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Prime-time crime pays as CBS wins the week

From Associated Press

There’s nothing better than a good crime mystery if you want to settle in front of the television on a warm summer night.

In last week’s Nielsen Media Research rankings, released Tuesday, 10 of the 16 most-watched programs in prime time -- from “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” to “Law & Order: SVU” -- fit that genre.

The one thing the public insists upon is solving that mystery within the hour. Each one of the dramas was self-contained, meaning the plot didn’t continue into another week.

ABC’s “Brat Camp” continued its modest summer success, although nothing along the lines of “Dancing With the Stars.” Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance” couldn’t hold the public’s interest, dropping to 8 million viewers last week after 10.3 million sampled the debut.

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NBC’s “Law Firm,” which premiered with only 5.1 million viewers, CBS’ “Rock Star: INXS” and ABC’s dating game “Hooking Up” are all summer duds.

For the week, CBS won by averaging just under 7 million viewers in prime-time, NBC had 5.8 million, ABC had 5.2 million, Fox had 5.1 million, UPN had 2.8 million, the WB had 1.7 million and Pax TV had 700,000.

NBC’s “Nightly News” won the evening news ratings race, averaging 8.3 million viewers. ABC’s “World News Tonight” had 7.6 million viewers and the “CBS Evening News” had 6.6 million.

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Here are the rankings for national prime-time network television last week (July 25-31) as compiled by Nielsen Media Research. They are based on the average number or people who watched a program from start to finish. Nielsen estimates there are 277.93 million potential viewers in the U.S. ages 2 and older. Viewership is listed in millions.

*--* 1 CSI CBS 13.40 2 Without a Trace CBS 11.28 3 CSI: Miami CBS 10.31 4 Two and a Half Men CBS 9.63 5 Law & Order: Criminal Intent NBC 9.02

6 NCIS CBS 8.96 7 Brat Camp (9 p.m.) ABC 8.89 8 Everybody Loves Raymond CBS 8.50 9 Cold Case CBS 8.41 10 Law & Order NBC 8.34

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11 Big Brother 6 (Tue.) CBS 8.16 12 Primetime ABC 8.12 13 Crossing Jordan (Sun.) NBC 8.03 14 So You Think You Can Dance FOX 8.02 15 Law & Order (9 p.m.) NBC 7.88

16 Law & Order: SVU NBC 7.82 17 60 Minutes CBS 7.78 18 House FOX 7.50 19 King of Queens (Mon.) CBS 7.43 20 Hell’s Kitchen FOX 7.42

21 Big Brother (Thu.) CBS 7.39 22 CSI: NY CBS 7.36 23 20/20 (Fri.) ABC 7.09 24 The Simpsons (8:30 p.m.) FOX 6.73 25 Medium NBC 6.69

26 “I Am Sam” CBS 6.65 Las Vegas NBC 6.65 28 Family Guy FOX 6.62 29 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (8 p.m.) ABC 6.50 30 48 Hours Mystery CBS 6.42

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31 Rock Star: INXS (Tue.) CBS 6.22 32 Dateline: NBC (Fri.) NBC 6.16 33 Dateline: NBC (Sun.) NBC 6.04 34 According to Jim ABC 5.96 35 The Simpsons (8 p.m.) FOX 5.92

36 America’s Funniest Home Videos ABC 5.91 37 Brat Camp (8 p.m.) ABC 5.86 38 Nanny 911 FOX 5.71 39 America’s Most Wanted FOX 5.66 40 Rock Star: INXS (Mon.) CBS 5.52

41 Rodney ABC 5.50 42 My Wife and Kids ABC 5.45 43 Law & Order: Criminal Intent (Sat.) NBC 5.41 44 American Dad FOX 5.40 45 Desperate Housewives ABC 5.25

46 George Lopez ABC 5.21 47 “Lincoln Financial Battle” ABC 5.19 48 Big Brother 6 (Sat.) CBS 5.13 49 Cops (8:30 p.m.) FOX 5.12 50 Law Firm NBC 5.08

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WWE Smackdown! UPN 5.08 52 Average Joe 4 (Tue.) NBC 4.97 53 Crimetime Saturday CBS 4.91 54 Fear Factor NBC 4.89 55 Numb3rs CBS 4.84

56 Grey’s Anatomy ABC 4.82 57 King of Queens (Wed.) CBS 4.69 58 That ‘70s Show (8:30 p.m.) FOX 4.52 59 Crossing Jordan (Fri.) NBC 4.49 60 Hope and Faith ABC 4.46

61 Malcolm in the Middle (Wed.) FOX 4.44 62 Lost ABC 4.39 63 Will & Grace NBC 4.37 64 Rock Star: INXS (Wed.) CBS 4.33 65 That ‘70s Show (8 p.m.) FOX 4.31

66 Average Joe 4 (Wed.) NBC 4.24 67 Extreme Makeover ABC 4.22 Joey NBC 4.22 Cops FOX 4.22 70 Empire ABC 4.21

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71 Law & Order (Sat.) NBC 4.20 72 ER NBC 4.13 73 Hope and Faith (8:30 p.m.) ABC 4.12 74 Trading Spouses FOX 3.94 75 “K-Pax” ABC 3.86

76 Hooking Up ABC 3.83 77 The Cut CBS 3.80 78 King of the Hill FOX 3.79 79 I Want to Be a Hilton NBC 3.59 80 Less Than Perfect ABC 3.53

81 8 Simple Rules ABC 3.47 82 Law & Order: Trial by Jury NBC 3.40 83 Veronica Mars (Fri., 8 p.m.) CBS 3.28 84 Veronica Mars (Fri., 9 p.m.) CBS 3.18 85 Malcolm in the Middle (Sun.) FOX 2.96

86 The O.C. FOX 2.73 87 RU the Girl: With T-Boz & Chili UPN 2.69 88 Girlfriends (Mon.) UPN 2.65 89 All of Us (Mon.) UPN 2.63 90 Half and Half (Mon.) UPN 2.44

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91 One on One (Mon.) UPN 2.35 92 “Gang of Roses” UPN 2.31 93 Arrested Development (8 p.m.) FOX 2.25 94 Reba WB 2.18 95 Half and Half (Tue.) UPN 2.11

96 Gilmore Girls (8 p.m.) WB 2.08 97 Arrested Development (9:30 p.m.) FOX 2.06 98 Gilmore Girls (9 p.m.) WB 2.05 99 Arrested Development (8:30 p.m.) FOX 2.01 Girlfriends (Tue.) UPN 2.01

Living With Fran WB 2.01 102 Smallville (Thu.) WB 1.90 103 Arrested Development (9 p.m.) FOX 1.84 104 All of Us (Tue.) UPN 1.77 105 7th Heaven WB 1.75

106 What I Like About You WB 1.68 One on One (Tue.) UPN 1.68 108 Smallville (Wed.) WB 1.65 109 “Ride” WB 1.61 110 Blue Collar TV WB 1.58

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111 Veronica Mars (Wed.) UPN 1.50 112 Charmed WB 1.42 113 Summerland WB 1.38 114 One Tree Hill WB 1.22 115 Everwood WB 1.04

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Network averages

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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 CBS 6.99 11.75

NBC 5.80 8.99

ABC 5.23 9.21

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FOX 5.08 9.02

UPN 2.78 3.20

WB 1.65 3.07

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