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Nov 14, 3:59 PM EST

Strong ratings for country awards _ with an asterisk



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NEW YORK (AP) -- After two years of record low ratings, the Country Music Association Awards rebounded last week and was the most-watched entertainment program on television last week.

Hoist a glass to the appeal of country music? Not so fast. The size of last year's audience was depressed since it aired on the same night of an epic World Series seventh game between the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians.

This year, the competition was much more manageable. The awards reached 14.3 million people last week for ABC, compared to 12.5 million the year before, the Nielsen company said.

NBC won the week's ratings race on the strength of two football games. Sunday night's game between New England and Denver was the week's most popular program, Nielsen said.

CBS had eight of the week's top nine most-watched scripted programs, with only NBC's "This is Us" breaking the stranglehold.

NBC averaged 8.1 million viewers in prime time. CBS had 7.6 million, ABC had 6.2 million, Fox had 4 million, Univision had 1.6 million, the CW had 1.34 million, Telemundo had 1.33 million and ION Television had 1.2 million.

ESPN was the week's most popular cable network, averaging 3.25 million viewers in prime time. Fox News Channel had 2.33 million, Hallmark had 2.11 million, MSNBC had 1.73 million and the USA Network had 1.31 million.

ABC's "World News Tonight" continued its winning streak atop the evening newscasts, averaging 9.2 million viewers last week. NBC's "Nightly News" had 8.6 million and the "CBS Evening News" had 6.7 million.

For the week of Nov. 6-12, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: NFL Football: New England at Denver, NBC, 17.51 million; "Sunday Night NFL Pre-Kick," NBC, 14.56 million; "CMA Awards," ABC, 14.28 million; "The Big Bang Theory," CBS, 13.8 million; "NCIS," CBS, 13.47 million; NFL Football: Seattle at Arizona, NBC, 13.11 million; "Young Sheldon," CBS, 12.39 million; "60 Minutes," CBS, 11.27 million; NFL Football: Detroit at Green Bay, ESPN, 11.15 million; "Bull," CBS, 10.77 million.

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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 owned by 21st Century Fox. NBC and Telemundo are owned by Comcast Corp. ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks.

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Online:

http://www.nielsen.com

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