Michael J. Fox Makes Strong Return To TV

In addition to being an optimist, Michael J. Fox is still a television star.

His special “Adventures of an Incurable Optimist” was watched by 10.2 million viewers, enough to put it on Nielsen Media Research’s list of the 20 most popular prime-time shows. The former sitcom star and Parkinson’s patient explored the nature of positive thinking.

It helped ABC run neck-and-neck for second place with Fox for the weekly ratings. CBS remained dominant, as home to 11 of the 14 most-watched scripted shows in prime time last week.

Nielsen was able to get its ratings out on time after a disastrous week last week. A processing backlog delayed ratings last week, annoying TV networks at a time they’re making decisions on next fall’s schedule.

For the week, CBS averaged 10.8 million prime-time viewers (6.8 rating, 12 share), Fox had 8.8 million (5.3. 9), ABC 8.7 million (5.6, 10), NBC 6.4 million (4.2, 7), the CW 1.9 million (1.3, 2), My Network TV 1.5 million (0.9, 2) and ION Television 560,000 (0.4, 1). ABC’s ratings were higher than Fox’s despite a smaller audience, an indication that more people watched the ABC shows alone.

Among the Spanish-language networks, Univision led with 3.7 million viewers (1.9 rating, 3 share), Telemundo had 1.1 million (0.6, 1), TeleFutura 580,000 (0.3, 1) and Azteca 140,000 (0.1, 0).

NBC’s “Nightly News” topped the evening newscasts with an average of 7.9 million viewers (5.3, 11). ABC’s “World News” was second with 7.5 million (5.1, 11) and the “CBS Evening News” had 5.7 million viewers (3.9, 8).

A ratings point represents 1,145,000 households, or 1 percent of the nation’s estimated 114.5 million TV homes. The share is the percentage of in-use televisions tuned to a given show.

For the week of May 4-10, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: “American Idol” (Wednesday), Fox, 23.57 million; “American Idol” (Tuessday), Fox, 23.41 million; “Dancing With the Stars,” ABC, 20.28 million; “NCIS,” CBS, 16.72 million; “The Mentalist,” CBS, 16.68 million; “Grey’s Anatomy,” ABC, 15.55; “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” CBS, 14.91; “Dancing With the Stars Results,” ABC, 14.56 million; “Two and a Half Men,” CBS, 14.17 million; “Criminal Minds,” CBS, 14.13 million.

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