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Ratings Chart Attack! is the TV industry’s destination for a daily dose of prime-time ratings. Delivering the daily scoop on which shows are scoring. TVWeek’s Sergio Ibarra calls the winners and losers, and what it means to broadcast network programmers. From day-in, day-out ratings to long-view trends and noteworthy performances, Ratings Chart Attack! delivers.

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Olympics Still Going Swimmingly in Ratings

August 18, 2008 1:03 PM

Michael Phelps Wins Eighth Gold Medal

Swimmer Michael Phelps’ record eighth gold medal win on Saturday drew 40 million viewers around 11 p.m. Saturday as the Beijing Olympics rolled on to capture the weekend in the ratings.

Those 40 million viewers marked the largest NBC audience on a Saturday since 1990.

On Saturday, NBC ranked first with an 8.7 rating/24 share in the 18- to 49-year-old demographic, according to preliminary Nielsen numbers. That’s up 12% from the Athens Games in 2004.

Fox placed second with a 1.3/5, CBS took third with a 1.2/4 and ABC nabbed fourth with a 0.9/3.

On Friday, NBC scored an 8.2/26, an increase of 8% from Athens. ABC and The CW tied for second with a 1.3/4. Fox’s pre-season football coverage of the Oakland Raiders and the Tennessee Titans pulled in a 1.2/4. CBS placed last with a 1.0/3. “Swingtown” (1.0/3) increased a tenth of a percentage point from last week.

The Olympics (8.4/24) slipped in prime time on Sunday, despite dominating the night. Against Athens, the Beijing Games were down 9%. Of course, that number could change once final numbers are released.

NBC placed first with an 8.4/24.

Second-place CBS ended the night with a 1.5/4. “Big Brother” increased 21%, as “Brother” shifted times due to PGA overrun last week.

ABC placed third with a 1.3/4, Fox ranked fourth with a 1.2/3 and The CW was last with a 0.3/1.

Through day 10, the Beijing Olympics are up 4% in the 18-49 demo compared with Athens, averaging a 9.6/28.

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