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TV Ratings: CBS, NBC split, as 'Fringe' hits Friday low

'Dateline' pushes NBC to an overall Friday win

<p>Joshua Jackson in a scene from Friday night's 'Fringe'</p>

Joshua Jackson in a scene from Friday night's 'Fringe'

Credit: FOX
Fast National ratings for Friday, March 18, 2011.
 
NCAA Tournament coverage proved a good deal less popular than CBS' normal Friday dramas, knocking the network off of its normal pedestal as the night's most watched network. While CBS still scored a slim demo victory, NBC ruled a slow Friday overall.
 
And because we know you only check Friday ratings for one thing: FOX's "Fringe" delivered its lowest 18-49 rating in its new home and also drew its second smallest audience.
 
Among adults 18-49, CBS averaged a 1.5 rating. FOX's 1.4 rating, ABC's 1.3 rating and the 1.2 rating for NBC all followed in a pack. The CW was fifth with a 0.5 rating.
 
Overall, though, NBC averaged an estimated 6.13 million viewers and a 4.2 rating/8 share. ABC was second with a 3.1/6 and 4.77 million viewers, just ahead of the 2.9/5 and 4.52 million viewers for CBS. FOX was fourth with a 2.3/4 and 3.74 million viewers, topping The CW's 0.8/1 and 1.4 million viewers.
 
8 p.m. - CBS' college basketball coverage began the night in first with an estimated 4.78 million viewers and tied for the hour with a 1.5 rating among adults 18-49. ABC's "Supernanny" was second with 4.5 million viewers, nipping the 4.33 million viewers for "Who Do You Think You Are?" on NBC. FOX's "Kitchen Nightmares" averaged 3.67 million viewers for fourth, but tied with CBS to win the key demo. The CW was fifth with 1.48 million viewers for a "Smallville" repeat.
 
9 p.m. - NBC stormed into first overall in the 9 p.m. hour with 6.48 million viewers for "Dateline." ABC's "Primetime: What Would You Do?" was second overall with 5 million viewers. CBS' basketball finished third overall with 4.79 million viewers and won the hour with a 1.6 demo rating. FOX's "Fringe" averaged 3.8 million viewers for fourth and dropped to a 1.3 rating in the key demo, tied for third. ["Fringe" Ratings Note: Yes, those numbers are low, but the difference between a low "Fringe" week and a high "Fringe" week is a statistical blip. This dip could just as easily be related to last week's time change as anything else.] The CW's "Supernatural" repeat averaged 1.32 million viewers for fifth.
 
10 p.m. - NBC's "Dateline" was up to 7.59 million viewers in its second hour. ABC's "20/20" finished second with 4.81 million. CBS basketball trailed with just under 4 million viewers, though it tied with NBC for the hour's demo crown with a 1.5 rating.
 
All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change, particularly in the case of live events.
Dan-feinberg-sm
Daniel Fienberg
Executive Editor
A long-time member of the TCA Board and a longer-time blogger of "American Idol," Dan Fienberg writes about TV, except for when he writes about movies or sometimes writes about the Red Sox. But never music. He would sound stupid talking about music.
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