'Deal or No Deal' Tops TV Ratings

NBC found itself last week with something it hasn't been accustomed to lately: the most-watched show on television.

The game show "Deal or No Deal" last Monday logged 13.8 million viewers, enough to top Nielsen Media Research's list of the week's most-popular shows.

The last time an NBC show was No. 1 was before last season, when a "Dateline NBC" special on Hurricane Katrina led during the week that story dominated the news, Nielsen said.

Preliminary ratings indicate that Howie Mandel's game show logged 18 million viewers this Monday, so another first-place showing may be in the wind. Unfortunately for NBC, the show then goes on hiatus until the fall.

So far, Fox's "So You Think You Can Dance" has been the most successful new summer series. CBS' "Game Show Marathon" did lackluster business last week. ABC's first-ever prime-time showing of the National Spelling Bee, while not a hit with 8.5 million viewers, had numbers encouraging enough to be invited back.

CBS, which had the top nine drama reruns for the week, topped the ratings with an average prime-time audience of 8.7 million viewers (5.9 rating, 10 share). NBC was second with 7.1 million viewers (4.8, 8) and won among the 18-to-49-year-old viewers advertisers seek. ABC had 5.8 million (3.8, 7), Fox had 5.6 million (3.6, 6), UPN had 2.1 million (1.4, 2), the WB had 1.9 million (1.3, 2) and the i network had 500,000 (0.3, 1).

Among the Spanish-language networks, Univision averaged 3.1 million (1.7, 3), Telemundo had 790,000 (0.4, 1) and TeleFutura had 490,000 (0.3, 1).

Charles Gibson's debut as ABC's "World News Tonight" anchor didn't move the meter on the evening-news ratings race. NBC's "Nightly News" won with an average of 8 million viewers (5.7, 12), "World News Tonight" averaged 7.2 million (5.1, 11) and the "CBS Evening News" had 6.8 million (4.7, 10).

A ratings point represents 1,102,000 households, or 1 percent of the nation's estimated 110.2 million TV homes. The share is the percentage of in-use televisions tuned to a given show.

For the week of May 29-June 4, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: "Deal or No Deal" (Monday), NBC, 13.84 million; "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," CBS, 13.57 million; "Without a Trace," CBS, 12.06 million; "CSI: Miami," 11.74 million; "NCIS," CBS, 11.23 million; "Two and a Half Men," CBS, 10.61 million; "Deal or No Deal" (Wednesday), NBC, 10.25 million; "Criminal Minds," CBS, 10.14 million; "So You Think You Can Dance" (Thursday), Fox, 10.03 million; "CSI: NY," CBS, 9.81 million.