- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 22, 2005

CBS goes country

CBS needs little help winning the weekly ratings war, but it got just that from a double dose of country music.

CBS hit the ratings top 10 with the Country Music Association awards show in New York City, although the total of 17.7 million viewers was down from last year’s 18.4 million, Associated Press reports. The Tiffany network’s prime-time special honoring Johnny Cash, linked to the new Cash biopic, “Walk the Line,” won its time slot with 12.5 million viewers Nov. 16.

NBC’s efforts to sink the competition with its three-hour remake of “The Poseidon Adventure” went down the drain. The film, airing against ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” on Sunday, averaged 9.6 million viewers. That ranked below not just ABC, but also CBS’ made-for-TV movie, “Snow Wonder.”

Otherwise, the Nielsen ratings held pretty much to form. CBS, which hasn’t lost a week this season, averaged 15.2 million viewers and also won among viewers age 18 to 49. ABC averaged 11.7 million viewers, NBC had 9.6 million, Fox had 7 million, UPN averaged 4.2 million, the WB had 3.8 million, and Pax TV had 700,000.

For the week of Nov. 14 through 20, the top five shows, their networks and viewerships were: “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” CBS, 29 million; “Desperate Housewives,” ABC, 25.9 million; “Lost,” ABC, 21.9 million; “Without a Trace,” CBS, 21.7 million; and “Grey’s Anatomy,” ABC, 20.3 million.

More Kenny Chesney

After taking the stage at last night’s American Music Awards and chewing the fat with Jimmy Kimmel on Monday, Kenny Chesney is back on ABC, this time with “Somewhere in the Sun,” an hourlong special airing at 8 tonight.

Now riding the success of “The Road and the Radio,” his new chart-topping CD, Mr, Chesney filmed the special in the Caribbean — where he wed now estranged wife Renee Zellweger after a four-month courtship earlier this year — and where, according to ABC.com, he finds “refuge from his intense life on the road.”

“Red Neck Woman” Gretchen Wilson is Mr. Chesney’s special guest, and the two perform together on John Mellencamp’s “Hurts So Good.”

Court TV in D.C.

Convicted serial arsonist Thomas Sweatt is the subject of an upcoming episode of Court TV’s “Forensic Files,” being shot throughout the area at various locations.

Sweatt, 51, a former manager at a KFC in Northeast, is serving a life sentence after admitting that he set 45 fires — including blazes that claimed two lives — in the District, Maryland and Virginia in 2003 and 2004. He was arrested April 27 while working his regular shift at the fast-food eatery.

The episode, tentatively titled “Hot on the Trail,” will air next spring.

Now in its fifth season, “Forensic Files” features painstaking accounts of the forensic methods used to solve notable crimes.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse and Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

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