It’s a slow summer on TV, unless you’re a fan of the spate of new reality shows (most of them on NBC), or you’re catching up on all the crime dramas you missed during the year. Crime did pay this week in the Nielsen ratings, where the top 10 list looked like a slugfest between producers Jerry Bruckheimer (”CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” ”CSI: Miami,” and ”Without a Trace,” all on CBS) and Dick Wolf (NBC’s Law & Order” and its spinoffs). In the end, Wolf placed four of his shows in the top 10 to Bruckheimer’s three, but it was a ”CSI” rerun that was the week’s top show, drawing 13.3 million viewers.
NBC has stayed on top among the 18-to-49 age group all summer by leavening its reruns with new reality series, including such modest successes as ”Who Wants to Marry My Dad?” (No. 13 for the week), ”The Restaurant” (No. 18), and ”Last Comic Standing” (No. 37). The network edition of sister cable channel Bravo’s ”Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” drew a respectable 7.9 million viewers to finish at No. 22.
Reality has been good to the other networks, too. On CBS, ”Big Brother 4” proved the top show in its timeslot on each of its three nights. The 9 million who watched Wednesday’s episode made it the week’s top reality show. Fox’s resort hook-up show ”Paradise Hotel” has been picking up steam, finishing at No. 36 with about 7.2 million viewers, and Fox’s ”American Juniors” drew similar numbers.
NBC was the most-watched network for the week, averaging 7.7 million viewers. CBS came in second with an average of 7.4 million. ABC drew 5.8 million, followed by Fox (5.6 million), UPN (2.8 million), and the WB (2.3 million).