- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The strong premiere of ABC’s science fiction series “V” caps an unusually strong development season for the network.

Opening week of the Earth-invaders series was seen by 14.3 million viewers, the Nielsen Co. said. That was the second-best new series debut for the season behind the CBS spinoff “NCIS: Los Angeles,” and it was the most-watched scripted show of the week among the youthful demographic ABC covets.

Three of ABC’s new scripted series — also including “Modern Family” and “Flash Forward” — finished among the 32 most-watched prime-time shows last week. CBS had two of its new series within the top 32, Nielsen said. By contrast, Fox’s “Bones” was its only scripted series — new or returning — in Nielsen’s top 32. NBC had none at all.

Diane Sawyer’s interview with Rihanna on Friday gave “20/20” its biggest audience among viewers ages 18 to 34 in three years, Nielsen said.

Still,even with all that good news, ABC finished only third for the week. Fox was helped by the conclusion of the World Series between the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies, which was seen by 43 percent more people, on average, than last year’s Phillies victory over Tampa Bay.

On CBS, Katie Couric’s interview with Andre Agassi led “60 Minutes” to its best ratings of the season.

For the week, CBS averaged 11.1 million viewers, Fox had 10.7 million, ABC had 9.3 million , NBC had 8.2 million, the CW had 2.3 million and ION Television had 950,000.

Among the Spanish-language networks, Univision led the way with a 3.7 million viewer average, Telemundo had 1 million, TeleFutura had 840,000 and Azteca had 190,000.

NBC’s “Nightly News” topped the evening newscasts with an average of 9.5 million viewers. ABC’s “World News” was second with 8.4 million and the “CBS Evening News” had 6.2 million viewers.

For the week of Nov. 2-8, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships were: 1) World Series Game 6: Philadelphia at N.Y. Yankees, Fox, 22.34 million; 2) Sunday Night Football: Dallas at Philadelphia, NBC, 21.88 million; 3) “NCIS,” CBS, 20.18 million; 4)”Sunday Night NFL Pre-Kick,” NBC, 17.26 million; 5) World Series Game 5: N.Y. Yankees at Philadelphia, Fox, 17.09 million; 6) “60 Minutes,” CBS, 16.85 million; 7) “Dancing With the Stars,” ABC, 16.69 million; 8) “The Mentalist,” CBS, 16.21 million; 9) “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” CBS, 15.6 million; and 10) “NCIS: Los Angeles,” CBS, 15.29 million.

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