Oscarcast rewards ABC with week's top-rated show

By Frazier Moore

Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 28 2012 3:10 p.m. MST

Billy Crystal pauses for a picture showing nine fingers for the number of times he's hosted the show after the 84th Academy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012, in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles.

Chris Carlson, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

NEW YORK — Billed as Hollywood's biggest night, the Academy Awards telecast was also TV's biggest show last week, helping crown ABC as overall prime-time winner.

Sunday's Oscarcast was easily top-ranked, with an audience of nearly 40 million viewers.

Adding to the luster was the 90-minute preview, which ABC shrewdly logged as three distinct half-hours. The final segment of "Oscar's Red Carpet" (airing just before the Oscarcast began) drew 24 million viewers, ranking second for the week, while the middle half-hour, seen by nearly 17 million viewers, ranked fourth. The first half-hour claimed a healthy 14th place with nearly 13 million viewers, the Nielsen Co. said Tuesday.

For the week in prime time, ABC averaged 10.68 million viewers (6.5 household rating, 11 share), edging out CBS, with 10.06 million (6.3 rating, 10 share). Far behind were Fox with 6.84 million (4.1 rating, 6 share), NBC with 5.42 million (3.4 rating, 5 share), CW with 1.14 million (0.8 rating, 1 share) and ION Television with 1.11 million (0.7 rating, 1 share).

Among the Spanish-language networks, Univision led with a 3.51 million viewer average (1.8 rating, 3 share), Telemundo had 1.17 million (0.6 rating, 1 share), Telefutura had 750,000 (0.4 rating, 1 share), Estrella had 260,000 and Azteca 110,000 (both 0.1 rating, 0 share).

NBC's "Nightly News" topped the evening newscasts with an average of 9.1 million viewers (6.0 household rating, 11 share). ABC's "World News" was second with 7.7 million (5.1 rating, 10 share), while the "CBS Evening News" had 6.5 million viewers (4.3 rating, 8 share).

A ratings point represents 1,147,000 households, or 1 percent of the nation's estimated 114.7 million TV homes. The share is the percentage of in-use televisions tuned to a given show.

For the week of Feb. 20-26, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: "Academy Awards," ABC, 39.34 million; "Oscar's Red Carpet" (8 p.m. EST), ABC, 24.07 million; "NCIS," CBS, 19.29 million; "Oscar's Red Carpet" (7:30 p.m. EST), ABC, 16.63 million; "The Big Bang Theory," CBS, 16.20 million; "American Idol" (Wednesday), Fox, 16.10 million; "The Voice," NBC, 16.04 million; "American Idol" (Thursday), Fox, 15.64 million; "NCIS: Los Angeles," CBS, 15.47 million; "Person of Interest," CBS, 14.56 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 Comcast Corp. 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.

Online:

http://www.nielsen.com

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