America continues to be fascinated with fading celebrities attempting to find their inner ballroom dancer.
ABC's summer reality series "Dancing With the Stars" clocked its biggest audience yet last Wednesday, averaging nearly 16 million viewers. The series' third episode, in which former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield danced his way right out of the competition, was the week's most watched show among both total viewers and the advertiser-coveted 18-49 crowd.
That large audience wasn't enough for ABC to beat CBS, whose slew of repeats led it to victory among total viewers. But ABC did claim the crown among the younger demographic, with "Dancing" and three NBA Finals games making up the top four shows among 18- to 49-year-olds.
This year's first five NBA Finals games, between the San Antonio Spurs and the Detroit Pistons, averaged 11.2 million viewers. That is down considerably from last year, when the five games between the Pistons and the Los Angeles Lakers -- whose lineup included the power duo of Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal -- averaged an audience of 18 million.
Good news for geeks: The WB announced yesterday that it is bringing back "Beauty and the Geek" for an eight-episode run next season. The third episode of the reality show -- female knockouts team up with male Mensa members with the hope of learning something from one another -- delivered its biggest audience to date last Wednesday with 4.5 million viewers.
The debut of TNT's crime drama "The Closer," starring Kyra Sedgwick as a take-no-prisoners interrogator, attracted a whopping 7 million viewers last Monday, the largest basic cable audience this year for a non-sports telecast. It also beat broadcast networks ABC, NBC, UPN and the WB in the 9 p.m. time slot. The show lost some steam this past Monday, averaging 5.7 million.
The season finale of another cop show, FX's gritty "The Shield," delivered 3.2 million viewers last Tuesday, which matched its season average. With Glenn Close starring as the new police captain this season, the series was up about 500,000 from Season 3.
Fox News Channel's "On the Record With Greta Van Susteren" pulled in some of its biggest numbers ever last week while reporting from Aruba on the missing American teenager. Van Susteren averaged 2 million viewers for the week; her Thursday audience of 2.4 million was the show's highest number since the night after the 2004 election.
The week's 10 most watched programs, in order, were: ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" and Game 5 of the NBA Finals; CBS's "CSI" and "CSI: Miami"; ABC's Game 4 of the NBA Finals; CBS's "Without a Trace"; ABC's Game 3 of the NBA Finals; CBS's "Two and a Half Men" and the Sunday movie "Twelve Mile Road"; and NBC's "Law & Order."