By David Bauder, The Associated Press
The NBC, ABC and CBS evening newscasts combined for a dubious record last week: the average of 18.7 million people who watched one of the three shows last week was the smallest audience those three telecasts have reached collectively on record, since the infancy of television, Nielsen said.
During the slow news period of late August, the broadcasts broke their previous record - set just last week.
For the week, CBS topped the prime-time ratings with an average of 6.6 million viewers (4.2 rating, 8 share). NBC, buoyed a strong showing by the Emmy Awards, was a close second with a 6.4 million average (4.0, 7). NBC tied with Fox, which averaged 5.1 million viewers overall (3.1, 6), for the lead among the demographically desired group of viewers ages 18 to 49. ABC averaged 4.3 million viewers (2.7, 5), ION Television had 1.4 million (0.9, 2) and the CW had 910,000 (0.6, 1).
Among the Spanish-language networks, Univision led with 3.5 million viewers in prime time (1.8 rating, 3 share), Telemundo had 900,000 (0.5, 1), TeleFutura had 630,000 (0.3, 1), Azteca had 200,000 and Estrella 190,000 (both 0.1, 0).
NBC's "Nightly News" topped the evening newscasts with an average of 7.2 million viewers (4.9, 10). ABC's "World News" was second with 6.6 million (4.5, 10) and the "CBS Evening News" had 4.9 million viewers (3.3, 7).
A ratings point represents 1,159,000 households, or 1 percent of the nation's estimated 115.9 million TV homes. The share is the percentage of in-use televisions tuned to a given show.
For the week of Aug. 23-29, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: "Emmy Awards," NBC, 13.5 million; "America's Got Talent" (Tuesday), NBC, 10.8 million; "America's Got Talent" (Wednesday), 10.52 million; Exhibition Football: Pittsburgh at Denver, Fox, 10.13 million; "NCIS," CBS, 9.19 million; "60 Minutes," 8.74 million; "Two and a Half Men," CBS, 8.39 million; "The Big Bang Theory," CBS, 8.36 million; "Big Brother 12" (Wednesday), CBS, 7.99 million; "Wipeout" (Tuesday), ABC, 7.98 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.
This has been excerpted from an Associated Press article.