Nielsen TV Ratings: Top Rated TV Shows

With another dominating week in the television ratings, CBS will win the November "sweeps" for the eighth straight year.

Back when they started winning, "sweeps" months were very important in the TV industry. But with more local markets having their viewership measured electronically all year long by Nielsen Media Research, the need for sweeps - select months when those markets were looked at - has receded. Networks no longer lard up their November, February and March schedules with big events just to jack up ratings.

As illustrated last week, CBS is winning on the strength of its regular schedule. Of the scripted series in Nielsen's top 20 last week, nine were on CBS, two on Fox and one on ABC.

Fourth-ranked NBC's cupboard is so bare that 14 CBS scripted series drew bigger audiences last week - even a rerun of "The Mentalist" - than NBC's most popular scripted series, "Law & Order: SVU."

For the fourth straight year, ABC won the November "sweeps" among the 18-to-49-year-old demographic, the audience it seeks. With an appearance by the Jonas Brothers, ABC's telecast of the American Music Awards showed year-to-year growth, unusual for awards shows.

Fox's two-hour telecast of the "24" prequel on Sunday was seen by 12.1 viewers, a solid if not spectacular showing.

For the week, CBS averaged 12 million viewers (7.6 rating, 12 share), ABC had 10.1 million viewers (6.4, 10), Fox had 8.4 million (5.1, 8), NBC 7.1 million (4.5, 7), the CW 2.2 million (1.5, 2), My Network TV 1.9 million (1.2, 2) and ION Television 540,000 (0.4, 1)

Among the Spanish-language networks, Univision averaged 3.9 million viewers last week (2.0 rating, 3 share), Telemundo had 1.4 million (0.7, 1), TeleFutura 670,000 (0.4, 1) and Azteca 220,000 (0.1, 0).

NBC's "Nightly News" topped the evening newscasts with an average of 9.5 million viewers (6.2, 12). ABC's "World News" was second with 9.1 million (6.0, 12), and the "CBS Evening News" had 6.6 million viewers (4.5, 8).

A ratings point represents 1,145,000 households, or 1 percent of the nation's estimated 114.5 million TV homes. The share is the percentage of in-use televisions tuned to a given show.

For the week of Nov. 17-23, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: "Dancing With the Stars," ABC, 19.63 million; "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," CBS, 18.45 million; "NCIS," CBS, 18 million; "Dancing With the Stars Results," ABC, 17.59 million; "Criminal Minds," CBS, 16.33 million; "Grey's Anatomy," ABC, 15.91 million; "The Mentalist," CBS, 15.84 million; "CSI: Miami," CBS, 15.46 million; "Two and a Half Men," CBS, 15.18 million; Sunday Night Football: Indianapolis at San Diego, NBC, 15.17 million.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. All active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.

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