How little interest was there in ABC's Saturday night broadcast of Live 8 concert highlights? NBC's coverage of the rain delay of NASCAR's Pepsi 400 in the same time period drew nearly double the audience.
ABC's two-hour summary of the 10-city mega-concert to pressure G-8 summit leaders to address world poverty drew a paltry 2.9 million viewers, making it the third least watched show last week among the big four networks. (The rain delay managed just over 5.2 million.)
Live 8 drew even fewer viewers on cable. During the day, nearly 1.5 million watched it live on MTV from noon to 8 p.m.; another 800,000 tuned in on VH1.
Only America Online had something to brag about, with an estimated 5 million people logged on to the concert via AOLmusic.com at some point during the day.
It was a low-rated week in general for the broadcast networks as people abandoned their televisions in the lead-up to the holiday weekend. While CBS won the Nielsen ratings race for total viewers, ABC once again delivered the highest-rated show of the week, "Dancing With the Stars."
The penultimate episode of the hit ballroom dancing competition garnered its largest audience yet last Wednesday as 18.6 million people watched Old Kid on the Block Joey McIntyre get the boot.
BET scored its highest ratings ever last Tuesday as 6.6 million watched the fifth annual BET Awards, outperforming all six broadcast networks for the night. The past three awards shows have drawn the network's three largest audiences in its 25-year history.
And Bravo proved last week that we remain a nation of rubberneckers just looking for a car wreck.
The debut of singer Bobby Brown's reality show "Being Bobby Brown" drew a respectable 1.2 million viewers Thursday, more than doubling what the network drew with various programs last month in that 10 p.m. slot.
The week's 10 most watched programs, in order: ABC's "Dancing With the Stars"; CBS's "CSI," "Without a Trace," "CSI: Miami," "Two and a Half Men" and "Everybody Loves Raymond"; NBC's "Law & Order"; ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" repeat; NBC's Pepsi 400; and CBS's "CSI: NY."