Without ”American Idol” this summer, Fox will happily settle for the American League. Tuesday’s All-Star Game, which saw the AL beat the National League 9-4, was the week’s most-watched show, according to Nielsen, drawing 14 million viewers. Baseball aside, it was business as usual this week, with CBS winning the weekly ratings race with an average of 8.9 million viewers.
As it has been throughout this summer, CBS’ strength was its combination of reruns (”CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” and ”CSI: Miami” were the No. 2 and No. 3 shows) and time-tested reality series (”The Amazing Race” and the three episodes of ”Big Brother”). NBC, buoyed by ”Last Comic Standing” and reruns of various ”Law & Order” shows, finished second with 6.7 million viewers on average. Fox was third, averaging 6.4 million.
ABC’s lineup was boosted by a strong debut for Sunday drama ”The Days,” which drew 10 million viewers (retaining almost all of the 10.3 million who had just watched ”Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”), and an exclusive Barbara Walters interview with Martha Stewart, hours after her sentencing, on Friday’s ”20/20,” which attracted 8 million. Still, the network finished fourth, averaging 5.5 million. Despite the strength of new drama ”Summerland,” the WB finished behind UPN, 2.2 million to 2.6 million for the week.