Ratings: Led by 'NCIS,' CBS has 12 of week's top 20 shows

The second week of the 2009-10 season has come and gone, and CBS’s surging NCIS remains on top for the week ending Oct. 4. The Navy-set procedural actually increased over its Sept. 22 season premiere by 800,000 viewers to draw 21.4 million gawkers in its second airing. Of course, the show’s spin-off, NCIS: Los Angeles, wasn’t far behind, as its second episode drew 17.4 million viewers — a drop of 1.3 million viewers compared to its premiere — to land at No. 3 behind NBC’s Sunday Night Football, which drew 18.4 million viewers.

It’s no surprise, but according to the week’s Top 20 — which you can read in full after the jump — CBS is cleaning up so far this season, claiming 12 of the Top 20 shows. Outside of the race for the top three slots, CBS shows up everywhere from No. 5 (CSI, 15.9 million viewers) to No. 20 (Survivor, 11.5 million viewers), and from new dramas like The Good Wife (No. 13, 13.7 million viewers) to returning comedies like Two and a Half Men (No. 12, 13.9 million viewers) and The Big Bang Theory (No. 15, 13.3 million viewers).

The rest of the Top 20? It’s not that different than last week’s premiere week ratings, except for the addition of ABC’s Private Practice, which surprised by debuting its first episode at No. 18 with 11.6 million viewers. (Looks like all that buzz for the crazy cut-the-baby-out-of-Violet’s-stomach storyline paid off.)

The full Top 20 — with viewership totals — after the jump.

1. NCIS | CBS | 21.4 million
2. Sunday Night Football | NBC | 18.4 million
3. NCIS: Los Angeles | CBS | 17.4 million
4. Dancing with the Stars Monday | ABC | 17.0 million
5. CSI | CBS | 15.9 million
6. The Mentalist | CBS | 15.8 million
7. Grey’s Anatomy | ABC | 15.7 million
8. House | Fox | 14.7 million
9. Desperate Housewives | ABC | 14.6 million
10. Criminal Minds | CBS | 14.2 million
11. CSI: Miami | CBS | 14.0 million
12. Two and a Half Men | CBS | 13.9 million
13. The Good Wife | CBS | 13.7 million
14. 60 Minutes | CBS | 13.4 million
15. The Big Bang Theory | CBS | 13.3 million
16. CSI: NY | CBS | 13.2 million
17. Dancing with the Stars Tuesday | ABC | 13.0 million
18. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition | ABC | 11.6 million
(tie) 18. Private Practice | ABC | 11.6 million
20. Survivor: Samoa | CBS | 11.5 million

More TV news from EW:
‘Parenthood’ exclusive: Helen Hunt out! Lauren Graham in?
Exclusive: ‘Gossip Girl’ trio give menage a try
David Letterman: Bouncing back

Comments (19 total) Add your comment
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  • Season

    Maybe NBC should have given their 10pm time slot to the NFL.

  • Luke

    NBC continues to be the network without any identity. It’s sad because its once identity was young, sophisticated, and quality programming with Friends, Seinfeld, ER, Frasier, etc. Now it’s the network that resorts to quick-fixes which, deservedly, backfire. Funny enough, all the execs are NOT fired, but instead promoted.

  • bedc01

    Maybe NBC should give the 10 o’clock slot to america’s cutest kittens… I bet you it would be much, much cheaper to produce, draw bigger ratings and most likely…laughs, unlike that ugly, long chin quasimodo

  • hopie

    Yay My favorite show is still at the top

  • dave

    Geez, NBC is really dying. The only thing keeping that network alive is football.

  • DTisca

    I think this just shows how many older people have been forced to retire and are watching more TV at night (sorry, CBS is and always will be an older-adult channel). Whereas the rest of us younger adults are fighting for our jobs so we have less time to watch TV. We’re also more tech-savvy to know how to use DVR, and we use it often. The only show I ever watch on CBS is Big Brother.

    • Angie

      If young people are fighting for their jobs how can they afford DVRs??? I know I can not and I am not old, in my 30s.

  • Chris

    Oh CBS and their cookie cutter crime procedurals… At least NBC is making good television (Of course I’m referring solely to their comedy block). CBS is in retirement, ABC is becoming increasingly irrelevant, and NBC is simply failing… Fox… save us please. Fox? Fox? The CW? ANYONE!?!?!

  • Susan

    I really love the show, but the background music makes it dfficult to hear the actors. Hope this will be addressed in future episodes.

  • Mary

    NCIS is long over due for such recognition, it’s made it to the top based on quality writing, cast and crew.

    To the naysayers, NCIS is NOT a mere procedural, it’s a quality program with a stellar ensemble cast. It’s entertaining and it never gets stale. I’m in my late 40s, and started watching the series in it’s 3rd year. My daughter started watching NCIS from the very beginning, along with her fellow suitemates in the dorm when she was an undergrad. Since becoming a fan, I’ve run into lots of others both online and off, and NCIS has lots of young fans, both here and around the world. Those who would seek to write NCIS off, should consider the fact that their opinions are more likely based on bias, rather than actual experience and try watching the series before making any more assumptions. There’s nothing cookie cutter about NCIS, far from it, NCIS defies the sad, conformist molds the industry has been spewing out for far too long. The cookie cutter programs all are the ones the entertainment mags are hawking ad nauseum.

  • Mustardseeds

    NBC is the network with less “reality TV” . . . could that be the reason for it’s low ratings?

    I just don’t get the “new” Jay Leno show, talk about boring.

  • AnnSanDiego

    Go Big Bang Theory!

  • Cassie

    NCIS is one of the best shows on TV today. Young and old people watch this program. Just because most of the entertainment media is fixated on Gossip Girl and 90210 and some of the Fox programming doesn’t mean that NCIS does not have younger viewers.

    I wonder when TV Watch will finally start reviewing NCIS? Or at least include it in the EW shows to watch.

  • DavidH

    NCIS is THE BEST show on television, hands down. CBS is doing good by its viewers by developing shows that hold interest and do well in the ratings. I have simply given up on NBC. A great percentage of their programs will be cancelled before given a chance. I will not invest any more of my leisure time with NBC.

  • Nandhini Singh

    I *adore* NCIS even though I only started watching it from the 4th season. I love the previews and I so agree with Mary. It is not “cookie cutter material”. I’m 21 and I absolutely love the “professional” attitued that the show has about it. There is no blatant flirting with co-workers (with the exception of Tony but then again….) and it has serious themes that the world should actually think about. Terrorism in our own back yard. Murder, rape, greed, all because we want to support our “American Lifestyle”. And Gibbs is at the top of my list because he reminds me that there are still some people out there fighting the good fight.

  • Laura

    I love NCIS I just started watching it over the summer as reruns on the USA network and have fallen in love, the show is a true to form crime solving show but what I like the most is how funny and quirky it is. And it has some real nice eye candy too Gibbs, Tony and adorable Magee. If you have never watched this show I say watch a few episodes and you will be hooked. For Young and old alike. I love it 40 something husband 60’s and our daughter and her best friend love it ages 11 &12

    I have to mention there is an error above on the ratings. Castle another show I adore should be number 18 with 11.7 viewers and the other 2 shows that tied should be number 19.

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