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NBC wins ratings trophy with talent shows, NFL

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - NBC outdueled CBS to win last week’s primetime ratings race among adults 18-49, but CBS added to its string of victories in total viewership

Stilt walker Rob Lathan (L) performs for talk show host Regis Philbin (2nd L), Piers Morgan (3rd L), singer Brandy Norwood (3nd R), actor David Hasselhoff (2nd R) of the show "America's Got Talent" and Today Show host Matt Lauer (L) during an appearance on the Today Show in New York, June 19, 2006. NBC outdueled CBS to win last week's primetime ratings race among adults 18-49, but CBS added to its string of victories in total viewership REUTERS/Keith Bedford

NBC boasted the top three shows in the advertiser-friendly demographic, including the season finale of “America’s Got Talent,” a better-than-average preseason “Sunday Night Football” matchup and another episode of “The Singing Bee.”

CBS won its 12th viewership crown in 13 weeks of the summer. Ratings data for the week ending August 26 were released Tuesday by Nielsen Media Research.

Fox won Monday night with a repeat “TV’s Funniest Moments” (7.2 million total viewers, 2.5 rating/7 share in adults 18-49). The top-performing show in the demo was CBS’ “Two and a Half Men” (9.2 million, 3.0/8).

NBC did all the talking Tuesday with “America’s Got Talent” (13.9 million, 4.2/12), which was up 20% in the demo over last year’s finale. It followed up with “Singing Bee” (8.9 million, 3.4/9). CBS’ “Big Brother” (7.3 million, 3.1/8) did OK against “Talent.”

Wednesday’s “Power of 10” (8.7 million, 2.3/7) on CBS was improved over Tuesday’s edition (6.1 million, 1.9/6), but it wasn’t enough for the network to overcome NBC for the night. NBC was bolstered by “Last Comic Standing” (7.2 million, 3.0/9), while Fox’s “Anchorwoman” (2.7 million, 1.0/3) sank in its premiere and then was quickly canceled.

Thursday belonged to CBS thanks to a new “Big Brother” (7.8 million, 3.0/10) as well as reruns of “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” (10.4 million, 2.7/8) and “Without a Trace” (9.3 million, 2.6/8).

Friday also went to CBS and a preseason NFL game featuring the New England Patriots at the Carolina Panthers (5.2 million, 1.7/6). Sunday’s star was the NFL as well -- the Pittsburgh Steelers at Philadelphia -- which gave NBC a winning boost for “Sunday Night Football” (9.2 million, 3.4/9) and the best performance for a preseason NFL game so far this season.

Honorable mention went to “Big Brother” (7.4 million, 2.8/8), while “Countdown” -- the MSNBC newscast given a one-shot deal on NBC ahead of the game -- averaged 3 million viewers and a 0.8/3 in adults 18-49. The top show in the demo at 7 p.m. was “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (3 million, 2.1/7).

Among primetime networks for the week, NBC (6 million, 2.1/6) led in the demo, followed by CBS (6.9 million, 2.0/6), Fox (4.7 million, 1.7/5), ABC (4.5 million, 1.6/5), Univision (3 million, 1.3/4), the CW (2 million, 0.7/2) and Telemundo

(900,000, 0.4/1).

Among the evening newscasts, ABC’s “World News With Charles Gibson” won for the 17th time in 18 weeks with 8.1 million viewers compared with 7.9 million viewers for “NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams” and 6.1 million viewers for “CBS Evening News With Katie Couric.”

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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