Last week's ratings show Tuesday big night for TV

Published Jul. 20, 2010 5:47 p.m. ET

Between baseball's all-stars, entertainers with stars in their eyes and a beloved fishing captain, Tuesday was the big night for television last week.

Five of the seven most-watched programs on prime-time TV were aired that night, some in direct competition with one another, the Nielsen Co. said.

Fox's coverage of the all-star game was TV's most popular show with 12.1 million viewers, Nielsen said. Despite the lofty status, the National League's victory had the smallest audience for any of the annual midsummer classics, Nielsen said. The previous low was in 2005, when 12.3 million saw the game.

NBC's ''America's Got Talent,'' which aired in the same time slot, was the week's No. 2 show with 11.63 million viewers, Nielsen said.

In that same 9 p.m. slot, the Discovery Network logged 8.5 million viewers for its episode of ''Deadliest Catch.'' The popular fishing series scored its biggest audience ever with an episode about the death of popular Capt. Phil Harris after a stroke. It was also Discovery's third-most-watched show of all time, behind only two specials that aired in 2000, ''Walking with Dinosaurs'' and ''Raising the Mammoth.''

For the week, CBS averaged 6 million viewers in prime time (3.9 rating, 7 share). Fox was second with 5.6 million (3.5, 6), NBC had 5.1 million and ABC had 5 million (both 3.2, 6), ION Television had 1 million (0.7, 1) and the CW had 980,000 (0.6, 1).

Among the Spanish-language networks, Univision led with a 3.5 million prime-time viewer average (1.7 rating, 3 share), Telemundo had 1.2 million (0.6, 1), TeleFutura had 550,000 (0.3, 1), Azteca had 190,000 and Estrella had 150,000 (both 0.1. 0).


NBC's ''Nightly News'' topped the evening newscasts with an average of 7.6 million viewers (5.0, 11). ABC's ''World News'' was second with 6.6 million (4.6, 10) and the ''CBS Evening News'' had 5.1 million viewers (3.4, 7).

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 July 12-18, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: Major League Baseball All-Star Game, Fox, 12.12 million; ''America's Got Talent'' (Tuesday), NBC, 11.63 million; ''America's Got Talent'' (Wednesday), NBC, 11.44 million; ''NCIS,'' CBS, 10.21 million; ''The Bachelorette,'' ABC, 9.64 million; ''All-Star Game Pregame Show,'' Fox, 9.18 million; ''NCIS: Los Angeles,'' CBS, 8.15 million; ''60 Minutes,'' CBS, 7.84 million; ''Wipeout'' (Thursday), ABC, 7.83 million; ''The Big Bang Theory,'' CBS, 7.825 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.