by an auto accident. Instead, she gets a job in the Philadelphia medical examiner’s office.

Both “Body of Proof” and “Castle” benefit from airing behind ABC’s biggest hit, “Dancing With the Stars.” That was particularly the case with “Body of Proof,” which retained 72 percent of the dancing competition’s audience.

Watch Last Week’s Episode of “Body of Proof” on xfinityTV.com:

[iframe http://xfinitytv.comcast.net/tv/Body-of-Proof/107101/1865517450/Letting-Go/embed 580 476]


Castle” didn’t keep quite as much of the Monday “Dancing” audience, but the drama has had its two most-watched episodes the past two weeks with the return of “Dancing.”

At Fox, “Bones” has the advantage of airing directly behind the network’s biggest hit, “American Idol.” In seven original episodes that have aired after “Idol” this season, “Bones” kept nearly half of the prior show’s audience.

The debut of a new CBS show, “Chaos,” on Friday night, had less than half of the audience of “Body of Proof.”

After two weeks back on the air, ABC’s audience for “Dancing With the Stars” is 9 percent bigger than last fall’s edition.

CBS was easily the most popular network, averaging 11.8 million viewers in prime time (7.1 rating, 12 share). Saturday night’s NCAA men’s basketball semifinal matching Connecticut and Kentucky and Sunday’s Academy of Country Music Awards backed up the network’s regular schedule.

ABC averaged 9.4 million (5.8, 10), Fox had 8.3 million (4.8, 8), NBC had 5.4 million (3.4, 6), ION had 1.2 million (0.8, 1) and the CW had 1.1 million (0.7, 1).

Among the Spanish-language networks, Univision led with a prime-time average of 4 million viewers (2.1 rating, 3 share), Telemundo had 1.3 million (0.7, 1), TeleFutura had 670,000 (0.4, 1) and Azteca and Estrella both had 210,000 (both 0.1, 0).

NBC’s “Nightly News” topped the evening newscasts with an average of 8.8 million viewers (5.7, 11). ABC’s “World News” was second with 7.9 million (5.3, 11) and the “CBS Evening News” had 5.6 million viewers (3.8, 7).

A ratings point represents 1,159,000 households, or 1 percent of the nation’s estimated 115.9 million TV homes. The share is the percentage of in-use televisions tuned to a given show.

For the week of March 28-April 3, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: “American Idol” (Wednesday), Fox, 24.18 million; “Dancing With the Stars” (Monday), ABC, 22.77 million; “American Idol” (Thursday), Fox, 22.63 million; “Dancing With the Stars Results” (Tuesday), ABC, 19.3 million; “NCIS,” CBS, 18.73 million; NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament: Kentucky vs Connecticut, CBS, 16.72 million; “NCIS: Los Angeles,” CBS, 15.34 million; “The Mentalist,” CBS, 14.27 million; “Body of Proof,” ABC, 13.94 million; “Grey’s Anatomy,” ABC, 13.09 million.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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