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College hoops keep CBS at the top of class

From City News Service

CBS continued its reign as the most-watched network and was also first among the highly coveted young adult audience last week, according to figures released Tuesday by Nielsen Media Research.

An average of more than 13.9 million viewers watched CBS’ prime-time programming from March 21 through Sunday, the 23rd time in the season’s 27 weeks it has finished first.

Fox Broadcasting, boosted by an extra edition of “American Idol,” was second, with an average of more than 10.3 million viewers, followed by ABC with more than 8.7 million, NBC with more than 8.6 million, UPN with nearly 3.2 million and the WB with more than 2.6 million.

The combination of its coverage of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament and drama and unscripted series enabled CBS to finish first among viewers between the ages of 18 and 49, the group targeted by ABC, Fox and NBC. Fox had finished first in the group for eight consecutive weeks, the longest streak in the network’s history.

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CBS also finished first among viewers 25-54 (the group it targets), 12-49, 35-49, 55 and older, and men 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54.

Fox was first among all the other demographic groups for which statistics are available.

Fox’s Tuesday edition of “American Idol” was the week’s most-watched program, drawing nearly 27.6 million viewers. It also led among viewers 12-17, 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54.

ABC, Fox and NBC all had impressive results with series premieres. The ABC medical drama “Grey’s Anatomy” became the only mid-season series to rank among the Top 10 in total viewers and viewers 18-49 the week of its premiere; the comedy “Life on a Stick” was Fox’s most-watched Thursday scripted premiere (during the regular season) since “Down the Shore” on Dec. 3, 1992, and the NBC comedy “The Office,” won its 9:30 p.m. Thursday time slot among viewers 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54.

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(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX)

Here are the rankings for national prime-time network television last week (March 21-27) 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 277.93 million potential viewers in the U.S. ages 2 and older. Viewership is listed in millions.

*--* 1 American Idol (Tue.) FOX 27.60 2 Desperate Housewives ABC 24.08 3 American Idol (Wed.) FOX 20.89 4 American Idol (Thu.) FOX 20.17 5 Survivor: Palau CBS 19.15

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6 CSI: Miami CBS 18.93 7 NCAA Basketball Tournament (Sun., 5 p.m.) CBS 17.91 8 House FOX 17.34 9 CSI: NY CBS 16.73 10 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition ABC 16.36

11 Grey’s Anatomy ABC 16.24 12 CSI CBS 16.14 13 Two and a Half Men CBS 15.92 14 60 Minutes CBS 15.51 15 Everybody Loves Raymond CBS 15.43

16 ER NBC 15.01 17 NCIS CBS 14.86 18 NCAA Basketball Tournament (Sat., 7:13 p.m.) CBS 14.24 19 Cold Case CBS 13.24 20 Amazing Race: 7 CBS 12.43

21 NCAA Basketball Tournament (Fri., 9:38 p.m.) CBS 11.85 22 Medium NBC 11.68 23 24 FOX 11.55 24 NCAA Basketball Tournament (Fri., 7 p.m.) CBS 11.52 25 Crossing Jordan NBC 11.37

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26 Office NBC 11.22 27 Law and Order: Trial by Jury NBC 11.07 28 Apprentice 3 NBC 10.81 29 Law and Order: Criminal Intent NBC 10.70 30 NCAA Basketball Tournament (Thu., 9:30 p.m.) CBS 10.65

31 NCAA Basketball Tournament (Thu., 7 p.m.) CBS 10.49 32 Law and Order: SVU NBC 10.48 33 NCAA Basketball Tournament (Sat., 4:30 p.m.) CBS 10.31 34 Still Standing CBS 10.21 35 Listen Up CBS 9.93

36 Judging Amy CBS 9.92 37 According to Jim ABC 9.60 Law and Order NBC 9.60 39 Blind Justice ABC 9.55 40 Nanny 911 FOX 9.54

