Scripted programming is not dead; CBS's dead-people drama "CSI" was last week's most watched program, running nearly 7 million viewers ahead of No. 2-ranked reality show "American Idol" on Fox, and 8 million in front of CBS's "Survivor: The Amazon."
Here's a look at the week's live ones and cadavers:
Fox News Channel. A mere 60,000 viewers away from being cable's most watched network in prime time, FNC last week averaged 2.15 million viewers. Last week's most watched cable network? Nickelodeon.
Elizabeth Smart coverage. Elizabeth Smart's recovery was very good to CBS's "48 Hours Investigates" and ABC's "PrimeTime Live." On Wednesday, "48" hastily put together Smart coverage -- she was found earlier that day -- and enjoyed its best delivery for a regularly scheduled broadcast since October '99. The next night, "PrimeTime" scored its second biggest audience for a regularly scheduled edition this season, behind only that "porn" edition.
"Fear Factor." Vegas trip brought grubby NBC reality series its biggest audience ever -- more than 18 million viewers.
"Pretty Woman." Gazillionth cablecast of '90s interpretation of the Cinderella story (hooker meets handsome corporate shark, hooker gets handsome corporate shark) was last week's most watched non-WWE cable program, with an average of 4.7 million viewers for TBS.
Those 6 million-ish viewers who migrate from one failed reality series to another. "Are You Hot?" -- 6.9 million viewers. "Married by America" -- 6.9 million viewers. "The Family" -- 6.1 million viewers. "Meet My Folks" -- 6.7 million viewers. "All American Girl" -- 6.7 million viewers. You know who you are. Please, just say no.
"60 Minutes." About 3.5 million people who caught the debut of Bill Clinton and Bob Dole one week earlier did not give them a second chance, even though executive producer Don Hewitt promised they would be better. The result was the show's smallest audience since Feb. 2.
"Mafia Doctor." There actually is a limit to the number of Mob movies the CBS Sunday movie audience can stomach. Only 6.4 million bothered watching last weekend -- the smallest audience on record for an original CBS Sunday movie during the television season.
"Mr. Sterling." Last week's season finale nabbed 8.3 million viewers -- the second smallest audience in its nine-telecast run. So long, Senator.
"Six Feet Under." Third episode of HBO's undertaker drama scored 4.4 million viewers Sunday night -- down 23 percent compared with its third episode last season when the show was red-hot.
"Dragnet." Last Sunday, this cop drama redo averaged just under 9 million viewers. A year earlier, in the same time slot, "The Practice" averaged 13.3 million. Maybe it's time to bring "The Practice" back to Sunday?
The week's 10 most watched programs, in order, were: CBS's "CSI"; Fox's Tuesday "American Idol"; CBS's "Survivor: The Amazon"; NBC's "Friends" and "ER"; CBS's "Everybody Loves Raymond" and "CSI: Miami"; Fox's Wednesday "American Idol"; and NBC's "Fear Factor" and "Law & Order: SVU."