'Deal or No Deal' Leads Way For NBC

NEW YORK (June 13, 2006) — The NBA and NHL finals are nice and all, but when it comes to fun and games on television, Howie Mandel and his suitcase sweeties rule.

The season finale of “Deal or No Deal” was seen by 18.2 million people last week, easily the most popular show on prime-time television, according to Nielsen Media Research.

That included the first two games of the NBA finals, where the Dallas Mavericks took the upper hand against the Miami Heat. The two games had an average of 12 million viewers, up 13 percent over last year’s San Antonio-Detroit series.

Meanwhile, several of Univision’s telenovelas proved more popular than NBC’s telecast of the third game of the Stanley Cup finals in hockey. The faceoff between Carolina and Edmonton was seen by only 2.5 million people last Saturday.

NBC’s summer drama “Windfall” ranked No. 13 last week for its premiere episode, with 9 million viewers. NBC finished the week first among the 18-to-49-year-old demographic sought by advertisers. With the exception of two weeks during the Winter Olympics, that hasn’t happened for NBC in a year, Nielsen said.

Among all viewers, CBS led the way with an 8.2 million average (5.6 rating, 10 share), NBC had 7.3 million (4.9, 9), Fox had 6 million (3.8, 7), ABC had 5.8 million (3.9, 7), the WB had 2.2 million (1.5, 3), UPN had 2.1 million (1.4, 3) and the i network had 590,000 (0.4, 1).

Among the Spanish-language networks, Univision averaged 3.1 million (1.7, 3), Telemundo had 840,000 (0.5, 1) and TeleFutura had 580,000 (0.3, 1).

NBC’s “Nightly News” won comfortably in the evening news race with an average of 7.8 million viewers (5.6, 12). ABC’s “World News Tonight” had 7.1 million (5.0, 11) and the “CBS Evening News” had 6.7 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 June 5-11, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: “Deal or No Deal” (Monday), NBC, 18.24 million; “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” CBS, 12.44 million; NBA Finals Game 2: Miami vs. Dallas, ABC, 12.41 million; “CSI: Miami,” CBS, 11.92 million; NBA Finals Game 1: Miami vs. Dallas, ABC, 11.51 million; “Without a Trace,” CBS, 11.37 million; “The Apprentice 5,” NBC, 11.25 million; “So You Think You Can Dance” (Wednesday), Fox, 10.73 million; “So You Think You Can Dance” (Thursday), Fox, 10.24 million; “60 Minutes,” CBS, 9.9 million.

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