Almost a full gainer
Only Fox is down among broadcast networksWith the World Series over and Election Night boosting viewership last week, all the networks save Fox made gains in the ratings.
ABC and NBC tied for first place, with ABC led by its scripted dramas and NBC fueled by the NFL and "Saturday Night Live."
NBC's "Sunday Night Football," featuring the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles (17.6 million viewers and 6.7 rating/16 share in the adults 18-49 demographic), was the highest-rated program of the week, and the network's election-eve "SNL" special (14.4 million, 5.6/13) placed fourth. "30 Rock" (8.1 million, 3.9/9) maintained most of its series-high rating from its premiere week.
The debut of NBC's new Wednesday night crime block got off to a weak start, however. The time-period premiere of "Life" (5.9 million, 2.0/6) finished fourth in the hour, while the 19th-season debut of "Law & Order" (7.9 million, 2.2/6) hit a Wednesday low.
ABC is ranked No. 1 season-to-date in the demo and last week sported the top two entertainment programs: "Desperate Housewives" (15.9 million, 5.9/13) and "Grey's Anatomy" (15.7 million, 6.0/14). ABC also topped competitors with its Election Night coverage (14.2 million, 4.9/10). Aided by a stronger lead-in this week, Wednesday night's "Private Practice" (9.2 million, 3.1/8) had its best rating since its premiere. Although "Life on Mars" (8.7 million, 2.9/8) improved slightly this week, the freshman drama placed third in the 10 p.m. hour.
CBS was first for the week among total viewers and boasted seven series hitting season-high deliveries in that measurement. "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" (18.2 million, 5.1/12) led the way, gaining slightly this week and boosting "Eleventh Hour" (10.9 million, 3.1/8). Sunday's "60 Minutes" (18.5 million, 4.2/11) hit a season high in the demo with an interview of Barack Obama's campaign team and was aided by an NFL lead-in. "How I Met Your Mother" (9.4 million, 4.1/10) also registered a series high.
Returning to original series after weeks of baseball pre-emptions, Fox's best-rated night — Tuesday — was pre-empted by election coverage. As a result, the network's highest-rated show was "Bones" (10.2 million, 3.3/9), which ranked about 20th for the week, followed by its Sunday animated block.
The CW was up slightly this week, with "Smallville" (4.5 million, 1.9/6) having its best-rated episode in nearly a year. (partialdiff)