'NCIS' franchise helps CBS dial up third straight weekly victory in prime-time ratings
The home of "60 Minutes" and "The Mentalist" is the first network in nearly 10 years to win the first three weeks of the season in total viewers and the major demographic categories, according to the Nielsen Co. No network has emerged so dominant so early since the twilight of NBC's glory days a decade ago.
For the week ending Sunday, CBS averaged 12 million total viewers, led by "NCIS" (19.8 million) and "NCIS: Los Angeles" (16.1 million). The network easily swept past ABC (8.8 million) as well as NBC (7 million) and Fox (6 million).
In adults ages 18 to 49, CBS won with a 3.1 average rating, ahead of ABC (2.5) and NBC and Fox, with 2.4 apiece.
CBS' victories were even more noteworthy given that it did not have the week's No. 1 program in either viewers (that was ABC's Monday edition of "Dancing With the Stars," with 19.9 million) or 18-49 (NBC's Sunday football game, 6.7 rating/18 share; 16.8 million viewers overall). Instead, the network relied on a balanced schedule filled with solid if not stellar performers such as "Criminal Minds" (13.9 million) and "The Good Wife" (12.8 million).
Tops in basic cable ratings was ESPN's Monday football matchup between the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins, with 14 million viewers.
-- Scott Collins (Twitter: @scottcollinsLAT)
Photo: Daniela Ruah and Eric Christian Olsen of "NCIS: Los Angeles" (Credit: Cliff Lipson/CBS)