'Stand Up to Cancer' tops Friday

ABC, NBC, CBS simulcast the telethon

NEW YORK -- The industrywide "Stand Up to Cancer" telethon averaged at least 10.3 million viewers in its hourlong simulcast on ABC, NBC and CBS Friday night.

That made it the night's most-watched show on broadcast TV, according to preliminary data released Sunday afternoon by Nielsen Media Research. Final data will not be publicly released by Nielsen as the special did not run with advertisements. It averaged a combined 2.4 rating in adults 18-49 on the broadcast networks.

On a Friday night at 8 p.m. before the new broadcast TV season began, the ratings weren't expected to be blockbuster. The two broadcast networks that didn't run the special, Fox and the CW, had more viewers together than the telethon. Fox's first hour of "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader" averaged 6.6 million and a 1.7/7 in the demo while CW's "Smackdown" averaged 4.5 million viewers and a 1.4/5 in adults 18-49. By contrast, the September 2005 simulcast to benefit Hurricane Katrina victims averaged about 24 million viewers on 29 separate networks.