The final week before broadcast television’s official premiere week (which started last night) was dominated by none other than NBC, which topped ratings for the week ending Sept. 20 with Sunday Night Football at No. 1 with 24.8 million viewers, the premiere of The Jay Leno Show at No. 2 with 18.4 million viewers, and the season finale of summer hit America’s Got Talent at No. 3 with 15.8 million viewers.
The rest of the Top 5 is rounded out by the Tuesday episode of NBC’s America’s Got Talent at No. 4 with 13.9 million viewers and CBS’s airing of the 61st Annual Emmy Awards, which showed up at No. 5 with 13.5 million viewers, up 9 percent in total viewers from last year. The Wednesday night airing of The Jay Leno Show, which pulled 13.4 million viewers, was next up at No. 6. The show was up and down all week, and dropped from its high of 18.4 million viewers to its Friday low with 7.6 million viewers. It remains to be seen how Leno will do when ABC and CBS’s 10 p.m. dramas return this week.
Finally, after a summer when CBS repeats nearly dominated each week, other shows with early fall premieres began to creep into the Top 20. CBS’s Survivor: Samoa premiered to 11.7 million viewers, good enough for No. 9. Fox’s Bones drew 10.4 million viewers for a No. 11 ranking, and NBC’s The Biggest Loser weighed in at No. 12 with 9.9 million viewers.
Also making the Top 20 this week were two of NBC’s Thursday-night comedies: The Office at No. 16 with 8.2 million viewers and Community at No. 17 with 7.9 million viewers. However, these two will likely drop out of the Top 20 once all of the networks’ shows return this week. Rounding out the bottom of the Top 20, was a three-way tie between shows that nabbed 7.8 million viewers each: a repeat of CBS’s CSI: NY, the season finale of CBS’s Big Brother, and the season premiere of Fox’s Fringe. The full numbers for everything are after the jump.
1. Sunday Night Football | NBC | 24.8 million
2. The Jay Leno Show Monday | NBC | 18.4 million
3. America’s Got Talent Wednesday | NBC | 15.8 million
4. America’s Got Talent Tuesday | NBC | 13.9 million
5. 61st Annual Emmy Awards | CBS | 13.5 million
6. The Jay Leno Show Wednesday | NBC | 13.4 million
7. 60 Minutes (R) | CBS | 13.1 million
8. NCIS (R) | CBS | 12.4 million
9. Survivor: Samoa | CBS | 11.7 million
10. The Jay Leno Show Tuesday | NBC | 11.1 million
11. Bones | Fox | 10.4 million
12. The Biggest Loser | NBC | 9.9 million
13. The Mentalist (R) | CBS | 9.1 million
14. The Jay Leno Show Thursday | NBC | 8.8 million
(tie) 14. CSI (R) | CBS | 8.8 million
16. The Office | NBC | 8.2 million
17. Community | NBC | 7.9 million
18. Fringe | Fox | 7.8 million
(tie) 18. Big Brother | CBS | 7.8 million
(tie) 18. CSI: NY (R) | CBS | 7.8 million