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Singing, dancing lead ABC to big ratings week

By David Bauder
AP Television Writer / November 15, 2011

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NEW YORK—Buoyed by country music and dancing, ABC had one of its strongest weeks in the television ratings in two years.

Even though ABC finished second to CBS last week, the Nielsen Co. said it was the most-watched week for ABC since November 2009, excluding the two winter weeks when the Academy Awards were shown. That's traditionally ABC's biggest week of the year.

ABC aired the Country Music Association Awards last Wednesday and even though the audience was slightly off from 2010, it was still the fourth most popular program of the week. "Dancing with the Stars," "Desperate Housewives" and "Private Practice" all had their biggest audiences last week since their season premieres.

"Grey's Anatomy" had its largest audience since March. The show had its final fresh episode last week before going on a hiatus until next year.

CBS averaged 10.8 million viewers in prime time (6.8 rating, 11 share), with ABC getting 10.3 million viewers (6.6, 11). Fox was third with a 7.8 million viewer average (4.6, 7), NBC had 6.8 million (4.3, 7), the CW had 1.8 million (1.2, 2) and ION Television had 990,000 (0.7, 1).

Among the Spanish-language networks, Univision led with an average of 3.8 million viewers (2.0, 3). Telemundo had 1.1 million (0.6, 1), TeleFutura had 500,000 (0.3, 0), Estrella had 230,000 and Azteca 190,000 (both 0.1, 0).

News ratings were up with the Penn State child sex-abuse scandal breaking. NBC's "Nightly News" led with an average of 9.4 million viewers (6.2, 11), ABC's "World News" had 8.3 million (5.6, 10) and the "CBS Evening News" had 6.5 million (4.3, 8).

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 Nov. 7-13, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: NFL Football: New England vs. New York Jets, NBC, 20.92 million; "NCIS," CBS, 20.38 million; "Dancing With the Stars," ABC, 18.16 million; "Country Music Association Awards," ABC, 16.4 million; "Sunday Night NFL Pre-Kick," NBC, 16.23 million; "The Big Bang Theory," CBS, 15.89 million; "NCIS: Los Angeles," CBS, 15.66 million; "Dancing With the Stars Results," ABC, 15.07 million; "Two and a Half Men," CBS, 14.71 million; "60 Minutes," CBS, 13.07 million.

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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.

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