- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 22, 2012

NEW YORK (AP) - Howard Stern isn’t the King of Prime-Time TV. At least not yet.

Stern’s debut last week as a panelist on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” drew 10.5 million viewers on Monday and 10.6 million viewers on Tuesday, the Nielsen company said.

That’s down sharply from the 15.3 million viewers who watched the season debut of the talent competition last year. Radio star Stern replaced Piers Morgan as one of the judges this year.

Stern’s debut was the least-watched season premiere of “America’s Got Talent” dating back to 2006.

In fairness to Stern, NBC premiered his show during the final week of the television season against stiff competition, including “Dancing With the Stars” on ABC and the season finales of CBS’ Monday night comedies. Last year, “America’s Got Talent” started its season on May 31, with rerun season already well under way.

“America’s Got Talent” had 9.5 million viewers on Monday, again facing in-season competition.

Meanwhile, CNN had its lowest prime-time viewership average last week than any week since at least 1991, Nielsen said. The network’s shows average 395,000 viewers. It was a slow news week, and many of the older viewers who watch news were likely preoccupied by the winding down of seasons on “Dancing With the Stars” and “American Idol,” both of which saw a boost last week.

CBS easily won the last full week of the television season, averaging 10.1 million viewers in prime time (6.4 rating, 11 share). ABC averaged 7.1 million (4.6, 8), Fox had 7 million (4.2, 7), NBC had 5.6 million (3.5, 6), the CW had 1.1 million (0.7, 1) and ION Television had 930,000 (0.6, 1).

Among the Spanish-language networks, Univision led with a 3.8 million prime-time average (2.0, 3), Telemundo had 1.1 million (0.6, 1), TeleFutura had 780,000 (0.4, 1), Estrella had 230,000 and Azteca had 130,000 (both 0.1, 0).

NBC’s “Nightly News” topped the evening newscasts with an average of 7.5 million viewers (5.1, 11). ABC’s “World News” was second with 7.1 million (4.8, 10) and the “CBS Evening News” had 5.5 million viewers (3.9, 8).

A ratings point represents 1,147,000 households, or 1 percent of the nation’s estimated 114.7 million TV homes. The share is the percentage of in-use televisions tuned to a given show.

For the week of May 14-20, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: “NCIS,” CBS, 19.05 million; “American Idol” (Wednesday), Fox, 17.68 million; “American Idol” (Thursday), Fox, 16.4 million; “Dancing With the Stars,” ABC, 15.79 million; “NCIS: Los Angeles,” CBS, 15.19 million; “Criminal Minds,” CBS, 13.68 million; “Person of Interest,” CBS, 13.47 million; “Dancing With the Stars Results,” ABC, 13.23 million; “The Mentalist,” CBS, 13.09 million; Movie: “Jesse Stone: Benefit of the Doubt,” CBS, 12.93 million.


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 and My Network TV are units of News Corp. NBC and Telemundo are owned by Comcast Corp. ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks. TeleFutura is a division of Univision. Azteca America is a wholly owned subsidiary of TV Azteca S.A. de C.V.




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