NBC takes demo victory with 'Talent'

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NEW YORK -- NBC outdueled CBS to win the week in the adults 18-49 demographic in broadcast primetime, but the eye added to its string of victories in viewership for the week ending Aug. 26.

The peacock's performance was helped by having the week's top three shows in adults 18-49, including the season finale of "America's Got Talent," a better-than-average "Sunday Night Football" matchup and another episode of "The Singing Bee." CBS won its 12th viewership crown in 13 weeks of the summer. Ratings data was released Tuesday by Nielsen Media Research.

Although it wasn't the top-performing show in the 18-49 demographic Monday night -- that was "Two and a Half Men" (9.2 million, 3.0 rating/8 share in adults 18-49) -- a repeat "TV's Funniest Moments" (7.2 million, 2.5/7) did all right by Fox. Fox won the night on the strength of the two-hour show, which came up against mostly repeats and a new episode of ABC's "Fat March" (4.9 million, 1.9/5).

NBC did all the talking Tuesday with "America's Got Talent" (13.9 million, 4.2/12). "Talent" did well for the network, which saw a 20% increase in adults 18-49 compared with last year's finale. It followed up with "The Singing Bee" (8.9 million, 3.4/9). CBS' "Big Brother" (7.3 million, 3.1/8) did OK against "Talent."

Wednesday's "Power of 10" (8.7 million, 2.3/7) on CBS was improved over Tuesday's edition (6.1 million, 1.9/6), but it wasn't enough for CBS to overcome NBC for the night. NBC was bolstered by "Last Comic Standing" (7.2 million, 3.0/9), while Fox's "Anchorwoman" (2.7 million, 1.0/3) sank and then was quickly canceled.

Thursday belonged to CBS thanks to a new "Big Brother" (7.8 million, 3.0/10) as well as a repeat "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" (10.4 million, 2.7/8) and "Without a Trace" (9.3 million, 2.6/8) episodes.

Friday was won by CBS and a preseason NFL game -- the New England Patriots at the Carolina Panthers -- which averaged 5.2 million viewers and a 1.7/6. Sunday's star was the NFL as well -- the Pittsburgh Steelers at the Philadelphia Eagles -- which gave NBC a winning boost for "Sunday Night Football" (9.2 million, 3.4/9) and the best performance for a preseason NFL game so far this season. Honorable mention went to "Big Brother" (7.4 million, 2.8/8), while "Countdown" -- the MSNBC newscast given a one-shot deal on NBC ahead of the game -- averaged 3 million viewers and a 0.8/3 in adults 18-49. The top show in the demo at 7 p.m. was "America's Funniest Home Videos" (3 million, 2.1/7).

Among the evening newscasts, ABC's "World News With Charles Gibson" won for the 17th time in 18 weeks. ABC averaged 8.1 million viewers compared with 7.9 million viewers for "NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams" and 6.1 million viewers for "CBS Evening News With Katie Couric." ABC also won in the adults 25-54 demographic with a 2.1/9 compared with NBC's 2.0/8 and CBS' 1.5/6.

Among primetime networks for the week, NBC (6 million, 2.1/6) led the networks in the demo, followed by CBS (6.9 million, 2.0/6), Fox (4.7 million, 1.7/5), ABC (4.5 million, 1.6/5), Univision (3 million, 1.3/4), the CW (2 million, 0.7/2) and Telemundo (900,000, 0.4/1).
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