- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 13, 2009


In addition to being an optimist, Michael J. Fox is still a television star. His special “Adventures of an Incurable Optimist” was watched by 10.2 million viewers, enough to put it on Nielsen Media Research’s list of the 20 most popular prime-time shows. During the program, the Parkinson’s patient and former sitcom star explored the nature of positive thinking.

The special helped ABC run neck and neck for second place with Fox for the weekly ratings. CBS remained dominant as home to 11 of the 14 most-watched scripted shows in prime time last week.

Nielsen was able to get its ratings out on time after a disastrous week last week when a processing backlog delayed ratings. That annoyed TV networks at a time when they’re making decisions on next fall’s schedule.

For the week, CBS averaged 10.8 million prime-time viewers, Fox had 8.8 million, ABC 8.7 million, NBC 6.4 million and the CW 1.9 million. Following were MyNetwork TV with 1.5 million and ION Television with 560,000.

Among the Spanish-language networks, Univision led with 3.7 million viewers, Telemundo had 1.1 million, TeleFutura 580,000 and Azteca 140,000.

NBC’s “Nightly News” topped the evening newscasts with an average of 7.9 million viewers. ABC’s “World News” was second with 7.5 million, and the “CBS Evening News” had 5.7 million viewers.

For the week of May 4 through 10, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships were: 1) “American Idol” (Wednesday), Fox, 23.5 million; 2) “American Idol” (Tuesday), Fox, 23.4 million; 3) “Dancing With the Stars,” ABC, 20.2 million; 4) “NCIS,” CBS, 16.7 million; 5) “The Mentalist,” CBS, 16.6 million; 6) “Grey’s Anatomy,” ABC, 15.5; 7) “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” CBS, 14.9; 8) “Dancing With the Stars Results,” ABC, 14.5 million; 9) “Two and a Half Men,” CBS, 14.1 million; and 10) “Criminal Minds,” CBS, 14.1 million.

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