Weeks like the last one illustrate the challenge faced by NBC's new programming executive, Bob Greenblatt.
Behind the Academy Awards show, ABC was the top-ranked network last week with an average of 10.7 million viewers, the Nielsen Co. said Tuesday. CBS, with the overall strength of its schedule, and Fox, behind "American Idol," also averaged more than 10 million viewers _ more than double the audience that NBC had last week.
The Peacock Network's top show last week, the new drama "Harry's Law," starring Kathy Bates, was ranked No. 29 among network programs. The next most popular NBC show was "Law & Order: SVU" at No. 33, with both shows getting fewer than 9 million people watching.
Greenblatt was named to his new job when telecommunications company Comcast took over NBC Universal this winter. He's a former top executive at Showtime.
The Academy Awards show as seen by just under 38 million people on Sunday, down from the 41.7 million who watched last year, Nielsen said.
It was ABC's first weekly win since last summer, with the network averaging a 6.4 rating and 11 share. A ratings point represents 1,159,000 households, or 1 percent of the nation's estimated 115.9 million TV homes. The share is the percentage of in-use televisions tuned to a given show.
CBS had 10.4 million viewers (6.3, 11), Fox had 10.3 million (5.8, 10), NBC had 5 million (3.2, 5), the CW had 2 million (1.2, 2) and ION Television had 1.3 million (0.8, 1).
Among the Spanish-language networks, Univision led with 3.6 million viewers on average last week (1.8 rating, 3 share), Telemundo had 1.1 million (0.6, 1), TeleFutura had 770,000 (0.4, 1), Azteca had 250,000 and Estrella 240,000 (both 0.1, 0).
NBC's "Nightly News" topped the evening newscasts with an average of 9.8 million viewers (6.3, 12). ABC's "World News" was second with 8.4 million (5.8, 11) and the "CBS Evening News" had 6.5 million viewers (4.2, 8).
For the week of Feb. 21-27, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: "Academy Awards," ABC, 37.92 million; "Oscar's Red Carpet Live, Part 3," ABC, 26.61 million; "American Idol" (Wednesday), Fox, 22.72 million; "American Idol" (Thursday), Fox, 21.76 million; "NCIS," CBS, 21.32 million; "NCIS: Los Angeles," CBS, 18.69 million; "Oscar's Red Carpet Live, Part 2," ABC, 16.03 million; "The Mentalist," CBS, 14.79 million; "Criminal Minds," CBS, 13.15 million; "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," CBS, 12.41 million.
ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co. CBS is owned by CBS Corp. CW is a joint venture of Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corp. Fox is a unit of News Corp. NBC and Telemundo are owned by General Electric Co. ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks. TeleFutura is a division of Univision. Azteca America is a wholly owned subsidiary of TV Azteca S.A. de C.V.