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February 21, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The CBS comedy The Big Bang Theory exploded at the top of the weekly Nielsen primetime ratings charts last week as it averaged 17.89 million viewers. Two other CBS Thursday-night entries followed, with the one-hour drama Person of Interest taking second place with 14.87 million viewers and Two and a Half Men, which follows Theory, placing third with 13.69 million. The 10:00 p.m. drama Elementary also landed in the top ten, tying for seventh place with 10.98 million viewers. And where did that leave Fox’s flagging American Idol? In fourth place for the Wednesday edition, with 13.54 million viewers, and fifth place for the Thursday edition with 12.59 million. The only other network to land in the top ten was ABC, whose Modern Family tied for tenth place with 10.04 million. In fact, of the top 20 shows on the Nielsen list, 15 aired on CBS, three on ABC, two on Fox, and none on NBC. (NBC’s highest-rated show, the Friday edition of Dateline, came in at No. 28; it placed only two scripted shows in the top 50, Law and Order: SVU at No. 30 and Chicago Fire at No. 32.) On the other hand, its NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams averaged 9 million viewers for the week, enough to have put it in the top 10 if it had aired in primetime. ABC World News with Diane Sawyer came in second among the evening newscasts with 8.33 million viewers, while the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley placed third with 7.22 million. For the week overall, CBS again dominated with an average 5.6 household rating and a 9 share. ABC and Fox tied for second place with a 3.9/6, while NBC trailed with a 2.9/5.

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