Originally created 04/04/02

CBS takes weekly ratings race behind NCAA basketball



NEW YORK -- In the usual tight competition between television's two dominant networks, CBS edged NBC last week largely on the strength of the NCAA basketball tournament.

It usually takes a special event - ABC with the Academy Awards or Fox with the Super Bowl - to break the CBS and NBC stranglehold atop the Nielsen Media Research prime-time ratings.

NBC is likely to win the season ratings crown because of the Winter Olympics.

Last week, CBS' coverage of the NCAA semi-finals on Saturday finished among the week's top 10 programs. NBC's repeat airing of the movie "A Fish Called Wanda" finished in 99th place.

NBC's "ER," beginning the storyline leading to actor Anthony Edwards' departure, was the week's top-rated show. But CBS' "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" had slightly more viewers, 25.2 million to 24.8 million.

Struggling ABC had some encouraging numbers for two new series, "The Bachelor" and "The Court," as did Fox with "Greg the Bunny."

Still, ABC's most popular entertainment show of the week was as old as Moses: its traditional Easter Sunday showing of the movie "The Ten Commandments."

For the week, CBS averaged 12.6 million viewers (8.2 rating, 14 share). NBC had 11.8 million viewers (7.8, 13), ABC had 9.4 million (6.0, 10), Fox 7.2 million (4.4, 7), UPN 3.5 million (2.1, 3), the WB 3 million (2.0, 3) and Pax TV 1.3 million (0.9, 2).

NBC's "Nightly News" won the evening news ratings race with an average of 10.4 million viewers (7.3 rating, 15 share), ABC's "World News Tonight" averaged 9.9 million (7.2, 15) and the "CBS Evening News" had 8.4 million (6.0, 12).

A ratings point represents 1,055,000 households, or 1 percent of the nation's estimated 105.5 million TV homes. The share is the percentage of in-use televisions tuned to a given show.

Primetime Nielsens Ratings:

Prime-time ratings compiled by Nielsen Media Research for March 25-31. Top 20 listings include the week's ranking, with rating for the week and season-to-date rankings in parentheses.

An "X" in parentheses denotes a one-time-only presentation. The rating is the percentage of the nation's estimated 105.5 million TV homes. Each ratings point represents 1,055,000 households.

1. (4) "ER," NBC, 16.1, 17.0 million homes.

2. (3) "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," CBS, 15.4, 16.2 million homes.

3. (5) "Everybody Loves Raymond," CBS, 13.9, 14.7 million homes.

4. (1) "Friends," NBC, 13.7, 14.4 million homes.

5. (6) "Law and Order," NBC, 13.1, 13.8 million homes.

6. (X) "CBS NCAA Basketball Championship: Maryland vs. Kansas," CBS, 11.3, 12.0 million homes.

6. (7) "Survivor: Marquesas," CBS, 11.3, 12.0 million homes.

8. (8) "The West Wing," NBC, 11.2, 11.8 million homes.

9. (25) "Yes, Dear," CBS, 10.9, 11.5 million homes.

10. (15) "JAG," CBS, 10.3, 10.8 million homes.

10. (18) "Judging Amy," CBS, 10.3, 11.0 million homes.

12. (14) "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit," NBC, 9.8, 10.4 million homes.

12. (12) "Will & Grace," NBC, 9.8, 10.4 million homes.

14. 11) "Leap Of Faith: ," NBC, 9.7, 10.2 million homes.

15. (X) "CBS NCAA Basketball-Bridge Show," CBS, 9.6, 10.1 million homes.

15. (X) "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit," NBC, 9.6, 10.1 million homes.

17. (24) "The King of Queens," CBS, 9.3, 9.8 million homes.

18. (23) "Baby Bob," CBS, 9.0, 9.5 million homes.

18. (31) "Fear Factor," NBC, 9.0, 9.5 million homes.

20. (29) "The Guardian," CBS, 8.9, 9.4 million homes.

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20. "Just Shoot Me," NBC, 8.9

22. "Dateline NBC-Friday," NBC, 8.7

23. "20/20-Friday," ABC, 8.5

24. "60 Minutes," CBS, 8.1

24. "Frasier," NBC, 8.1

26. "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," NBC, 8.0

27. "60 Minutes II," CBS, 7.9

28. "Dateline NBC-Tuesday," NBC, 7.5

28. "NYPD Blue," ABC, 7.5

28. "Providence," NBC, 7.5

31. "Family Law," CBS, 7.4

32. "My Wife and Kids," ABC, 7.3

33. "The Agency," CBS, 7.1

34. "The Court," ABC, 7.0

35. "ABC Big Picture Show: Ten Commandments," ABC, 6.9

35. "The Bachelor," ABC, 6.9

37. "Frasier," NBC, 6.8

38. "Watching Ellie," NBC, 6.7

39. "Ed," NBC, 6.6

39. "Primetime Thursday," ABC, 6.6

41. "Crossing Jordan," NBC, 6.5

42. "The Amazing Race: 2," CBS, 6.4

43. "48 Hours-Wednesday," CBS, 6.3

43. "George Lopez," ABC, 6.3

43. "The Simpsons," Fox, 6.3

46. "Scrubs," NBC, 6.1

46. "That '70s Show," Fox, 6.1

48. "The Drew Carey Show," ABC, 6.0

49. "Just Shoot Me," NBC, 5.9

50. "America's Funniest Home Videos," ABC, 5.8

51. "24," FOX, 5.6

51. "The Bernie Mac Show," Fox, 5.6

51. "The Education of Max Bickford," CBS, 5.6

51. "Greg the Bunny," Fox, 5.6

55. "America's Most Wanted: America Fights Back," Fox, 5.5

55. "Downtown," ABC, 5.5

55. "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire-Thursday," ABC, 5.5

