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'American Idol' and 'Dancing With the Stars' duke it out at top of the ratings

March 29, 2011 |  6:21 pm

Caseyidol CBS and Fox took the prime-time spoils last week, with not many ratings goodies left over for ABC and NBC.

Wednesday’s “American Idol” on Fox was the week’s No. 1 program, with 23.9 million tuning in, according to the Nielsen Co.

But CBS had six of the top 10 series, including “NCIS” (19.4 million) and “60 Minutes” (14.8 million). Late in the week, CBS also drew strength from some record ratings for its “March Madness” telecasts of the NCAA basketball championship tournament.

The best news for ABC came from March 21's return of “Dancing With the Stars,” which logged 22.6 million for the No. 2 spot. “Dancing” helped push up numbers for the crime drama “Castle” to 12 million, landing it in seventh place.

NBC slogged through another tough week as the only network not to win a single night in either total viewers or the key adults ages 18 to 49 demographic. The network’s most-watched program, “Law & Order: SVU” (8.8 million), didn’t even crack the Top 20. Its comedy “The Office” ranked No. 9 in 18-49.

Overall, CBS averaged 10.1 million viewers, followed by Fox (8.9 million), ABC (7.9 million) and NBC (5.8 million).

Basic cable ratings were led by MTV’s “Jersey Shore” (7.6 million).


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-- Scott Collins (

Photo: Casey Abrams performing on Wednesday's "American Idol." Credit: Michael Becker / Fox.