41 Crimetime Saturday CBS 9.26 42 Life on a Stick FOX 9.24 43 Dateline: NBC (Fri.) NBC 9.23 44 America’s Funniest Home Videos ABC 9.20 45 Wonderful World of Disney ABC 9.00

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46 The West Wing NBC 8.96 47 Joey NBC 8.76 48 Las Vegas NBC 8.67 49 O.C. FOX 8.59 50 Law and Order: Criminal Intent (Sat.) NBC 8.50

51 “Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas” CBS 8.47 52 That ‘70s Show FOX 8.26 Lost ABC 8.26 54 Fear Factor NBC 8.24 55 Medical Investigation NBC 8.04

56 Cops (8:30 p.m.) FOX 7.99 57 48 Hours Mystery CBS 7.86 58 Rodney ABC 7.82 59 Simple Life 3 FOX 7.80 60 Primetime Live ABC 7.66

61 Supernanny ABC 7.50 62 “Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown” ABC 7.39 63 20/20 (Fri.) ABC 7.17 64 Contender NBC 7.02 65 Cops FOX 6.89

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66 Alias ABC 6.76 67 Jake in Progress (8:30 p.m.) ABC 6.75 68 America’s Most Wanted FOX 6.58 69 Jake in Progress ABC 6.46 70 The Simpsons FOX 6.41

71 Law and Order: SVU (Sat.) NBC 6.25 72 Americans Dreams NBC 6.14 73 My Wife and Kids ABC 6.12 74 Hope & Faith ABC 6.10 75 George Lopez ABC 6.02

76 Desperate Housewives (Sat.) ABC 5.88 77 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition: How’d They Do that? ABC 5.80 78 Extreme Makeover ABC 5.60 79 Jake in Progress (9:30 p.m.) ABC 5.44 80 Less Than Perfect ABC 5.33

81 Scrubs (9 p.m.) NBC 5.29 82 8 Simple Rules ABC 5.28 83 WWE Smackdown! UPN 5.21 84 “Vacation Swap” ABC 5.07 85 The Simpsons (9 p.m.) FOX 4.91

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86 Jake in Progress (9 p.m.) ABC 4.80 87 America’s Next Top Model 4 UPN 4.74 88 Arrested Development FOX 4.72 89 Will & Grace NBC 4.48 Scrubs (8:30 p.m.) NBC 4.48

91 “The 36th NAACP Image Awards” FOX 4.36 92 LAX NBC 4.33 93 Contender (7 p.m.) NBC 4.19 94 Malcolm in the Middle FOX 4.13 95 Reba (9:30 p.m.) WB 3.82

96 King of the Hill FOX 3.77 97 Blue Collar TV (8:30 p.m.) WB 3.71 98 Sketch Show FOX 3.69 99 7th Heaven WB 3.66 100 Reba WB 3.42

101 Blue Collar TV WB 3.24 102 Cuts UPN 3.22 103 Girlfriends UPN 3.14 104 One on One UPN 3.07 105 Smallville WB 2.96

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106 Half and Half UPN 2.94 107 Gilmore Girls WB 2.75 108 Smallville (9 p.m.) WB 2.66 109 Summerland WB 2.65 110 Kevin Hill UPN 2.46

111 Eve UPN 2.44 112 Steve Harvey WB 2.38 113 All of Us UPN 2.34 114 Charmed (8 p.m.) WB 2.27 115 What I Like About You (8:30 p.m.) WB 2.03

116 Charmed (7 p.m.) WB 1.98 117 Starlet WB 1.97 118 What I Like About You WB 1.95 119 Enterprise UPN 1.91 120 Veronica Mars UPN 1.84

121 America’s Next Top Model 4 (Fri.) UPN 1.72 122 Starlet (Thu.) WB 1.55

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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.

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*--* Network Last week Season to date CBS 13.94 12.86

FOX 10.32 10.02

ABC 8.72 10.30

NBC 8.63 10.03

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UPN 3.17 3.36

WB 2.61 3.38

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