A Bazooka Shot in the Arm for 'Grey's Anatomy'

No bones about it,
No bones about it, "Grey's Anatomy," which stars Isaiah Washington and Kyle Chandler, was a ratings winner, even knocking off the Olympics. (By Peter "Hopper" Stone -- Abc)
By Lisa de Moraes
Wednesday, February 15, 2006

NBC schussed and triple-axeled its way to first place in the ratings last week despite slip-sliding Turin Olympics numbers.

Here's a look at the week's gold and brass:

WINNERS

"Grey's Anatomy." The payoff of Super Bowl Sunday's cliffhanger episode, in which the hot doctors of Seattle Grace Hospital work on Unexploded Bazooka Shell Guy, last Sunday's episode logged 25.4 million viewers, becoming the first show to beat the Turin Olympics -- and by an impressive 4 million viewers. It also marked the first time an original "Grey's Anatomy" has outdrawn an original "Desperate Housewives." And it was "Grey's" second biggest audience ever -- behind only the previous week's post-Super Bowl broadcast, in which nearly 38 million were introduced to Unexploded Bazooka Shell Guy. Over at NBC's "ER," John Wells banged his head against a wall and cried, "Why didn't I think of that!"

"Dancing With the Stars." ABC's dance-off show beat CBS's "Survivor: Too Long Title" on Thursday -- the first show to clip a "Survivor" since "Friends" went off the air in May 2004. Here's an interesting stat: The median age for "Dancing" hovers around 53 on Thursday and nearly 56 on Friday -- that's an old reality show -- while "Survivor" posts a median age of about 44. (FYI, the median age on "American Idol" Tuesday is just under 37 and Wednesday's show comes in at just over 37.)

Turin Olympics . Despite less-than-gold-medal ratings, the first three nights of Games coverage did deliver NBC's highest-scoring week since the Athens Olympics in August '04, allowing the network to win a week for the first time since Sept. 6-12, 2004, when it came out of those Summer Games and unveiled its much ballyhooed "Friends" spinoff, "Joey."

"House." The death throes of Dr. House's sickening affair with Sela Ward -- gak -- brought a record 22.2 million viewers to the Fox doc drama, beating previous high 19.5 million for last season's finale..

LOSERS

Grammy Awards . How embarrassing was it for all those Grammy stars to get whomped by the pop wannabes of "American Idol" last week, driving the trophy show to its smallest audience on record -- just 17 million viewers? Pretty embarrassing.

"Love Monkey." By its third broadcast, "Love Monkey's" knuckles were dragging on the ground. CBS pulled its too-precious music industry drama off the schedule indefinitely after only 5.4 million caught last week's episode. Bye-bye, "Love Monkey."

Turin Olympics . Yes, the Games can be a winner and a loser. After all, three days in, NBC's coverage is down 36 percent, compared with the last Winter Games, in Salt Lake City, and 13 percent, compared with the last overseas Winter Games, in Nagano. None of last week's three Olympics broadcasts were the No. 1 show, or even 2, 3, 4 or 5, for that matter. And the second night of competition on this once glorious franchise actually got sliced and diced by some idiotic story line on "Grey's Anatomy" about a guy who got shot by his own bazooka. That's just sad.

The week's 10 most watched prime-time programs, in order, were: Fox's Tuesday and Wednesday "American Idol"; CBS's "CSI"; ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" and "Desperate Housewives"; NBC's Sunday and Saturday coverage of the Winter Games; Fox's "House"; and NBC's coverage of the Winter Games Opening Ceremonies.


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