The American Film Institute's latest TV special, counting down the top 100 songs from the movies, was music to CBS's ears as it led the network to a win in the Nielsen ratings race last week.
The John Travolta-hosted "AFI's 100 Years . . . 100 Songs," which crowned "Over the Rainbow" as top tune, nabbed 12.3 million viewers last Tuesday, making it the third-most-watched show of the week. It was also the second-highest-rated AFI special since they began airing annually on CBS in 1998. Only the 2000 countdown of comedy moments, with 13 million viewers, drew more.
With the AFI special and seven repeats in the top 10, CBS averaged 8.8 million viewers for the week to NBC's 7.2 million. In the battle for the basement, ABC drew 5 million viewers and Fox averaged 4.8 million.
With the exception of "The Simple Life 2," which finished 12th for the week with 9.3 million viewers but was first among the coveted 18-to-49 gang, Fox's new summer shows continue to bomb.
"Method and Red" and "Quintuplets" on Wednesday averaged 6.3 million and 5.6 million, respectively. "The Casino," "North Shore" and "The Jury" all failed to reach the 5 million mark.
Last week's two broadcast premieres also pulled flat numbers. NBC's newest version of the reality show "Who Wants to Marry My Dad?" drew an audience of 8 million on Monday. The first installment of ABC's "NYPD 24/7," which chronicles the lives of New York cops over a 16-month period, averaged 7 million viewers on Tuesday, losing out to the last hour of the AFI special and a repeat of NBC's "Law & Order: SVU."
On cable, the second-season premiere of "Nip/Tuck," FX's graphic drama about a pair of Miami plastic surgeons, brought in a series record of 3.8 million viewers, besting the first-season average by about 500,000.
The week's 10 most watched programs, in order, were: CBS's "CSI," "Without a Trace" and "AFI's 100 Years . . . 100 Songs"; NBC's 10 p.m. "Law & Order"; CBS's "CSI: Miami," "Two and a Half Men," "Everybody Loves Raymond," "60 Minutes" and "Cold Case"; and NBC's 9 p.m. "Law & Order."