Despite the heavy gravitational pull of NBC’s lumbering, three-hour Apprentice finale, viewers preferred the bedroom to the boardroom as the venue for backstabbing and scheming. According to Nielsen, ABC’s Desperate Housewives was the week’s most-watched show, drawing 22.3 million viewers. Apprentice settled for fifth place, with 16.9 million watching Kelly Perdew’s victory.
Still, the mogul of the week was not Donald Trump but Jerry Bruckheimer, who landed five CBS shows in the top 10 (all three CSI shows, plus Without a Trace and Cold Case) and helped CBS to another weekly victory, averaging 12.6 million viewers. Apprentice did take a bite out of Thursday flagship CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, which finished behind Monday’s CSI: Miami for once. (The Miami show was No. 2 for the week, with 20.5 million viewers, followed by the Las Vegas CSI at No. 3 with 19.5 million.) Apprentice also helped an otherwise lackluster NBC slate edge out a second-place victory for the week over ABC, 9.8 million to 9.5 million. Fox ran a distant fourth with 5.8 million. UPN, buoyed by the finale of America’s Next Top Model, averaged 3.5 million for the week, compared with just under 3 million for the WB.