Originally created 12/29/04

Viewers turn off reruns during holiday week

NEW YORK - A holiday week where TV networks essentially took a vacation provided stark evidence of who's hot and who's not this season.

Of the 30 most popular prime-time shows last week - most of them reruns - 13 were on CBS and 12 on ABC, Nielsen Media Research said on Tuesday. "Everybody Loves Raymond," approaching its victory lap, topped the list with 17 million viewers.

Struggling NBC had four. Only one NBC prime-time show, a "Law & Order: SVU" rerun, topped 10 million viewers.

It was even worse at Fox. The network's only top 30 entrant came by accident, when a Sunday football game went long and crept into prime-time. The top-rated Fox entertainment show, "The Swan 2," ranked No. 43 for the week.

Fox News Channel celebrated a ratings milestone, with its average prime-time viewership topping that of CNN, MSNBC, CNBC and CNN Headline News combined for the first time, Nielsen said. News viewership was generally flat or down from last year, when the Iraq war began.

Barring any sudden change in the last few days of the year, Fox News will also log 11 of the top 12 cable news shows, led by "The O'Reilly Factor." The only non-Fox show to crack that list is CNN's "Larry King Live."

For the week, CBS averaged 10 million viewers (6.4 rating, 11 share). ABC had 9.7 million (6.0, 11) and won convincingly among viewers aged 18 to 49. NBC averaged 7 million (4.6, 8), Fox had 5.8 million (3.6, 6), UPN 2.8 million (1.9, 3), the WB 2.3 million (1.6, 3) and Pax TV 560,000 (0.4, 1).

NBC's "Nightly News" won the evening news ratings race, averaging 10.6 million viewers (7.3, 14). ABC's "World News Tonight" had 10.3 million viewers (7.0, 13) and the "CBS Evening News" had 7.9 million (5.4, 10).

A ratings point represents 1,096,000 households, or 1 percent of the nation's estimated 109.6 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 Dec. 20-26. 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. (6) "Everybody Loves Raymond," CBS, 17 million viewers.

2. (8) "NFL Monday Night Football: New England at Miami," ABC, 16.2 million viewers.

3. (1) "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," CBS, 15.8 million viewers.

4. (9) "Two And a Half Men," CBS, 15.5 million viewers.

5. (3) "CSI: Miami," CBS, 14.8 million viewers.

6. (4) "Without a Trace," CBS, 13.1 million viewers.

7. (X) "Desperate Housewives," ABC, 12.9 million viewers.

8. (19) "NFL Monday Showcase," ABC, 12.5 million viewers.

9. (12) "60 Minutes," CBS, 12.4 million viewers.

10. (23) "Fox NFL Sunday Postgame," Fox, 12 million viewers.

11. (18) "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," ABC, 11.9 million viewers.

12. (12) "Cold Case," CBS, 11.6 million viewers.

13. (27) "CBS Sunday Movie: Ocean's Eleven," CBS, 11.6 million viewers.

14. (11) "Lost," ABC, 11.3 million viewers.

15. (X) "Lost," ABC, 10.9 million viewers.

16. (14) "CSI: NY," CBS, 10.8 million viewers.

17. (X) "Amazing Race: 6," CBS, 10.7 million viewers.

18. (16) "Law & Order: SVU," NBC, 10.7 million viewers.

19. (31) "According to Jim," ABC, 10.6 million viewers.

20. (39) "NYPD Blue," ABC, 10.4 million viewers.

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