NEW YORK (AP) — The first three nights of the Vancouver Olympics meant ratings gold for NBC last week, but viewers also flocked to Fox for another kind of competition on "American Idol."
Friday's Opening Ceremony of the Winter Olympics was the most-watched program of the week, seen by nearly 33 million viewers. Prime-time coverage on Sunday and Saturday ranked third and fourth, respectively.
But Tuesday's "American Idol" ranked second for the week, and Wednesday's episode of the show ranked fifth, the Nielsen Co. said.
Overall, NBC won last week with an average of 16.1 million viewers (8.9 rating, 14 share), and could be in for two more weeks of Olympics dominance.
In second place was CBS, averaging 10.6 million viewers (6.5 rating, 10 share) with a slate of robust scripted dramas and comedies, as well as the strong season premiere of "Survivor" and the new reality series "Undercover Boss."
Third-place Fox had 10.1 million (5.8 rating, 9 share) average viewers, while ABC had 6.6 million (4.1 rating, 7 share), the CW had 1.8 million (1.2 rating, 2 share) and ION Television had 1.1 million (0.7 rating, 1 share).
Among the Spanish-language networks, Univision led the way with an average of 3.6 million viewers (1.8 rating, 3 share), while TeleFutura had 1.12 million (0.5 rating, 1 share), Telemundo had 1.06 million (0.5 rating, 1 share) and Azteca had 190,000 (0.1 rating, 0 share).
NBC's "Nightly News" topped the evening newscasts with an average of 11 million viewers (7.1 rating, 13 share). ABC's "World News" was second with 9.2 million (6 rating, 11 share), and the "CBS Evening News" had 7.1 million (4.8 rating, 9 share).
A ratings point represents 1,149,000 households, or 1 percent of the nation's estimated 114.9 million TV homes. The share is the percentage of in-use televisions tuned to a given show.
For the week of Feb. 8-14, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony, NBC, 32.6 million; "American Idol" (Tuesday), Fox, 27.9 million; Winter Olympics (Sunday), NBC, 26.4 million; Winter Olympics (Saturday), NBC, 26.2 million; "American Idol" (Wednesday), Fox, 25.2 million; "NCIS," CBS, 19.8 million; "NCIS: Los Angeles," CBS, 17.9 million; "Two and a Half Men," CBS, 17.7 million; "The Big Bang Theory," CBS, 16.3 million; "The Mentalist," CBS, 15.9 million.
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 and My Network TV are units of News Corp.; NBC and Telemundo are owned by General Electric Co.; ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks; TeleFutura is a division of Univision; Azteca America is a wholly owned subsidiary of TV Azteca S.A. de C.V.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.