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CBS dominates weekly ratings

CBS has been the dominant television network again this season, but not so much as last week.
/ Source: The Associated Press

CBS has been the dominant television network again this season, but not so much as last week.

The network had its largest margin of victory in the weekly ratings competition, beating second-place NBC in prime time by an average of more than 5 million viewers. It was the widest CBS win since a week last January dominated by an NFL conference championship.

Fourteen of the 16 most-watched shows in prime time last week were on CBS, the Nielsen company said. The two exceptions were NBC's Sunday night football matchup and its pregame show.

It helped that reruns and specials studded the schedules of rivals last week, particularly on ABC, which fell to fourth place.

The venerable "60 Minutes" finished second behind "NCIS" for the week, its best showing since 2009. An assist goes to the NFL, where a popular game between New England and Denver aired just before the newsmagazine.

NBC's "Fear Factor" made a strong return after years off the air. The two editions shown last week were more popular than anything else on the network aside from Sunday night football.

CBS averaged 11.4 million viewers for the week (6.9 rating, 11 share). NBC had a 6.2 million prime time average (3.9, 6), Fox had 5.6 million (3.3, 5), ABC had 5 million (3.2, 5), ION Television had 1.2 million (0.8, 1) and the CW had 1.1 million (0.7, 1).

Among the Spanish-language networks, Univision led with a 3.3 million average (1.7, 3), Telemundo had 1.3 million (0.7, 1), TeleFutura had 520,000 (0.3, 0), Estrella had 220,000 and Azteca 200,000 (both 0.1, 0).

NBC's "Nightly News" topped the evening newscasts with an average of 8.8 million viewers (5.8, 11). ABC's "World News" was second with 7.8 million (5.2, 10) and the "CBS Evening News" had 6.3 million viewers (4.2, 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 Dec. 12-18, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: "NCIS," CBS, 19.13 million; "60 Minutes," CBS, 18.47 million; NFL Football: Baltimore at San Diego, NBC, 16.58 million; "NCIS: Los Angeles," CBS, 16.4 million; "Two and a Half Men," CBS, 14.88 million; "The Mentalist," CBS, 13.16 million; "Survivor: South Pacific Finale," CBS, 13.07 million; "Person of Interest," CBS, 12.93 million; "Criminal Minds," CBS, 12.88 million; "Mike & Molly," CBS, 12.77 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.