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NBC gets a ’10.5' rise in ratings

From Associated Press

Impressive ratings for NBC’s earthquake tale, “10.5,” helped the network eke out a victory over CBS in the first week of the May ratings sweeps.

Despite poor reviews, Part 1 of the miniseries about a catastrophic California earthquake was seen by 20.7 million viewers on Sunday. That was the highest-rated movie on NBC in five years. The ratings held up for the second part on Monday; it drew 19.6 million viewers.

NBC averaged 12.1 million viewers in prime time for the week, beating CBS’ 11.8 million. NBC easily won among viewers age 18 to 49, the demographic group it most cares about.

The second-to-last episode of “Friends” was seen by 24.5 million viewers Thursday. NBC is expecting more than twice as many viewers to show up for this week’s series finale.

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Hit-starved ABC had a rare appearance in Nielsen’s top 20 with “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” with 13.1 million viewers. Thursday’s edition of “Stephen King’s Kingdom Hospital” drew shockingly bad numbers, though, seen by less than 2.6 million viewers.

Out of prime time, ABC’s “Nightline” Friday night special “The Fallen,” in which the show’s 40 minutes were devoted to reading the names and showing photographs of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq, gave the show a sizable bump. Although actual viewer numbers aren’t available yet, preliminary ratings data showed “Nightline” attracting 22% more viewers than the previous Friday, and 29% above ratings earlier in the week.

Powered by “American Idol,” Fox earned third place with an 8.9 million prime-time average. ABC had 7.9 million, the WB had 3.7 million and UPN had 2.7 million.

NBC’s “Nightly News” won the evening news ratings race, averaging 9.5 million viewers. ABC’s “World News Tonight” had 8.5 million and the “CBS Evening News” had 6.8 million.

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(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX)

Here are the rankings for national prime-time network television last week (April 26-May 2) as compiled by Nielsen Media Research. They are based on the average number of people who watched a program from start to finish. Nielsen estimates there are 272.04 million potential viewers in the U.S. age 2 and older. Viewership is listed in millions.

*--* Program Network Viewers 1 CSI CBS 26.37 2 Friends (Thu., 8 p.m.) NBC 24.51 3 American Idol (Tue.) FOX 24.35 4 American Idol (Wed.) FOX 22.26 5 ER NBC 22.03

6 Survivor: All-Stars CBS 20.78 7 “10.5" NBC 20.72 8 Will & Grace NBC 20.53 9 Friends (Thu., 8:30 p.m.) NBC 20.23 10 Law & Order NBC 17.19

11 Without a Trace CBS 16.69 12 Cold Case CBS 14.38 13 CSI: Miami CBS 13.78 14 Fear Factor NBC 13.31 15 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition ABC 13.15

16 Everybody Loves Raymond CBS 13.02 17 Law & Order: SVU NBC 12.78 18 Frasier NBC 12.43 19 60 Minutes CBS 12.31 20 Two and a Half Men CBS 12.09

21 The West Wing NBC 11.94 22 Navy NCIS CBS 11.64 23 Judging Amy CBS 11.63 24 The Bachelor ABC 11.62 25 “The Book of Ruth” CBS 11.59

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26 Las Vegas NBC 11.43 27 24 FOX 11.13 28 Extreme Makeover (Wed.) ABC 10.67 29 O.C. FOX 10.52 30 The Guardian CBS 9.96

31 NYPD Blue ABC 9.89 The Simpsons (8:30 p.m.) FOX 9.89 33 CSI: Miami (Fri.) CBS 9.79 34 That ‘70s Show FOX 9.73 35 The District CBS 9.68

36 JAG CBS 9.63 37 The Simpsons FOX 9.51 38 Third Watch NBC 9.36 39 King of Queens CBS 9.32 40 Scrubs NBC 9.21

41 20/20 (Fri.) ABC 8.89 42 The Swan FOX 8.88 43 The Practice ABC 8.85 44 According to Jim ABC 8.66 45 Less Than Perfect ABC 9.63

46 60 Minutes II CBS 8.61 47 Dateline: NBC (Fri.) NBC 8.55 48 America’s Funniest Home Videos ABC 8.49 49 Still Standing CBS 8.46 50 48 Hours Investigates CBS 8.38

51 The District (9 p.m.) CBS 8.36 52 “The Sixth Sense” ABC 8.27 Alias ABC 8.27 54 “Life’s Funniest Moments” NBC 8.16 55 Still Standing CBS 8.05

56 The Price Is Right CBS 8.04 57 America’s Most Wanted FOX 8.00 58 Hope and Faith (9:30 p.m.) ABC 7.77 59 Hope and Faith ABC 7.72 60 Joan of Arcadia CBS 7.63

61 Yes, Dear CBS 7.62 62 Law & Order: SVU (Sat.) NBC 7.48 63 Malcolm in the Middle FOX 7.45 64 Wonderful World of Disney ABC 7.40 65 Restaurant 2 NBC 7.39

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66 My Wife and Kids (8:30 p.m.) ABC 7:06 67 George Lopez ABC 7.00 68 My Wife and Kids ABC 6.99 Cops (8:30 p.m.) FOX 6.99 70 Frasier NBC 6.92

Malcolm in the Middle (9:30 p.m.) FOX 6.92 72 Dateline: NBC (Sun.) NBC 6.70 73 Friends (Tue.) NBC 6.33 74 “Twister” NBC 6.30 75 King of the Hill FOX 6.25

76 7th Heaven WB 6.23 77 Cops FOX 5.94 78 8 Simple Rules ABC 5.87 79 The Big House ABC 5.73 80 I’m With Her ABC 5.23

81 Everwood WB 5.23 82 Bernie Mac (8:30 p.m.) FOX 4.96 83 Primetime Thursday ABC 4.75 84 “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” FOX 4.73 85 WWE Smackdown! UPN 4.55

86 Gilmore Girls WB 4.52 87 Tru Calling FOX 4.50 88 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (Thu.) ABC 4.45 89 Smallville WB 4.32 90 Bernie Mac FOX 4.24

91 One Tree Hill WB 4.23 92 Angel WB 4.21 93 Charmed WB 4.10 94 Reba WB 3.52 95 High School Reunion (9 p.m.) WB 3.36

96 Enterprise UPN 3.35 97 What I Like About You WB 2.95 98 Girlfriends UPN 2.91 99 Steve Harvey’s Big Time (8:30 p.m.) WB 2.81 100 Steve Harvey’s Big Time WB 2.78

101 Eve UPN 2.73 Half and Half UPN 2.73 103 The Parkers UPN 2.70 104 All of Us UPN 2.63 105 Stephen King’s Kingdom Hospital ABC 2.59

106 I’m Still Alive UPN 2.48 107 Jamie Kennedy WB 2.26 108 Grounded for Life WB 2.22 109 Girlfriends (Tue.) UPN 2.16 One on One UPN 2.16

111 Rock Me Baby UPN 2.09 112 Jamie Kennedy (9:30 p.m.) WB 2.08 113 Run of the House WB 1.99 114 High School Reunion (7 p.m.) WB 1.92 115 “Driven” UPN 1.19

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Network averages

Here is the number of viewers (in millions) that each network averaged per hour of prime time, for last week and for the season.

*--* Network Last week Season to date NBC 12.10 10.96

CBS 11.83 13.16

FOX 8.90 9.66

ABC 7.91 9.09

WB 3.73 3.64

UPN 2.74 3.41

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