‘Dancing With the Stars' becomes TV most-watched show
"Dancing with the Stars" topped the prime-time television ratings for the first time during its current season last week, while CBS was the most-watched network for the eighth consecutive week, even with airing reruns of three of its four most-popular series.
"Dancing with the Stars" had finished second in each of its first two weeks this season and third each of the next three weeks, but averaged 17.62 million for a Motown-themed episode April 23 to finish first among prime-time programming airing April 23-29, according live-plus-same-day figures released by Nielsen Tuesday.
CBS had each of the seven most-watched scripted programs and averaged 8.44 million viewers for its prime-time programming for the week.
"Person of Interest" was CBS' most-watched program, finishing fifth overall, averaging 12.73 million viewers.
CBS aired a rerun of "NCIS," the most-watched program four of the previous five weeks, that averaged 12.41 million viewers, seventh for the week, topping all the scripted programming on the rival networks.
ABC was second, averaging 8.04 million viewers, its most for a non-Oscar week since the week of Nov. 21-27, when its programming included the fall season finale of "Dancing with the Stars."
ABC had three of the week's nine most-watched programs, all tied to "Dancing with the Stars." Its results show was fourth for the week, averaging 14.54 million viewers and "20/20: Dance Floor Confidential: Behind the Scenes of Dancing with the Stars," which followed "Dancing with the Stars," was ninth, averaging 10.68 million viewers.
ABC's most-watched programs outside of "Dancing with the Stars"-related programming were "Grey's Anatomy" and "Once Upon a Time,' ' which were 16th and 17th, averaging 9.45 million and 9.2 million viewers.
Fox was third, averaging 7.31 million. The Wednesday and Thursday "American Idol" episodes were second and third for the week, averaging 16.87 million and 14.87 million viewers. Its next most-watched program was "Bones," which was 28th, averaging 7.38 million viewers.
NBC averaged 5.19 million viewers to finish fourth for the seventh consecutive week. Its most watched programs were "The Voice," which was 11th, averaging 10.31 million viewers, "The Voice" results show, which was 19th, averaging 8.93 million, and "Harry's Law," which finished 29th, averaging 7.33 million.
For the third consecutive week, Fox finished first among viewers ages 18-49, the group it, ABC and NBC target and advertisers covet because it watches less television and is harder to reach.
The Wednesday and Thursday "American Idol" episodes finished first and third in the category, with the CBS comedy "The Big Bang Theory" placing second.
Fox also led among viewers ages 12-17, 18-34 and 25-54, while CBS was first among viewers 50 and older, a group it has long dominated.
ABC, CBS and NBC all broadcast 22 hours of prime-time programming, while Fox broadcast 15 hours, 54 minutes.
ESPN's coverage of Thursday's first round of the NFL draft was the week's most-watched cable program, averaging 6.66 million viewers, the second most-watched NFL draft telecast, trailing only the 2010 first round, which averaged 7.29 million viewers. The draft was 38th among the week's prime-time broadcast and cable programs.
The NFL draft and the NBA playoffs made ESPN the week's most-watched cable network in prime-time, averaging 2.64 million viewers. USA Network, which had finished first 13 of the previous 14 weeks, was second, averaging 2.57 million viewers.
The Monday episode of the Univision telenovela "Una Familia Con Suerte" ("A Fortunate Family") was the week's most-watched Spanish-language program, averaging 4.62 million viewers, 72nd among all prime-time broadcast and cable programs.
Univision was the most-watched Spanish-language network as usual, averaging 3.73 million viewers for its prime-time programming.
Telemundo was second, averaging 1.2 million viewers, followed by TeleFutura, which averaged 620,000, Estrella TV, which averaged 270,000, and Azteca America, which averaged 140,000.
The "NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams" finished first among the network nightly newscasts for the 137th consecutive week and 184th time in the past 185 weeks, averaging 8.19 million viewers.
ABC's "World News with Diane Sawyer," was second, averaging 7.31 million viewers.
The "CBS Evening News" was third for the 292nd consecutive week and 47th since Scott Pelley became anchor, averaging 5.77 million viewers.
NIELSEN PRIME-TIME RATINGS
Prime-time television viewership numbers compiled by The Nielsen Co. for April 23-29. Listings include the week's ranking and viewership for the week.
1. "Dancing with the Stars," ABC, 17.62 million viewers
2. "American Idol" (Wednesday), Fox, 16.87 million viewers
3. "American Idol" (Thursday), Fox, 14.87 million viewers
4. "Dancing with the Stars Results Show," ABC, 14.54 million viewers
5. "Person of Interest," CBS, 12.73 million viewers
6. "The Big Bang Theory," CBS, 12.65 million viewers
7. "NCIS," CBS, 12.42 million viewers
8. "The Mentalist," CBS, 12.03 million viewers
9. "20/20" (Monday), ABC, 10.68 million viewers
10. "Blue Bloods," CBS, 10.47 million viewers
11. "The Voice" (Monday), NBC, 10.03 million viewers
12. "60 Minutes," CBS, 10.01 million viewers
13. "The Good Wife," CBS, 9.97 million viewers
14. "Survivor: One World," CBS, 9.81 million viewers
15. "NCIS: Los Angeles," CBS, 9.66 million viewers
16. "Grey's Anatomy," ABC, 9.45 million viewers
17. "Once Upon a Time," ABC, 9.20 million viewers
18. "CSI: NY," CBS, 9.13 million viewers
19. "The Voice" (Tuesday), NBC, 8.93 million viewers
20. "The Amazing Race," CBS, 8.60 million viewers