NEW YORK It was seven more golden days for NBC last week, radiant with Olympics coverage that brought the sort of ratings victory a network dreams of.
Overall, the Beijing Games were a triumph for NBC, and the final week won TV's eight top-rated prime-time slots. Sunday's closing ceremony was the week's most-watched telecast, seen by nearly 28 million viewers. Then more than 20 million of them stuck around for the "Beijing Closing Party," which ranked sixth.
The Olympics gave NBC an average 23.3 million viewers (predictably down from the previous week's 28.7 million, when Michael Phelps played a starring role). NBC had a 13.9 household rating and 23 share, according to Nielsen Media Research figures released Tuesday.
Runner-up CBS averaged just 5.6 million (3.8 rating, 6 share), trailed by ABC with an average of 3.6 million viewers (2.5 rating, 4 share) and Fox with 3.5 million (2.4 rating, 4 share). My Network TV inched into an unaccustomed fifth place with 1.5 million (0.9 rating, 2 share), while CW had 1.4 million (0.9 rating, 2 share).
For the second week, NBC's "Nightly News" got its own carry-over audience from the Olympics, averaging 9.0 million viewers (6.2 household rating, 13 share), or about 40 percent of the total three-network audience. ABC's "World News" had 6.9 million viewers (4.8 rating, 10 share) and the "CBS Evening News" had 5.5 million viewers (3.8 rating, 8 share).
A ratings point represents 1,128,000 households, or 1 percent of the nation's estimated 112.8 million TV homes. The share is the percentage of in-use televisions tuned to a given show.
For the week of Aug. 18-24, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: (1) Summer Olympics Closing Ceremony, NBC, 27.83 million; (2) Summer Olympics Tuesday, NBC, 26.63 million; (3) Summer Olympics Monday, NBC, 26.37 million; (4) Summer Olympics Wednesday, NBC, 24.76 million; (5) Summer Olympics Thursday, NBC, 22.44 million; (6) "Beijing Closing Party," NBC, 20.58 million; (7) Summer Olympics Friday, NBC, 17.88 million; (8) Summer Olympics Saturday, NBC, 16.76 million; (9) "Two and a Half Men," CBS, 8.16 million; (10) "NCIS," CBS, 7.61 million.