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October 5, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

CBS sprinted well ahead of its rivals in the third week of the new season as it averaged 11.9 million viewers, aided by several long-running audience favorites. It also outpaced the others among adults 18-49. The other networks, which had invested heavily in new programming, slipped further behind as several of their shows, sampled during the first two weeks, were abandoned in favor of the tried and true. As the Los Angeles Times observed, not a single new show on any network has achieved hit status. The possible exception is CBS’s rebuilt Hawaii 5-0, which landed at No. 13 on the Nielsen list. Some highly touted newcomers dropped precipitously. The William Shatner comedy $#!? My Dad Says shed 16 percent of its viewers, dropping to 30th place from 21st the previous week. And NBC’s vigorously promoted The Event fell to 39th place from 27th. The big winner of the week was ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, which landed at No. 1 on the Nielsen chart with 15.7 million viewers despite competition on cable from ESPN’s Monday Night Football, which drew 17.5 million viewers. There was little change in the audience make-up of the three nightly newscasts. NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams led with 7.75 million viewers. ABC World News with Diane Sawyer followed with 7.09 million, while the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric trailed with 5.39 million viewers.

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

1. Dancing with the Stars (Monday), ABC, 13.5/20; 2. Sunday Night Football, NBC, 12.5/20; 3. NCIS, CBS, 11.5/18; 4. Dancing with the Stars (Tuesday), ABC, 10.9/17; 5. NCIS: Los Angeles, CBS, 10.0/16; 6. Sunday Night NFL Pre-Kickoff, NBC, 9.3/15; 7. The Mentalist, CBS, 9.2/16; 8. Criminal Minds, CBS, 8.9/14; 9. Two and a Half Men, CBS, 8.5/13; 10. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CBS, 8.3/13; 10. (Tie) The Good Wife, CBS, 8.3/14.