Originally created 09/10/04

NBC starts its fall season with modest results

NEW YORK -- NBC was ready to start the fall television season last week, but viewers weren't quite ready.

The network averaged 7.5 million viewers last week, when it sprinkled some new programming among repeats and three hours of Republican convention coverage. To put that in perspective, NBC had 12.6 million viewers for the traditional first week last year.

After a summer's worth of promotions, 12.4 million viewers saw the premiere of "Father of the Pride," enough to make the animated series the week's most-watched show.

NBC's new drama, "Hawaii," ranked fourth for the week with 10.9 million viewers. Those would be pretty modest numbers, however, if stacked up against real competition.

More worrisome for NBC was the 8.5 million viewers for the season premiere of "Scrubs," a disappointing showing for a series the network is banking on.

CBS' telecast of the Latin Grammys was seen by 3.3 million people, one of the least-watched programs for the week among the top four networks.

Nielsen Media Research's weekly ratings were delayed for two days because of the Labor Day holiday and power problems near its Florida office caused by Hurricane Frances.

CBS was second to NBC with 7.2 million viewers, although both networks had a 4.9 rating and 9 audience share. ABC had 6.1 million viewers (4.1, 7), Fox 5.1 million (3.2, 6), UPN 2.4 million (1.6, 3), the WB 2.1 million (1.5, 3) and Pax TV 750,000 (0.5, 1).

NBC's "Nightly News" won the evening news ratings race, averaging 8.7 million viewers (6.3 rating, 14 share). ABC's "World News Tonight" had 7.5 million (5.4, 12) and the "CBS Evening News" 6.5 million (4.6, 10).

A ratings point represents 1,084,000 households, or 1 percent of the nation's estimated 108.4 million TV homes. The share is the percentage of in-use televisions tuned to a given show.

Prime-time viewership numbers compiled by Nielsen Media Research for Aug. 30 to Sept. 5. Top 20 listings include the week's ranking, with viewership for the week and season-to-date rankings in parentheses. An "X" in parentheses denotes a one-time-only presentation.

1. (X) "Father of the Pride," NBC, 12.4 million viewers.

2. (17) "60 Minutes" (Sunday), CBS, 11.4 million viewers.

3. (X) "NFL Exhibition Football: Tennessee vs. Dallas," ABC, 11 million viewers.

4. (X) "Hawaii," NBC, 10.9 million viewers.

5. (9) "CSI: Miami," CBS, 10.8 million viewers.

6. (31) "Fear Factor," NBC, 10.8 million viewers.

7. (15) "Two and a Half Men," CBS, 10.7 million viewers.

8. (11) "Everybody Loves Raymond," CBS, 10 million viewers.

9. (X) "Amazing Race: 5" special CBS, 10 million viewers.

10. (18) "Cold Case," CBS, 9.6 million viewers.

11. (3) "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," CBS, 9.6 million viewers.

12. (X) "Dateline NBC" (Wednesday), NBC, 9.5 million viewers.

13. (X) "NFL Preseason Showcase," ABC, 8.6 million viewers.

14. (37) "Scrubs," NBC, 8.5 million viewers.

15. (48) "Dateline NBC" (Friday), NBC, 8.4 million viewers.

16. (X) "Big Brother 5" (Tuesday), CBS, 8.4 million viewers.

17. (X) "Renovate My Family" preview," Fox, 8.3 million viewers.

18. (X) Auto Racing: "Pop Secret 500," NBC, 8.2 million viewers.

19. (64) "Big Brother 5" (Thursday), CBS, 8.1 million viewers.

20. (X) "Trading Spouses" (Tuesday), Fox, 7.9 million viewers.

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