It goes without saying that American Idol took the top spot (say it with me) AGAIN in Nielsen's list of highest-rated programs this year, according to the broke-ass system that we continue to use even though it's merely partially accurate. The media research company released its year-end data late last week, showing once again that when Americans want to sit down and watch TV, they head straight for the fluff.
Idol grabbed the top two slots (Wednesday's results show topped Tuesday's performance show in a switcheroo this year, but a few Obama speech bumps may have helped that) and Dancing With the Stars took third and fifth (performances beating results).
Brett Favre Smorgasbord NBC's Sunday Night Football snuck into fourth place.
Though reality still dominated the top five, the news here is that ratings were down for both Idol and DWTS, retaining that slight glimmer of hope I have for the future. Slight.
The top scripted program of the year once again was a CBS newbie: NCIS: Los Angeles beat its big brother NCIS, and the shows took sixth and seventh, respectively (last year's top scripted show was The Mentalist). Ratings were up by nearly a point and a half for NCIS (the show placed eighth last year), which still confuses me. CBS continued its hot scripted streak with the surprise tenth entry, The Good Wife. I know people were watching this show, but tenth? Even after I did a triple take, it was still sitting there in tenth place.
Oh heck, why don't I just show you the list.
Top Ten Regularly Scheduled Programs
Show / Network / Rating
1. American Idol (Wednesday) FOX 14.4
2. American Idol (Tuesday) FOX 13.8
3. Dancing with the Stars ABC 12.0
4. NBC Sunday Night Football NBC 11.7
5. Dancing with the Stars (Results Show) ABC 9.9
6. NCIS: Los Angeles CBS 9.8
7. NCIS CBS 9.4
8. NFL Regular Season (Monday Night Football) ESPN 8.8
8. Sunday Night NFL Pre-kick NBC 8.8
10. The Good Wife CBS 8.0
For contrast, here's last years:
1. American Idol Tuesday Fox 15.5
2. American Idol Wednesday Fox 15.3
3. Dancing With the Stars ABC 12.3
4. Dancing With the Stars Results ABC 11.4
5. Mentalist CBS 10.0
5. NBC Sunday Night Football NBC 10.0
7. CSI CBS 8.1
8. NCIS CBS 8.0
9. 60 Minutes CBS 7.6
9. Survivor: Gabon CBS 7.6
Which of the top shows do YOU watch?