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May 23, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

Ratings for the penultimate week of the season were a virtual reflection of the season as a whole. Twelve of the top 20 shows of the week were broadcast by CBS. Of the eight that were not, six were talent contests — two hours each of Fox’s American Idol, ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, and NBC’s America’s Got Talent. The other two were the ABC scripted shows Grey’s Anatomy in eleventh place and Modern Family in nineteenth. (Last night (Tuesday), the season finale of DWTS attracted just 17.5 million viewers — lowest ever for a performance finale; the performance finale of American Idol dipped even lower — to 14.4 million, another record low.) CBS’s NCIS remained the top-rated show among total adults, capturing 19.1 million viewers. The performance episode of American Idol, featuring the top three finalists, took second place with 17.7 million viewers, followed by the performance installment of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars with 15.8 million viewers. Among the evening newscasts NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams again retained the crown with 7.5 million viewers, but its lead over ABC World News with Diane Sawyer, which attracted 7.1 million viewers, was its smallest since last August. The CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley placed third with 5.5 million viewers. Overall, CBS won the week with an average 6.4 rating and an 11 share. ABC came in second with a 4.6/8. Fox followed with a 4.2/7, while NBC trailed with a 3.5/6.

The top ten shows of the week according to Nielsen Research:

1. NCIS, CBS, 12.0/20; 2. American Idol (Wednesday), Fox, 10.5/17; 3. Dancing with the Stars (Monday), ABC, 10.2/16; 4. American Idol (Thursday), Fox, 9.8/17; 5. NCIS: Los Angeles, CBS, 9.6/15; 6. Dancing with the Stars (Tuesday), ABC, 8.8/13; 7. Criminal Minds, CBS, 8.5/14; 8. CBS Sunday Movie: Jesse Stone: Benefit of a Doubt, CBS, 8.3/13; 8. Person of Interest, CBS, 8.3/13; 10. The Mentalist, CBS, 8.2/14.