CBS Corp. Chairman Les Moonves added his voice to the controversy over rival ABC's miniseries The Path to 9/11. Speaking at a luncheon of the Hollywood Radio & TV Society in Beverly Hills. While remarking that he didn't want to second-guess Robert Iger, his counterpart at the Walt Disney Co., which owns ABC, Moonves said, "When you do drama based on fact, you have to be careful -- especially on something as sensitive as 9/11." He said he believed that the network "got partially misled" by the producers of the miniseries, several of whom have ties to conservative groups. Meanwhile, audience figures released by ABC on Tuesday indicated that The Path to 9/11 would have been the third highest-rated program to air last week. However, Nielsen does not included unsponsored programs in its ratings data. (Path aired without commercials.) The results were all the more remarkable given the fact that the episode competed against the top-rated program of the week, NBC's Sunday Night Football. Notwithstanding the big scores for football, CBS continued to dominate the overall household ratings for the week, averaging a 7.2 rating and a 12 share. ABC placed second with a 5.9/10. NBC was close behind with a 5.7/10, while Fox also remained competitive with a 5.5/9. (Indeed, on Tuesday night Fox's season debut of Dancing With The Stars produced ratings that were identical to those of NBC's Sunday Night Football telecast.)
The top ten shows of the week according to Nielsen Research:
1. Sunday Night Football, NBC, 14.3/23; 2. NBC NFL Thursday Special, NBC, 12.6/21; 3. House, Fox, 11.6/19; 4. NBC NFL Thursday Pre-Kickoff, NBC, 9.3/16; 5. Sunday Night NFL Pre-Kickoff, NBC, 9.2/15; 6. Standoff, Fox, 8.3/13; 7. Saturday Night Football, ABC, 8.2/15; 8. The OT, Fox, 7.6/13; 9. Football Night in America, NBC, 7.5/13; 10. Without a Trace, CBS, 7.4/12.