New York: Terming the start of the fall TV season as 'uneventful' for the big TV networks in the US would probably be the best explanation of how they got off the starting blocks.
According to Nielsen Media Research, the season premiere of "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" on CBS drew almost 23.5 million people to the small screen last week, making it the only show to have over 20 million viewers for the week.
NBC notched up around 10.9 million viewers for its prime-time "Saturday Night Live" political special on Thursday, which has two more to follow leading up to the Presidential election.
ABC's "Private Practice" counted around 7.4 million viewers last week, but "Pushing Daisies" and "Dirty Sexy Money" could not push beyond the six million mark. However, there were some positive signs as well, such as for new shows ''Eleventh Hour'' on CBS and ''Life on Mars'' on ABC, both of which compete for the key timeslot of 10 pm, and reported stronger viewer numbers than the former bigwig of the slot, NBC's ''ER'' which has entered its last season.
Together, the five biggest broadcasters averaged 37.62 million prime-time viewers last week, says Nielsen Media Research. Year-on-year, that number is down from 42.32 million viewers in the same period in 2007, says Nielsen.
Viewership trends include a move to news networks last week on account of hot political campaigns and the economic crisis.
For the week, CBS leads the march of the networks with an average of 11 million viewers and won among the 18-to-49-year-old audience advertisers are keen on.
ABC racked up 9.6 million viewers, Fox got 8 million, and NBC 7 million. The CW managed 2.1 million viewers. Those statistics make CBS the preferred network for the second week running, in total viewers and in the advertiser-friendly young-adult demographics.