ABC had its best week in the ratings since mid-June last week, and broadcast TV's most female-friendly network largely has southern football fans to thank.
The game between Georgia and Clemson was the most-watched season opener since 2006 for ABC, which usually devotes its Saturday nights in the fall to college football. The 8.1 million viewers put the game within Nielsen's 10 most-watched programs for the week, and lifted ABC to a second-place finish behind CBS in the weekly ratings.
CBS' summertime hit, "Under the Dome," was the most popular program during a quiet week in television, the only program to get more than 10 million viewers.
CBS averaged 5.5 million viewers for the week in prime time. ABC had 4.3 million, NBC had 4.1 million, Univision had 3.3 million, Fox had 2.8 million, ION Television had 1.2 million, Telemundo had 1.1 million and the CW had 920,000.
ESPN was the week's most-watched cable network, averaging 2.5 million viewers in prime time. USA had 2.4 million, Disney had 2.1 million, A&E had 2 million and TNT had 1.9 million.
With Brian Williams returning to work this week following knee surgery, NBC's "Nightly News" survived a challenge to its supremacy and won in the evening news ratings for the 207th consecutive week. "Nightly News" averaged 7.6 million for the last week with Lester Holt as a sub, ABC's "World News" had 7.1 million and the "CBS Evening News" had 6.3 million.
For the week of Aug. 26-Sept. 1, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: "Under the Dome," CBS, 11.12 million; "America's Got Talent" (Wednesday, 9 p.m.), NBC, 9.85 million; "America's Got Talent" (Tuesday), NBC, 8.7 million; "NCIS," CBS, 8.47 million; "60 Minutes," CBS, 8.36 million; College Football: Georgia vs. Clemson, ABC, 8.14 million; "Unforgettable," CBS, 6.94 million; "Big Brother 15" (Wednesday), CBS, 6.36 million; "Master Chef" (Wednesday, 9 p.m.), Fox, 6.33 million; "Duck Dynasty," A&E, 6.3 million.
ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co. CBS is owned by CBS Corp. CW is a joint venture of Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corp. Fox is a unit of News Corp. NBC and Telemundo are owned by Comcast Corp. ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks.