Football, Football, Football!

Football carried the week in TV viewing, with seven football shows making the Nielsen top 25 for Jan. 1-6, with Sunday's New York Jets vs. Oakland Raiders game on CBS placing first.

The game generated a 24 share and 14.5 household rating, the highest rating for any NFL game this year. The numbers picked up as the game went on, starting with a 14.5 and climbing to 21.8 at the end of the close game.

College football also got high numbers with the Rose Bowl ranked second (22 share/13.8 household), the Rose Bowl pre-game - 7th, the Fiesta Bowl - 10th, the Orange Bowl - 12th, Orange Bowl pre-game - 16th, tied with the Sugar Bowl. ABC had carried the college games.

Football helped ABC win the week in terms of adults 18-49 and total viewers (12.8 million). It's a big win for the network that has fared dismally so far this season and just replaced the co-chairman of its Entertainment Group. CBS had won the past eight weeks, but finished tied with NBC for second this week, with Fox trailing.

Football on ESPN won all the top spots in the most recent cable rankings. For the week of Dec. 24-30, NFL football and three college games, the Holiday Bowl, the Alamo Bowl and the Independence Bowl, won the top five spots, with household ratings of 5.1 to 2.9.

Sports is so big on TV these days that Nielsen has started a separate sports category. The top five shows for the past week were CBS National NFL (Jets-Oakland), Fox NFL, CBS Regional NFL, Monday Night Football (ABC) and the Las Vegas Bowl (ABC).

Reality TV isn't dead, with Survivor: Africa (CBS) placing fifth this week, with a 17 share and an 11.9 household rating. Other top ten shows included CSI (CBS), 60 Minutes (CBS), Law and Order: SVU (NBC), Friends (NBC) and Law and Order (NBC).

Nielsen has also started a Hispanic rating. Amigas y Rivales, Derecho de Nacer, Intrusa and Cine Especiale are the top shows, all on Univision.

In other TV news, it's been reported that NBC is planning nostalgia shows for this season and next, including a Cosby Show and LA Law reunion. The shows follow similar Carol Burnett and Lucille Ball nostalgia shows.

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