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NBC scores more viewers, CBS gets higher ratings

Frazier Moore, AP Television Writer

NEW YORK (AP) -- CBS had a stellar slate of comedies and dramas. NBC had football.

The result was a week where NBC seized a narrow lead in viewers, while CBS edged ahead in household ratings, according to data released Tuesday by the Nielsen Co.

Overall in prime time for the week of Dec. 31, NBC averaged 8.39 million viewers followed closely by CBS with 8.29 million viewers. Meanwhile, CBS scored an average 5.3 household rating for the week (and a 9 share of viewing audience), just ahead of NBC with a 5.1 rating (and an 8 share).

The most-watched broadcast of the week was NBC's coverage of the NFL playoff game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Green Bay Packers. It drew an audience of 30 million viewers. NBC's "Pre-Kick" show was in second place, with 29 million viewers.

But CBS dominated the Top 20 with 10 scripted series, plus its "60 Minutes" newsmagazine. In fourth place, CBS' "The Big Bang Theory" drew more than 19 million viewers, its largest audience this season.

NBC's highest-placing scripted series was "Chicago Fire," which placed 20th.

ABC celebrated with a prime-time hour of "New Year's Rockin' Eve," which ranked seventh, and a tribute special to its late long-time host, Dick Clark, which placed 15th.

After NBC and CBS, Fox had 6.84 million (4.0 rating, 6 share), ABC had 5.07 million (3.0 rating, 5 share), ION had 1.29 million (.8 rating, 1 share), and the CW had 1.23 million (.8 rating, 1 share).

Among the Spanish-language networks, Univision led with an average of 3.44 million viewers (1.7 rating, 3 share). Telemundo had 1.26 million (0.6 rating, 1 share), TeleFutura had 750,000 (0.4 rating, 1 share), Estrella had 210,000 (0.1 rating, 0 share) and Azteca had 130,000 (0.1 rating, 0 share).

NBC's "Nightly News" topped the evening newscasts with an average of 8.90 million viewers (5.9 household rating, 10 share). ABC's "World News" was second with 8.48 million (5.6 rating, 11 share) and the "CBS Evening News" had 7.2 million viewers (4.8 rating, 9 share).


ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co. CBS is owned by CBS Corp. CW is a joint venture of Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corp. Fox is a unit of News Corp. NBC and Telemundo are owned by Comcast Corp. ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks. Univision is owned by Communications, Inc. TeleFutura is a division of Univision. Azteca America is a wholly owned subsidiary of TV Azteca S.A. de C.V.