Ratings Wrapup: CBS and FOX Win, Again

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The 2006-07 TV season ended pretty much the same way the previous year did -- with CBS and FOX each able to lay claim to being No. 1.

The overall broadcast-network picture isn't especially rosy, though. Three of the big four broadcast networks lost viewers this year, and the only one that didn't, FOX, added a mere 130,000 viewers. Everybody lost ground in the key demographic of adults 18-49, at least on air; while Nielsen ratings do take DVR usage into account, they don't cover the burgeoning realm of downloads or streaming video that every network now offers.

For the fifth consecutive season, CBS ended the year on top in viewers. An average of 12.18 million people per night watched the Eye's deep and consistent schedule this season, but even though it had the Super Bowl this year, that's off a little from last year's 12.56 million.

Fueled once again by "American Idol" after a lackluster fall, FOX grabbed second overall with 10.19 million viewers, up a tick from 10.06 million in 2005-06. ABC, with 9.71 million viewers, was down about a million from last season (when it had both the Super Bowl and "Monday Night Football"). NBC also shed about a million viewers (although the Winter Olympics boosted last year's numbers somewhat) to finish with 8.66 million.

ABC and NBC both note, however, that their "regular programming" averages -- i.e., stripping out one-time sports events -- are about even with last season.

In the adults 18-49 demographic, FOX was NO. 1 with a 3.9 rating for the season, down a bit from last season's 4.1. CBS (3.6) moved back in front of ABC, which fell from 3.9 in 2005-06 to 3.4 this season (again, partily attributable to not having the NFL). NBC came in at 3.0.

New network The CW finished its first year right in line with UPN and The WB, the two nets it replaced. It averaged 3.12 million viewers, a 1.3 rating in adults 18-49 and a 1.5 in its core demo of adults 18-34. All three are remarkably similar to what both UPN (3.1 million, 1.3, 1.4) and The WB (3.11 million, 1.3, 1.4) did in their final year.

The two weekly editions of "Idol" were once again the most-watched shows on TV, with the Wednesday show clocking in at just over 30 million viewers and the Tuesday installment at 29.5 million. The fall season of ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" was third at 20.46 million.

CBS' "CSI" was the most-watched scripted show, and fourth overall, with 19.77 million people tuning in weekly. Even though original episodes of ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" (18.69 million) usually beat "CSI" head-to-head on Thursday, the latter does better in repeats, which are counted in the season-long averages.

NBC's "Heroes" was the most-watched new show of the season, pulling in about 13.57 million viewers per week.

Here are the top 25 shows of the 2006-07 season in total viewers (numbers in millions):

1. "American Idol" - Wednesday (FOX): 30,017
2. "American Idol" - Tuesday (FOX): 29,543
3. "Dancing with the Stars" - fall (ABC): 20,464
4. "CSI" (CBS): 19,774
5. "Dancing with the Stars" - spring (ABC): 19,570
6. "Dancing with the Stars" results - fall (ABC): 18,964
7. "Grey's Anatomy" (ABC): 18,690
8. "House" (FOX): 18,517
9. "Dancing with the Stars" results - spring (ABC): 18,048
10. "Desperate Housewives" (ABC): 17,034
11. "Sunday Night Football" (NBC): 17,008
12. "CSI: Miami" (CBS): 16,450
13. "Survivor: Cook Islands" (CBS): 15,381
14. "Deal or No Deal" - Monday (NBC): 14,831
15. "Without a Trace" (CBS): 14,330
16. "Survivor: Fiji" (CBS): 14,231
17. "NCIS" (CBS): 14,206
18. "Two and a Half Men" (CBS): 14,151
19. "Cold Case" (CBS): 14,083
20. "Lost" (ABC): 13,778
21. "Criminal Minds" (CBS): 13,623
22. "CSI: NY" (CBS): 13,577
23. "Heroes" (NBC): 13,569
24. "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" (ABC): 13,323
25. "Shark" (CBS): 13,223

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