- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 11, 2009

NEW YORK

While the professional singers at the Grammys were again no match for the amateurs of “American Idol” in television popularity, a strong Sunday helped CBS to a weekly ratings win.

Fox’s “American Idol,” as is typical, was the nation’s most popular program, with both episodes last week registering 26 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research.

The Grammys, where the Jonas Brothers, Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus helped draw a youthful audience, was seen by 19 million viewers on CBS Sunday, up from last year’s show. An estimated 17.2 million watched last year.

Before the ceremony, Katie Couric’s interview with the US Airways crew that landed in the Hudson River was seen by 16.7 million. It made “60 Minutes” the fourth-ranked show on Nielsen’s top 10 list.

Prime-time continues to be a grim time for comedy. Nielsen’s top 20 included only one sitcom last week, CBS’ “Two and a Half Men.” Viewers apparently haven’t followed “Scrubs” as it moved to ABC; an original episode had only 4.8 million viewers. “Kath & Kim,” on NBC’s once invincible Thursday night lineup, also reached 4.8 million.

Overall, CBS averaged 11.5 million viewers for the week. Fox averaged 10.8 million viewers in prime-time and won among the 18-to-49-year-old demographic popular with advertisers. ABC was third with 7.8 million, NBC had 7 million, the CW 1.8 million, My Network TV 1.7 million and ION Television 780,000.

Among the Spanish-language networks, Univision led the way with 4.2 million viewers, Telemundo had 1.2 million , TeleFutura 730,000 and Azteca was left with 190,000.

For the week of Feb. 2 through Feb. 8, the top five shows, their networks and viewerships were: 1) “American Idol” (Tuesday), Fox, 26.6 million; 2) “American Idol” (Wednesday), Fox, 26.3 million; 3) “Grammy Awards,” CBS, 19 million; 4) “60 Minutes,” CBS, 16.7 million; and 5) “Two and a Half Men,” CBS, 16.5 million.

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