Thanks to the Oscars, ABC finished in first place in total viewers and viewers in the 18-49 age group last week, but its highest-rated program otherwise -- the drama Castle -- came in at No. 18 and its next highest -- the comedy Modern Family -- came in at No. 19. Once again, CBS dominated the upper region of the weekly Nielsen ratings. Aside from those ABC shows and Fox's two American Idol installments, every other program on the top-twenty list was carried by CBS. Meanwhile, NBC's woes mounted. Its highest-rated show was the Friday edition of Dateline, which came in at No. 36; its highest-rated entertainment show was Chicago Fire, which finished one notch lower at No. 37. With only days left to go in the February sweeps, it was clear that CBS would win in both the total-adults and 18-49 categories for the first time since 1988. NBC, on the other hand, hit historic lows during the sweeps, outranked even by Spanish-language Univision in the key 18-49 demo. The network did continue to lead among the evening newscasts, drawing an average of 9.4 million viewers (far more than it did for anything it aired in primetime) for NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams. ABC World News with Diane Sawyer remained in second place with 8.4 million viewers, while the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley continued to advance with 7.4 million viewers. Overall for the week, ABC led with an average 6.9 household rating and an 11 share. CBS slipped to second place with a 6.1/10. Fox finished third with a 3.9/6, while NBC remained in the cellar with a 2.5/4.
The top ten shows of the week according to Nielsen Research:
1. The Oscars, ABC, 23.1/35; 2. Oscars Red Carpet Live Pt. 3 (8:00 p.m.), ABC, 15.0/23; 3. NCIS, CBS, 13.3/20; 4. The Big Bang Theory, CBS, 10.7/17; 5. NCIS: Los Angeles, CBS, 10.2/15; 6. Oscars Red Carpet Live Pt. 2 (7:30 p.m.), ABC, 9.9/16; 7. Person of Interest, CBS, 8.7/13; 8. American Idol, Fox, 8.5/13; 9. Two and a Half Men, CBS. 8.1/12; 10. American Idol (Thursday), Fox, 8.0/12.