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Apr 22, 4:30 PM EDT

ABC's 'Scandal,' with bomb blast plot twist, a big winner in TV ratings as it wraps 3rd season


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NEW YORK (AP) -- ABC's explosive season-ending episode of "Scandal" was seen by 10.6 million viewers last week, the biggest audience ever for the drama.

The Kerry Washington series went away with bombs and assassination plots, concluding its third season. It finished in the Nielsen ratings company's top 10 for the week, but more importantly for ABC it was the most popular program among viewers age 18 to 49, the demographic upon which it bases its advertising sales.

CBS' "NCIS," as it often does, reigned as the week's most popular program among all viewers.

CBS won in prime time for the seventh consecutive week, averaging 7.9 million viewers. ABC had 6.5 million viewers, NBC had 5.4 million, Fox had 4 million, Univision had 2.7 million, the CW had 1.4 million, Telemundo had 1.2 million and ION Television had 950,000.

USA was the week's most popular cable network, averaging 1.92 million viewers in prime time. The Disney Channel had 1.88 million, TNT had 1.82 million, History had 1.81 million and TBS had 1.69 million.

For the first time in six years, ABC's "World News" topped NBC's dominant "Nightly News" for two consecutive weeks in the 25-54-year-old demographic, the measurement used for most ad sales in news programming. Among all viewers, NBC averaged 8.6 million, ABC had 7.9 million and the "CBS Evening News" had 6.3 million.

For the week of April 14-20, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: "NCIS," CBS, 17.12 million; "Dancing With the Stars," ABC, 14.78 million; "NCIS: Los Angeles," CBS, 14.69 million; "The Voice" (Monday), NBC, 11.85 million; "The Voice" (Tuesday), NBC, 11.82 million; "The Big Bang Theory" (Thursday, 8:30 p.m.), CBS, 10.91 million; "Person of Interest," CBS, 10.74 million; "Scandal," ABC, 10.57 million; "The Big Bang Theory" (Thursday, 8 p.m.), CBS, 9.69 million; "Survivor," CBS, 9.35 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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