Conventional thinking in the front offices of the television networks that few people are willing to spend Saturdays in front of their TV sets was dealt a blow last week when CBS coverage of the AFC divisional playoffs on Saturday beat every other program of the week as it drew 30.57 million viewers. The Boston/Indianapolis contest posted a whopping 16.0 rating and a 24 share, putting it slightly ahead of Fox's season premier of American Idol, which attracted 29.94 million viewers and ranked second for the week with a 16.0/24. NBC, which has been shut out of the top ten except for its Sunday Night Football telecasts, was able to make a showing in seventh place with its telecast of the Golden Globe Awards, which drew 16.98 million viewers -- far higher than preliminary overnight results had indicated (probably due to the live nature of the telecast). Among the nightly newscasts, NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams continued to lead with an average of 10.30 million viewers. ABC World News with Diane Sawyer placed second with 8.52 million viewers. The CBS Evening News with Katie Couric remained in third place with 6.74 million viewers. All of the newscasts posted higher-than-usual numbers, most likely due to their coverage of the earthquake disaster in Haiti. Once again, CBS led all other networks in primetime for the week with an average 9.7 rating and a 16 share. Fox placed second with a 7.0/11. NBC came in third with a 4.6/7, edging out ABC, which trailed with a 4.1/7.
The top ten shows of the week according to Nielsen Research 1. AFC Divisional Playoff, CBS, 17.0/29; 2. American Idol (Tuesday), Fox, 16.0/24; 3. American Idol (Wednesday), Fox, 14.7/23; 4. AFC Divisional Playoffs -- Post Game, CBS, 14.5/23; 5. NCIS , CBS, 12.6/19; 6. Two and a Half Men , CBS, 10.1/15; 7. Golden Globe Awards, NBC, 10.0/16; 8. NCIS Los Angeles, CBS, 9.7/15; 9. The Mentalist , CBS, 9.6/16; 10. 60 Minutes , CBS, 9.5/14.