NEW YORK (AP) — The broadcast television networks showed some 20 original dramas among the 50 most-popular programs last week, yet cable's sensation "The Walking Dead" beat them all.
AMC's creep fest was seen by just under 13 million people, the Nielsen company said. Only the CBS comedy "The Big Bang Theory" and two episodes of the NBC competition "The Voice" — no dramas — had more viewers.
"The Walking Dead" is commonly the most popular drama among young people, but it's a bigger achievement when viewers of all ages are counted. There's one asterisk: CBS' "NCIS" and "NCIS: Los Angeles" aired reruns last week, and those programs usually beat AMC's show in original episodes.
Given how difficult it is for networks to establish new dramas these days, ABC and NBC had some good news with the receptions given to "Resurrection" and "Believe." ABC's "Resurrection" remained in Nielsen's top 10 for its second episode. "Believe" was given a prime launching pad — airing directly after "The Voice" on NBC last Monday — and had 10.6 million viewers.
In one Nielsen oddity last week, more viewers tuned in to ABC's post-"Bachelor" gabfest than the season's final episode, when Juan Pablo delivered the final rose.
CBS won the week in prime time, averaging 8.1 million viewers. NBC had 6.6 million, ABC had 6.5 million, Fox had 4.6 million, Univision had 2.6 million, ION Television and Telemundo had 1.2 million, and the CW had 1.1 million.
Fox News Channel was the week's most popular cable network, averaging 2 million viewers in prime time. USA had 1.98 million, History had 1.95 million and AMC and TBS both had 1.82 million.
NBC's "Nightly News" topped the evening newscasts with an average of 9 million viewers. ABC's "World News" was second with 8.1 million and the "CBS Evening News" had 6.6 million viewers. The evening news had the dip it typically sees when Daylight Savings Time begins, although it was slighter than normal — perhaps due to the story of the missing Malaysian plane.
For the week of March 10-16, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: "The Big Bang Theory," CBS, 17.34 million; "The Voice" (Monday), NBC, 13.79 million; "The Voice" (Tuesday), NBC, 13.51 million; "The Walking Dead," AMC, 12.87 million; "Blue Bloods," CBS, 11.68 million; "60 Minutes," CBS, 11.26 million; "Resurrection," ABC, 11.25 million; "The Bachelor: After the Final Rose," ABC, 10.97 million; "NCIS," CBS, 10.9 million; "Criminal Minds," CBS, 10.74 million.
ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co. CBS is owned by CBS Corp. CW is a joint venture of Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corp. Fox is owned by 21st Century Fox. NBC and Telemundo are owned by Comcast Corp. ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks.