Low Ratings Underscore NBC Changes

Graphic shows the top 10 weekly television shows for the week; two sizes: 1c x 5 3/4 inches; 47 mm x 146 mm; 2c x 2 5/8 inches; 96 mm x 67 mm
Graphic shows the top 10 weekly television shows for the week; two sizes: 1c x 5 3/4 inches; 47 mm x 146 mm; 2c x 2 5/8 inches; 96 mm x 67 mm (Staff - AP)
The Associated Press
Wednesday, May 30, 2007; 8:41 PM

NEW YORK -- Numbingly low Nielsen ratings for last week made it clear why NBC this week hired a new team to oversee its prime-time entertainment department.

The once-proud Peacock network averaged only 5.6 million viewers last week, less than half of prime-time leader Fox. Since 1991, NBC has had only two weeks with fewer viewers, and they were both during network TV's summer slumber.

NBC Universal announced Tuesday that it was firing entertainment chief Kevin Reilly. The team of successful producer Ben Silverman and financial man Marc Graboff is assuming authority over all NBC programming.

The network that once boasted of its "must-see TV" saw most of its Thursday lineup last week _ "Scrubs," "30 Rock," "The Office" and "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" _ attract fewer viewers than Univision's telenovela, "Destilando Amor." The one exception was "My Name is Earl," which had 90,000 more viewers than Univision's Thursday hit.

NBC burned off an original episode of its much-touted and now dead Aaron Sorkin drama, "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip," Thursday to less than four million viewers.

Last week was dominated by the finales of "American Idol" (30.7 million viewers) and "Dancing With the Stars" (23 million) _ numbers the broadcast networks won't likely see again until the fall winds blow.

For the week, Fox averaged 11.6 million viewers (6.9 rating, 12 share), CBS had 9 million (6.0, 11), ABC had 8.9 million (5.8, 10), NBC had 5.6 million (3.7, 7), the CW had 2 million (1.3, 2), My Network TV had 910,000 (0.6, 1) and ION Television had 670,000 (0.4, 1).

Among the Spanish language networks, Univision averaged 3.7 million viewers (2.0, 3), Telemundo had 1 million (0.6, 1), TeleFutura had 570,000 (0.3, 1) and Azteca had 310,000 (0.1, 0).

ABC's "World News" increased its winning streak in the evening-news ratings to five weeks, its longest since 1996. It averaged 7.8 million viewers (5.5 rating, 12 share), NBC's "Nightly News" had 7.2 million (5.2, 11) and the "CBS Evening News" had 6 million (4.2, 9).

A ratings point represents 1,114,000 households, or 1 percent of the nation's estimated 111.4 million TV homes. The share is the percentage of in-use televisions tuned to a given show.

For the week of May 21-27, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: "American Idol" (Wednesday), Fox, 30.74 million; "American Idol (Tuesday), Fox, 25.33 million; "Dancing With the Stars Results (Tuesday), ABC, 22.96 million; "Dancing With the Stars" (Monday), ABC, 20.19 million; "NCIS," CBS, 14.14 million; "Lost," ABC, 13.86 million; "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," CBS, 13.79 million; "Heroes," NBC, 13.48 million; Movie: "Jesse Stone Sea Change," CBS, 13.01 million; "The Bachelor," ABC, 12.67 million.


ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co. CBS is a division of CBS Corp. Fox is a unit of News Corp. NBC is owned by General Electric Co. Telemundo is owned by General Electric. TeleFutura is a division of Univision. ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks.


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