TV Ratings: News, New Shows Lead the Pack

News shows and new shows topped the Nielsens this week. Five of the week's top ten shows were news shows -- Dateline (NBC), 60 Minutes (CBC), 48 Hours (CBS, Monday), Primetime (ABC, Thursday) and 20/20 (ABC, Friday). New shows in the top 25 included Law and Order: Criminal Intent (NBC), Dog Eat Dog (NBC), American Idol (two episodes, Fox) and Yes, Dear (CBS). A special, Most Outrageous Game Show Moments (NBC) also made the list.

The week's top shows were CSI (CBS), Law and Order (NBC) and Everybody Loves Raymond (CBS). CSI led the way with a 16 share/9.4 household with 9.9 million households watching. Becker (CBS) also made the top 10.

CBS and NBC practically tied for the lead in prime average with CBS scoring a 10 share/5.5 household, followed by NBC 10/5.3. ABC and Fox did tie at 8/4.1.

Cable leaders for the most recent week (7/8-14) were Home Run Derby, the baseball All-Star game special, which scored a 5.0 household with 5.2 million households tuned in. Other leaders were TNT Original Door to Door, Real World (MTV), WWE Entertainment and USA Movie Monk Pilot.

The most recent syndicated winners were Wheel of Fortune (7.1 household/7.5 million households viewing), Jeopardy, Friends, Seinfeld and Everybody Loves Raymond.

Sports winners for 7/8-14 were the All-Star game on Fox with a 17 share/9.5 household with 10 million households watching. Other leaders were the Chicago 400 (NBC), WWE Smackdown (UPN), Fox Saturday baseball and Ford Senior players golf (ABC).

In other TV news, NBC is expected to announce plans for new shows next summer today. NBC plans a number of scripted entertainment series. In the past, networks have avoided summer entertainment series due to cost, but with extremely low rerun viewership it now seems worthwhile. Twenty-five to 35 hours of comedies or dramas are planned from two or three series.

Meanwhile, two new entertainment series for this summer on USA are on fire. Last Friday, more people watched Monk (4.76 million) than any other show on basic cable. Dead Zone also attracted 4.1 million viewers.

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