NEW YORK — Except for CBS, the broadcast networks mostly closed up shop last week. At least, that's the suggestion from Nielsen, which says the average prime-time audience for CBS matched the total viewership for ABC, Fox and NBC.
Meanwhile, CBS logged a dozen of the week's Top 20 shows and Fox scored three, effectively shutting out ABC and NBC. Cable's ESPN collected the remaining five slots.
During a week driven by sports, CBS had the most-watched show: the AFC Championship between Indianapolis and New England, which drew 42 million viewers.
In second place was ESPN's coverage of the CFP Championship game between Oregon and Ohio State, with 33 million viewers, followed by the post-game telecast, seen by 26 million viewers.
Fox's two telecasts of "American Idol" claimed the 12th and 16th slots, while its promising new drama "Empire" landed in 17th place, attracting 10 million viewers.
Overall for the week of Jan. 12-18, CBS averaged 14.2 million viewers, the largest weekly audience of any network this season.
Runner-up ABC had 5.0 million, Fox had 4.8 and NBC had 4.4 million viewers — adding up to 14.2 million. Univision had 3.2 million, followed by Telemundo with 1.34 million, the CW with 1.26 million, and ION with 1.2 million.
Among cable networks, ESPN left its competition in the dust with an average viewership of 5.03 million, with runner-ups Disney averaging 2.06 million, TBS drawing 2.02 million, and USA with 2.01 million.
NBC's "Nightly News" topped the evening newscasts, as usual, with an average of 9.7 million viewers. ABC's "World News Tonight" was second with 9.3 million and the "CBS Evening News" had 7.8 million viewers.
For the week of Jan. 12-18, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: AFC Championship: Indianapolis at New England, CBS, 42.14 million; CFP Championship: Oregon vs. Ohio State, ESPN, 33.40 million; CFP Championship: Post-game, ESPN, 26.20 million; "NCIS," CBS, 19.87 million; AFC Championship Post-game, CBS, 19.45 million; College Football Pre-game Showcase, ESPN, 17.28 million; "NCIS: New Orleans," CBS, 16.39 million; "Blue Bloods," CBS, 12.73 million; College Football Post-game, ESPN, 12.64 million; "Scorpion," CBS, 12.29 million.
ABC and ESPN are 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 is owned by 21st Century Fox. NBC and Telemundo are owned by Comcast Corp. ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks. Online:http://www.nielsen.com