NEW YORK -- A country music awards show, a series finale and the network’s usually sturdy regular schedule led CBS to a dominant performance in the weekly television ratings competition.
Fourteen of the 20 most-watched programs last week were on CBS, according to Nielsen. The comedy "The Big Bang Theory" led the way with 17.7 million viewers. Sunday’s airing of the Academy of Country Music Awards drew 14.17 million viewers.
The series finale of "How I Met Your Mother" had a series high of 13.13 million viewers, but did little to boost the prospects of the show that debuted directly after it. Ensemble comedy "Friends With Better Lives" had 7.6 million viewers.
On Friday, the CBS drama "Blue Bloods" continues to post strong numbers, with 11.7 million viewers and a top-10 showing. By contrast, NBC’s "Hannibal" in the same time slot had 2.2 million viewers.
Missing from Nielsen’s Top 20 list entirely was Fox’s free-falling "American Idol." The Thursday edition of the show was seen by 7.7 million viewers.
CBS won the week in prime time with an average of 10 million viewers. ABC had 6.4 million, NBC had 5.7 million, Fox had 4 million.
TBS, which aired the NCAA men’s basketball semifinals, was easily the most popular cable network, averaging 2.93 million viewers in prime time.