58. "Cops 2: Atlanta ," Fox, 5.4

59. "ABC Saturday Night Movie: The Peacemaker ," ABC, 5.2

59. "America's Funniest Home Videos," ABC, 5.2

61. "Andy Richter Controls The Universe," Fox, 5.1

61. (X) "Greg the Bunny," Fox, 5.1

63. "Law & Order," NBC, 5.0

63. "Wednesday 9:30(8:30 Central)," ABC, 5.0

65. "Dharma & Greg," ABC, 4.9

65. "Once and Again," ABC, 4.9

67. "Spin City," ABC, 4.7

68. "Cops: Palm Beach ," Fox, 4.6

69. "First Monday," CBS, 4.5

69. "Weakest Link-Sunday," NBC, 4.5

71. "CBS Sunday Movie: Analyze This," CBS, 4.4

71. "The X-Files," Fox, 4.4

73. "Best Commercials Never Seen 4," ABC, 4.3

74. "Boston Public," Fox, 4.2

74. "Grounded For Life," Fox, 4.2

76. "King Of the Hill," Fox, 3.8

76. "Whose Line is it Anyway?," ABC, 3.8

78. "American Embassy," Fox, 3.7

78. "That '80s Show," Fox, 3.7

78. "World Wrestling Federation Smackdown!," UPN, 3.7

81. "The Colin Quinn Show," NBC, 3.6

82. "AFP: American Fighter Pilot," CBS, 3.5

82. "That '70s Show 2," Fox, 3.5

84. (X) "Bill O'Reilly: American Youth," Fox, 3.4

84. "Dark Angel," Fox, 3.4

84. "Enterprise," UPN, 3.4

87. (X) "King Of the Hill," Fox, 3.2

88. "Post Mortem," Fox, 3.1

88. "Whose Line is it Anyway?," ABC, 3.1

90. "48 Hours," CBS, 3.0

91. "7th Heaven," WB, 2.9

92. "Girlfriends," UPN, 2.8

92. "The Parkers," UPN, 2.8

94. "Charmed," WB, 2.7

94. "Futurama," Fox, 2.7

94. "Smallville," WB, 2.7

97. "One On One," UPN, 2.5

97. "Reba," WB, 2.5

99. "Gilmore Girls," WB, 2.3

99. "The Hughleys," UPN, 2.3

99. "NBC Saturday Night Movies: A Fish Called Wanda," NBC, 2.3

102. "Felicity," WB, 1.9

102. "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch," WB, 1.9

104. "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," UPN, 1.8

104. "The Jamie Kennedy Experiment 2," WB, 1.8

106. "Dawson's Creek," WB, 1.7

106. "Maybe It's Me," WB, 1.7

106. "Raising Dad," WB, 1.7

109. "Gilmore Girls-Thursday," WB, 1.6

109. "Glory Days," WB, 1.6

109. "Off Centre 2," WB, 1.6

112. "The Jamie Kennedy Experiment 1," WB, 1.5

113. "Off Centre 1," WB, 1.4

114. "For Your Love 2," WB, 1.3

115. "Diagnosis Murder-Monday," Pax, 1.2

115. "Diagnosis Murder-Thursday," Pax, 1.2

115. "Doc-Sunday," Pax, 1.2

118. (X) "Bonanza," Pax, 1.1

118. "Diagnosis Murder-Wednesday," Pax, 1.1

118. "For Your Love 1," WB, 1.1

118. "Pax Big Event: Diagnosis Murder: Gangland," Pax, 1.1

118. "Touched By an Angel-Wednesday," Pax, 1.1

118. "Under One Roof," UPN, 1.1

124. "Diagnosis Murder-Friday," Pax, 1.0

124. "Diagnosis Murder-Tuesday," Pax, 1.0

124. "Touched By Angel-Sunday," Pax, 1.0

124. "Under One Roof," UPN, 1.0

128. "Candid Camera-Wednesday," Pax, 0.9

128. "Mysterious Ways-Tuesday," Pax, 0.9

128. "Weakest Link," Pax, 0.9

131. "The Amazing Race 2," UPN, 0.8

131. "Candid Camera-Sunday," Pax, 0.8

131. "Doc-Tuesday," Pax, 0.8

131. "It's a Miracle," Pax, 0.8

131. "Touched By an Angel-Monday," Pax, 0.8

131. "Touched By an Angel-Thursday," Pax, 0.8

137. "Christy: Choices of the Heart, part 2," Pax, 0.7

137. "The March to Madness," UPN, 0.7

137. "Miracle Pets," Pax, 0.7

140. "Miracle Pets-Monday," Pax, 0.6