Crime paid for both CBS and NBC last week, with additional episodes of dramas “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” and “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” carrying the nets to primetime ratings victories.
Fox’s “American Idol,” meanwhile, remains red-hot, last week drawing its largest overall audiences and claiming the top two spots among adults 18-49, according to Nielsen. It boosted the net into a virtual three-way tie with NBC and CBS for the lead in the key demo.
The consistent Peacock prevailed in 18-49 by posting a 2.9 rating for a sixth straight week, edging out CBS and Fox (2.8). The Eye was back on top in total viewers (8.9 million).
NBC, looking to pump up Sunday drama “Law & Order: CI” prior to its tussle with HBO’s returning “The Sopranos,” ran the drama five times during the week to excellent results.
Airing in the regular timeslots of “Law & Order” (Wednesday), “ER” (Thursday) and “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (Friday), the first-year “CI” generated increases of 11%, 9% and 24% respectively vs. the summer 18-49 averages for those three shows.
Overall, NBC claimed nine of the week’s top 20 shows in adults 18-49 despite winning just one night (Monday). Reality series “Dog Eat Dog” and “Meet My Folks” placed third and fourth for the frame and “Dateline” pitched in with the best demo score for any newsmag since May (4.3/13).
CBS moved up in demos thanks to the hottest week to date for “Big Brother 3,” as well as preseason football on Saturday and a bonus episode of “CSI” on Sunday.
Net won easily in total viewers, taking five nights and delivering its largest aud of the summer (8.9 million). Monday comedy “Everybody Loves Raymond” was the week’s most-watched program (12.98 million).
Fox’s second-place finish in adults 18-49 was powered by wins on Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday (tie) and Sunday. “American Idol’s” first-place finish in the demo (6.2/17) marks the first time in net’s history that it’s had the No. 1 show for five straight weeks.
Fox also won in adults 18-34 for a ninth straight week.
ABC, a distant fourth, was the only major net down vs. the same frame a year ago. Lone standouts were laffers “According to Jim” on Tuesday and “My Wife and Kids” on Wednesday.
USA led the basic cablers in adults 18-49 (1.1 rating), while Lifetime drew the largest aud overall (1.73m).
“Meet My Folks” turned in an impressive perf Aug. 19, topping both preseason football on ABC and a special “CSI” on CBS in adults 18-49. “Folks” built on its “Dog Eat Dog” lead-in by 18% (5.3/14 vs. 4.5/12).
CBS’ “CSI,” warming up the 10 p.m. slot to be occupied by spinoff “CSI: Miami,” beat its competish in both adults 25-54 (5.5/14) and viewers (13.56m) — the net’s best series perf since December (“48 Hours”). With “CSI” behind it, “Becker” retained 89% of its “Everybody Loves Raymond” 18-49 lead-in (4.2/11 vs. 4.7/12) — its best hold since March.
ABC won the night in male demos with its second preseason “Monday Night Football” game (11.30m, 4.2/12 in 18-49), while Fox’s “Teen Choice Awards” (6.89m, 3.1/9) lost about 1 million viewers from last year’s show.
Fox’s 8-10 p.m. comedy block continues to perform well, led in 18-49 by “The Simpsons” at 8 (3.8/12) and “Malcolm in the Middle” at 9:30 (3.7/10). Net won the night in this demo, as well as 18-34.
The primetime network bow of “X Games” on ABC placed second in its target young-male demos but drew less than 4 million viewers overall.
CBS won in total viewers, boosted at 8 by a special “CSI” (11.35m).
A preseason NFL contest (Eagles-Patriots) gave CBS its highest Saturday 18-49 average (2.3/8) since April, as the net tied with Fox for the nightly lead and eked out a narrow victory in total viewers as well. Game drew 1.2 million more viewers than the NFL preseason game the net ran on the same night a year ago (6.0m vs. 4.8m).
NBC couldn’t shake up many for its special airing of Elvis Presley pic “Loving You” (5.26m, 1.4/5), which left the net fourth for the night.
Fox’s first NFL preseason game (Patriots-Eagles) averaged 6.34 million viewers, about 1 million more than last year’s Rams-Titans contest on the same night. Net won the night in all male demos and adults 18-34 (2.6/11).
CBS scored its first Friday victory in 18-49 since March behind a special “Big Brother” (3.7/12) and solid scores for a two-part “48 Hours” at 8 and 10. NBC won in viewers, led by “Law & Order: CI” (10.66m, 3.6/11 in 18-49).
CBS stayed on top behind “CSI” and best-yet Thursday numbers for “Big Brother 3” (9.69m, 4.3/14).
NBC’s “Rerun Show” held just 76% of its “Will & Grace” 18-49 lead-in (2.6/7 vs. 3.4/10), but the net rebounded at 10 with “Law & Order: CI” (9.57m, 3.5/10).
It was another Wednesday high in both total viewers (12.05m) and teens (6.4/23) for Fox’s “American Idol,” which led at 9:30 in all key measures. CBS’ “Big Brother 3” did its best numbers to date (10.58m, 4.7/13).
At 10, Eye’s “48 Hours” (10.22m, 3.5/10 in 18-49), with a report on conjoined siblings, trounced ABC’s second week of docu news hour “ICU” (4.21m, 1.8/5). Both trailed NBC’s “Law & Order: CI” (11.65m, 4.1/12).
ABC’s “My Wife and Kids” led the 8 o’clock hour in 18-49 (3.3/11).
“American Idol” drew its largest aud yet (12.67m), helping Fox win in 18-49 for a 10th straight Tuesday and in total viewers for a sixth straight time.
ABC is quietly doing well with “According to Jim,” which was the night’s most watched comedy (7.54m).
Led by “Dog Eat Dog” — the week’s No. 1 program in men 18-49 — NBC topped Aug. 12 in key demos, while CBS won in total viewers.