There's nothing like a backwoods blood feud to excite television viewers on Memorial Day.
The first part of the History network's miniseries "Hatfields & McCoys" was seen by 13.9 million viewers on Monday night, more than 17 million when the immediate repeat was added in, the Nielsen company said. The numbers held up for part two on Tuesday, which was watched by 13.1 million, Nielsen said.
Those are huge numbers in the cable television world. No scripted series on the broadcast networks last week came close. By contrast, Fox's series finale of "House" last week reached 8.7 million people.
"Hatfields & McCoys" had a couple of big-name stars in Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton and is airing over three nights in two-hour chunks. Broadcast television was dominated by competition shows again last week, led by the 21.5 million people who watched the "American Idol" finale on Fox. "Dancing With the Stars" and "America's Got Talent" also did well.
Perhaps crowded by the marketplace, ABC's "Duets" finished a modest No. 23 in the ratings, with 6.8 million viewers. Fox's summer series "So You Think You Can Dance" also came out of the gate slowly, with 6.3 million viewers.
Led by "Idol," Fox won the week with an average of 8.3 million viewers in prime time (4.9 rating, 9 share). ABC had 7.4 million (also 4.9, 9), CBS had 5.8 million (3.9, 7), NBC had 4.6 million (3.0, 5), ION Television had 1.1 million (0.7, 1) and the CW had 680,000 (0.5, 1). Among the Spanish-language networks, Univision led with 3.7 million (2.0, 3), Telemundo had 1.1 million (0.6, 1), TeleFutura had 510,000 (0.3, 0), Estrella had 210,000 and Azteca 110,000 (both 0.1, 0).
NBC's "Nightly News" topped the evening newscasts with an average of 7.8 million viewers (5.3, 11). ABC's "World News" was second with 7.2 million (4.9, 10) and the "CBS Evening News" had 5.4 million viewers (3.8, 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 May 21-27, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: "American Idol" (Wednesday), Fox, 21.49 million; "Dancing With the Stars Results," ABC, 17.75 million; "Dancing With the Stars," ABC, 16.84 million; "American Idol" (Tuesday), Fox, 14.85 million; "Modern Family," ABC, 10.07 million; "America's Got Talent" (Monday), NBC, 9.66 million; "America's Got Talent" (Tuesday), NBC, 9.44 million; "NCIS" (Tuesday, 10 p.m.), CBS, 9.34 million; "NCIS" (Tuesday, 9 p.m.), CBS, 9.17 million; "Dancing With the Stars" (Tuesday, 8 p.m.), ABC, 8.84 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.