The Most Popular Shows in America -- God, How Depressing

By Dustin Rowles | Trade News | March 26, 2009 | Comments ()


We've never actually posted a full list of television ratings here on Pajiba, and I don't know how many of you actually keep up with such things. I follow them fairly regularly, but I'm nevertheless always astonished at how few shows in the top 20 are actually on my radar. It's fun to spend a few minutes scratching your head, so here was the Top 20 Shows for the week of March 16 - 22 (season to date rankings are in parenthesis).

1. (1) "American Idol" (Wednesday), Fox, 23.71 million viewers.
2. (2) "American Idol" (Tuesday), Fox, 21.89 million viewers.
3. (3) "Dancing With The Stars" (Monday), ABC, 21.22 million viewers.
4. (10) "60 Minutes," CBS, 17.04 million viewers.
5. (5) "NCIS," CBS, 15.84 million viewers.
6. (8) "The Mentalist," CBS, 15.49 million viewers.
7. (9) "Desperate Housewives," ABC, 14.75 million viewers.
8. (13) "Grey's Anatomy," ABC, 14.61 million viewers.
9. (11) "Two and a Half Men," CBS, 14.12 million viewers.
10. (11) "Criminal Minds," CBS, 13.74 million viewers.
11. (14) "CSI: Miami," CBS, 13.61 million viewers.
12. (18) "House," Fox, 13.13 million viewers.
13. (16) "CSI: NY," CBS, 12.79 million viewers.
14. (5) "Dancing With The Stars" (Tuesday), ABC, 12.74 million viewers.
15. (31) "Amazing Race 14," CBS, 12.42 million viewers.
16. (19) "Without a Trace," CBS, 11.87 million viewers.
17. (25) "Rules Of Engagement," CBS, 11.42 million viewers.
18. (21) "Cold Case," CBS, 11.41 million viewers.
19. (19) "24," Fox, 11.36 million viewers.
20. (28) "Castle," ABC, 10.96 million viewers.

Of the top 20 shows of last week, I saw exactly one ("Amazing Race"), and I have mixed feelings about "Castle's" entry into the top 20. Terrible show, but good for Nathan Fillion. Unfortunately, if it keeps doing well, he's going to be stuck on that show for years. I also didn't realize that people were still watching "24." The ratings for "Two and a Half Men": Depressing. And Jesus: How many CBS procedurals are in the top 20? Ridiculous.

The top 20 among the prized demographic (18-49) is a little less depressing, in that it at least includes "Lost," "The Office," and "How I Met Your Mother."

1. American Idol (Wed.) Fox
2. American Idol (Tues.) Fox
3. Dancing With the Stars ABC
4. Grey's Anatomy ABC
5. Desperate Housewives ABC
6. House Fox
7. Two and a Half Men CBS
8. Lost ABC
9. The Office NBC
10. Rules of Engagement CBS
11. 60 Minutes CBS
12. How I Met Your Mother CBS
13. CSI: Miami CBS
14. NCAA Basketball CBS
15. Family Guy Fox
16. Big Bang Theory CBS
17. 24 Fox
18. The Amazing Race CBS
19. Private Practice ABC
20. Law & Order:SVU NBC 4.6

Finally, here are the top 15 shows last week on cable -- it's just a bunch of wrestling, "Spongebog Squarepants," and "NCIS" reruns. What country do I live in, anyway?

1. "WWE Raw" (Monday, 10 p.m.), USA,
2. Movie: "Northern Lights" (Saturday, 9 p.m.), Lifetime
3. "WWE Raw" (Monday, 9 p.m.), USA
4. "SpongeBob SquarePants" (Saturday, 9:30 a.m.), Nickelodeon
5. "NCIS" (Saturday, 9 p.m.), USA
6. "Hannah Montana" (Sunday, 7:30 p.m.), Disney
6. "NCIS" (Monday, 7 p.m.), USA
8. "SpongeBob SquarePants" (Monday, 5:30 p.m.), Nickelodeon
9. "SpongeBob SquarePants" (Saturday, 9 a.m.), Nickelodeon
10. "NCIS" (Saturday, 8 p.m.), USA
11. "SpongeBob SquarePants" (Monday, 5 p.m.), Nickelodeon
12. "SpongeBob SquarePants" (Wednesday, 6 p.m.), Nickelodeon
13. "NCIS" (Saturday, 10 p.m.), USA
14. "SpongeBob SquarePants" (Thursday, 5:30 p.m.), Nickelodeon
15. "NCIS" (Tuesday, 7 p.m.), USA

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