- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Country music helped ABC to its best ratings week in more than a year.

The network, which narrowly lost to CBS for the distinction of America’s most popular TV network last week, aired the Country Music Association awards to 17.2 million people, according to the Nielsen Company.

ABC also did well with an “In the Spotlight” special in which Robin Roberts interviewed stars including Carrie Underwood and Tim McGraw.

ABC and CBS dominated the upper reaches of the Nielsen charts; 24 of the nation’s most-watched programs last week were on one of the two networks. ABC is nearing the end of a “Dancing With the Stars” run, so that audience is growing.

A story line that played out across all three “CSI” franchises was a winner for CBS. All the shows earned a spot in Nielsen’s top 14 programs, with the mother ship, “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” getting its biggest audience of the season.

For the week, CBS averaged 11.5 million viewers. ABC had 11.2 million viewers and won among the coveted 18- to 49-year-old demographic. NBC had 8.1 million viewers, Fox had 8 million, the CW had 2.4 million and ION Television had 930,000.

Among the Spanish-language networks, Univision led with a 3.3 million viewer average, Telemundo had 1.1 million, TeleFutura had 970,000 and Azteca had 190,000.

It was another lopsided win for the NBC “Nightly News,” which averaged 9.4 million viewers. ABC’s “World News” averaged 8.4 million and the “CBS Evening News” had 6.7 million.

For the week of Nov. 9 through 15, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships were: 1)”NBC Sunday Night Football: New England at Indianapolis,” NBC, 22.39 million; 2)”NCIS,” CBS, 20.96 million; 3)”Dancing With the Stars,” ABC, 17.62 million; 4)”CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” CBS, 17.38 million; 5)”CMA Awards,” ABC, 17.18 million; 6) “Sunday Night NFL Pre-Kick,” NBC, 17.02 million; 7)”NCIS: Los Angeles,” CBS, 16.233 million; 8)”Dancing With the Stars Results,” ABC, 16.231 million; 9)”The Mentalist,” CBS, 16.17 million; and 10) “Grey’s Anatomy,” ABC, 14.87 million.

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