Olympics gives NBC ratings gold

Opening net's most watched since 'Friends' finale

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With its Olympics coverage annihilating repeat-laden competitors, NBC jumped into first place in the Nielsen ratings last week.

Friday's opening ceremony (34.9 million viewers, 10.3 rating/ 32 share in adults 18-49) was the network's most-watched night of programming since the finale of "Friends" in 2004.

Although the opening performance made the biggest headlines, NBC managed to draw an even better rating in the adult demo for Sunday's primetime competition coverage (32 million, 11.2/31).

NBC's 17.7 million average viewers for the week overall marks the highest for any network since Fox's Super Bowl week in February, and the best for NBC in two years. The three-day average has consistently outpaced the 2004 Athens Games.

In addition, the Peacock had the top-rated entertainment program last week with Tuesday's episode of "America's Got Talent" (12.6 million, 3.5/10). Wednesday's "Baby Borrowers: Lessons Learned" (3.3 million, 1.2/3) reunion special, however, made for an unimpressive series closer.

Fox stepped back to second place for the week, continuing to be led by a two-part finale of "So You Think You Can Dance" (9.7 million, 3.3/11). The network also aired the "Teen Choice Awards" (4.4 million, 1.5/5) hosted by Miley Cyrus. The show placed third in the adult demo yet spiked 77% in its target teen audience.

CBS placed third for the week, led by a "Two and a Half Men" repeat (10 million, 3.0/9). On Thursday, "Flashpoint" (6.3 million, 1.7/5) continued to grow in its new 10 p.m. period.

ABC's "Wipeout" (7.3 million, 2.8/9) won its time period despite airing a best-of clip show. But the two-hour finale of "I Survived a Japanese Game Show" (4.5 million, 1.8/6) hit a series low.

Overall, NBC (17.7 million, 5.6/17) won the week, followed by Fox (5 million, 1.8/6), CBS (5.7 million, 1.5/5), ABC (3.7 million, 1.2/4) and the CW (1.5 million, 0.5/2).
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