Grammys, "Idol" music to networks' ears

Tue Feb 10, 2009 9:11pm EST
 
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LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - CBS reclaimed its crown as the most-watched network last week, bolstered by strong ratings for the Grammy Awards as well as mainstays like "60 Minutes" and "CSI: Miami."

The network averaged 11.5 million viewers during the week ended February 8, ahead of 10.8 million for Fox and 7.8 million for ABC. NBC, which took the previous week thanks to the Super Bowl, slid to No. 4 with 7 million.

Fox claimed the top two shows as its pair of "American Idol" installments averaged about 26.5 million viewers, steady with the previous week

CBS's telecast of the 51st annual Grammys averaged 19.1 million viewers on Sunday (vs. 17.2 million in 2008), and also gained in advertiser-friendly demographics, thanks to performances by younger artists such as Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus.

CBS shows claimed the next three spots -- 60 Minutes (16.7 million), "Two and a Half Men" (16.6 million) and "CSI: Miami" (16.1 million).

ABC was led at No. 7 by "Grey's Anatomy" (15.3 million), with lead-out "Private Practice" (12.9 million, No. 13) hitting a series high thanks to a "Grey's" tease promising the start of a character crossover that continues this week.

Another positive story for ABC was "The Bachelor" (11 million), which grows its rating with nearly every episode. On Wednesdays, however, "Life on Mars" (5.8 million) continues to disappoint, losing almost half of its lead-in from "Lost" (11 million).

NBC's top show came in at No. 24, "The Biggest Loser" (10.4 million). "The Office" (8.5 million, No. 35) demonstrated no ratings benefit after the network aired a special hour-long episode after the February 3 Super Bowl.

Fox's "House" (14.9 million) and CBS reruns of "The Mentalist" (14.4 million) and "NCIS" (13.9 million) rounded out the top 10.

(Editing by Dean Goodman at Reuters)