- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 11, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) - CBS seized its usual top spot in primetime ratings last week, but football handed NBC the week’s most-watched show, the Nielsen Co. said Tuesday.

Attracting 33.4 million viewers, NBC’s airing of the NFL playoff matchup between the New York Jets and Indianapolis Colts treated the network to its biggest Saturday audience on record. It was the best primetime viewership for any network since ABC’s broadcast of “The Academy Awards” last March.

Notching its 14th week as the most-watched network so far in the 16-week-old season, CBS could claim half the Top 20 shows.

But a bright spot for ABC was its winter premiere of “Wipeout,” which drew 11.7 million viewers to rank 15th.

For the week, CBS averaged 9.7 million viewers (6.1 household rating, 10 share), followed closely by NBC with 9.6 million (5.7 rating, 9 share), Fox’s 8.2 million (4.8 rating, 8 share), and ABC’s 7.3 million (4.6 rating, 7 share). ION Television had 1.5 million (1.0 rating, 2 share) and the CW had 1.1 million (0.7 rating, 1 share).

Among the Spanish-language networks, Univision led with a prime-time average of 3.5 million viewers (1.7 rating, 3 share), while Telemundo had 1.2 million viewers (0.6 rating, 1 share), TeleFutura had 990,000 (0.5 rating, 1 share), Estrella had 240,000 and Azteca had 230,000 (both with 0.1 rating, 0 share).

Oprah Winfrey’s new cable network finished its first week showing significant growth over Discovery Health, the channel it replaced on Jan. 1.

In primetime for the week, OWN averaged 505,000 viewers _ up 49 percent over Discovery Health’s audience a year ago. Measured all day, OWN’s viewership averaged 239,000 viewers for the week, up 56 percent from a year ago.

In the race among the three evening newscasts, NBC’s “Nightly News” held its customary lead with an average of 9.9 million viewers (6.4 household rating, 12 share). ABC’s “World News” was second with 8.4 million (5.6 rating, 10 share) and the “CBS Evening News” had 6.3 million viewers (4.2 rating, 8 share).

A ratings point represents 1,159,000 households, or 1 percent of the nation’s estimated 115.9 million TV homes. The share is the percentage of in-use televisions tuned to a given show.

For the week of Jan. 3-9, the top 10 primetime shows, their networks and viewerships: NFL Playoff Game 2: Jets at Indianapolis, NBC, 33.35 million; NFL Playoff Bridge (between Games 1 and 2), NBC, 31.48 million; NFL Playoff Prekick (Game 2), NBC, 30.54 million; NFL Wildcard Post-Game (Sunday), Fox, 24.86 million; “Two and a Half Men,” CBS, 15.36 million; “The Mentalist,” CBS, 14.88 million; “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” CBS, 14.22 million; “The Big Bang Theory,” CBS, 13.98 million; “Desperate Housewives,” ABC, 12.83 million; “The Simpsons,” Fox, 12.55 million.

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ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co. CBS is owned by CBS Corp. CW is a joint venture of Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corp. Fox is a unit of News Corp. NBC and Telemundo are owned by General Electric Co. ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks. Univision and TeleFutura are owned by Broadcasting Media Partners Inc. Azteca America is a wholly owned subsidiary of TV Azteca S.A. de C.V.

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Online:

https://www.nielsenmedia.com

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