Originally created 06/20/02

Viewers tune in to pop stars, court cases



NEW YORK - Would-be pop stars beat lonely bachelorettes. Court cases in San Diego are more interesting than watching Boston run.

Those are some of the small lessons gleaned from a week of summer television programming, as networks jockey for a hit - hopefully a cheap hit - so viewers won't notice all of the reruns.

The two most promising are Crime and Punishment, NBC's real-life courtroom drama, and American Idol, Fox's series on the making of a pop star.

Crime and Punishment, from Law & Order producer Dick Wolf, follows court cases in San Diego. Its premiere on Sunday landed it among the week's top 10 programs, with 11 million viewers.

American Idol had 11.2 million viewers Wednesday night. That was up from the 9.9 million who saw Tuesday's series premiere; more often than not, TV programs lose viewers after the first show so to build an audience is considered a good sign.

Prime-time ratings were compiled by Nielsen Media Research for June 10 through Sunday. Top 20 listings include the week's ranking, with rating for the week and seasonto-date rankings in parentheses.

An "X" in parentheses denotes a one-time 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. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CBS, 10.9, 11.5 million homes.

2. (X) NBA Finals Game 4, NBC, 10.8, 11.4 million homes.

3. Everybody Loves Raymond, CBS, 9.9, 10.4 million homes.

4. Becker, CBS, 8.7, 9.2 million homes.

5. 48 Hours-Monday, CBS, 8.2, 8.7 million homes.

6. Law & Order: Criminal Intent,NBC, 8.0, 8.4 million homes.

7. Crime and Punishment, NBC, 7.6, 8.0 million homes.

8. 60 Minutes, CBS, 7.5, 8.0 million homes.

9. Dateline NBC-Sunday, 7.2, 7.6 million homes.

10. Yes, Dear, CBS, 7.0, 7.4 million homes.

11. American Idol-Wednesday, Fox, 6.9, 7.3 million homes.

11. The King of Queens, CBS, 6.9, 7.3 million homes.

11. (X) The Price Is Right: U.S. Army, CBS, 6.9, 7.3 million homes.

14. Friends, NBC, 6.8, 7.2 million homes.

15. 60 Minutes II, CBS, 6.6, 7.0 million homes.

15. (X) NBA Finals Tip-Off-Game 4, NBC, 6.6, 7.0 million homes.

17. 20/20-Friday, ABC, 6.5, 6.9 million homes.

17. CBS Sunday Movie: The Negotiator, 6.5, 6.8 million homes.

19. (X) AFI's 100 Years, 100 Passions, CBS, 6.2, 6.5 million homes.

20. American Idol-Tuesday, Fox, 6.1, 6.5 million homes.