- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 15, 2009

NEW YORK — During a spring week with an unusual number of shows premiering on broadcast television, ABC’s comedy “Surviving Suburbia” with Bob Saget won the derby as most-watched.

Nielsen Media Research said 11 million-plus people checked out the April 6 premiere episode. The suburban sitcom had the advantage of directly following television’s second most popular hit, “Dancing With the Stars.”

No such luck for Amy Poehler’s “Parks and Recreation” on NBC, seen by 6.9 million people. That’s typical for NBC’s line of Thursday night comedies.

Later Thursday, the police drama “Southland” on NBC had nearly 10 million viewers. Relentlessly promoted and the object of some positive reviews, the show had a bigger audience than anything else on the network last week.

CBS’ gory mystery, “Harper’s Island,” was seen by 10.2 million people. ABC’s “The Unusuals” had an audience of 6.8 million.

CBS’ telecast of the NCAA men’s basketball championship wasn’t a big hit outside of North Carolina and Michigan. The Tar Heels’ victory was seen by 17.6 million people, making it the third least-seen championship game.

For the week, CBS led the way with an average of 11.4 million prime-time viewers. Fox averaged 9 million viewers, but beat CBS for the top spot among the 18-to-49-year-olds sought by advertisers. ABC had 7.7 million viewers , NBC 6.2 million, the CW 1.7 million, My Network TV 1.5 million and ION Television 580,000 (0.4, 1).

Among the Spanish-language networks, Univision dominated with an average of 3.9 million viewers, Telemundo had 1 million, TeleFutura 680,000 and Azteca 200,000.

NBC’s “Nightly News” topped the evening newscasts with an average of 8.3 million viewers. ABC’s “World News” was second with 7.5 million and the “CBS Evening News” had 5.9 million viewers.

For the week of April 6-12, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships were: 1) “American Idol” (Wednesday), Fox, 22.9 million; 2) “American Idol” (Tuesday), Fox, 22.8 million; 3) “Dancing With the Stars,” ABC, 19.8 million; 4) “NCIS,” CBS, 17.8 million; 5) NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship: North Carolina vs Michigan St., 17.6 million; 6)”The Mentalist,” CBS, 16.9 million; 7)”CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” CBS, 16.6 million; 8)”Dancing With the Stars Results,” ABC, 14.5 million; 9) “Criminal Minds,” CBS, 13.6 million; and 10) “House,” Fox, 13.2 million.

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