Viewers Loved Those Scripted Dramas Last Week. So Guess What's Going to Happen?
Six of last week's 10 most watched prime-time programs were scripted dramas. Enjoy it while you can -- 'cause with the writers' strike, it won't last much longer.
ABC. Week-winning ABC copped its biggest audience in a year, excluding the week of the Academy Awards, edging out CBS. How? Half of the week's 10 most watched programs and eight of the top 20 aired on ABC. These include the season's most watched new series, "Samantha Who?," still basking in its post-"Dancing With the Stars" time slot, as well as "Grey's Anatomy's" biggest audience since its season debut, and a Country Music Association Awards show that, while snagging an audience on the thin side for the franchise, still ruled Wednesday night.
Latin Grammy Awards. Univision beat CW Thursday night with this broadcast, which clocked 6.2 million viewers -- the trophy show's second largest audience, behind only its first broadcast, back in '00 on CBS.
"CSI"/"Without a Trace" crossover. A Thursday crossover story line brought nearly 22 million viewers to "Trace" for its biggest crowd in nearly three years. And "Trace" leading into "CSI" got a nice boost, too, from the previous week's 19 million to nearly 22 mil.
NBC. Only two NBC programs broke double digits last week -- Sunday football (17.3 million viewers) and Tuesday's "Law & Order: SVU" repeat (11.7 mil). How bad was it? NBC's Rerun Theater on Saturday (3.97 million viewers) got polished off by TBS's gazillionth rerun of "The Wizard of Oz" (4.4 million). The good news: Those new prime-time series doing so badly this season were shepherded by an entertainment division chief who's no longer there. Gosh, maybe what NBC needs is an executive the likes of which the industry hasn't seen in a long time.
"Cavemen." After a one-week break to make way for Charlie Brown's Halloween special, ABC's Geicomedy returned with 21 percent fewer viewers, a.k.a. 4.9 million. But compared with Charlie Brown's 11.4 million haul the previous Thursday, "Cavemen" experienced a 57 percent plunge.
"Big Shots." ABC's new "men are the new women" drama last week clung to just 36 percent of the chick-heavy "Grey's Anatomy" leading audience.
The week's 10 most watched programs, in order, were: CBS's "CSI," CBS's "Without a Trace," ABC's Monday "Dancing With the Stars," ABC's "Grey's Anatomy," ABC's "Desperate Housewives," Fox's "House," CBS's "NCIS," NBC's Sunday football, ABC's Tuesday "Dancing With the Stars" and ABC's "CMA Awards."