Brian Williams' newscast outdraws NBC prime time

AP News
Posted: Nov 22, 2011 3:03 PM
Brian Williams' newscast outdraws NBC prime time

Some weeks NBC must wish it could start prime time a couple of hours earlier.

The network's "Nightly News" broadcast with Brian Williams averaged 9.1 million viewers over five days last week, clearly outdistancing rivals at ABC and CBS. The problem for NBC is that it also beats virtually everything the network shows in prime time.

Take away Sunday night football and its preview shows and the most-watched NBC show last week was "Law & Order: SVU," with 7.3 million viewers. "Harry's Law" had 7.2 million, Nielsen said.

NBC has moved Williams to prime time once a week, with his newsmagazine "Rock Center" on Mondays. Viewership has yet to catch up with its content, with 3.9 million people watching Bob Costas interview disgraced Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky last week.

In prime time, CBS is the king _ sometimes to starling levels. The network had 18 of the 20 most-watched scripted series on the air last week, Nielsen said.

CBS averaged 11.4 million viewers in prime time (7.1 rating, 11 share). ABC was second with 9.6 million (6.1, 10), NBC had 6.8 million (4.3, 7), Fox had 6.2 million (3.7, 6), the CW had 1.5 million (1.0, 2) and ION Television had 980,000 (0.7, 1).

Among the Spanish-language networks, Univision led with a 3.8 million viewer average (2.0, 3), Telemundo had 1.3 million (0.7, 1), TeleFutura had 500,000 (0.3, 0), Estrella had 230,000 and Azteca 220,000 (both 0.1, 0).

NBC's "Nightly News" topped the evening newscasts with its 9.1 million viewer average (6.1, 11). ABC's "World News" was second with 8 million (5.5, 10) and the "CBS Evening News" had 6.8 million viewers (4.5, 8).

A ratings point represents 1,147,000 households, or 1 percent of the nation's estimated 114.7 million TV homes. The share is the percentage of in-use televisions tuned to a given show.

For the week of Nov. 14-20, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: NFL Football: Philadelphia at N.Y. Giants, NBC, 20.31 million; "NCIS," CBS, 20 million; "Dancing With the Stars," ABC, 17.95 million; "Sunday Night NFL Pre-Kick," NBC, 15.21 million; "NCIS: Los Angeles," CBS, 15.15 million; "Dancing With the Stars Results," ABC, 15.1 million; "The Big Bang Theory," CBS, 15.06 million; "Two and a Half Men," CBS, 14.77 million; "60 Minutes," CBS, 14.47 million; "Modern Family," ABC, 12.91 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 and My Network TV are units of News Corp. NBC and Telemundo are owned by Comcast Corp. 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.