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TV Ratings: NCAA Sweet 16 leads CBS on Friday, as 'Fringe' return stumbles

'Shark Tank' carries ABC to a solid second place night

<p>Anthony Davis blocks a Hoosier shot on Friday night</p>
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Anthony Davis blocks a Hoosier shot on Friday night

Credit: David J. Phillip/AP
Fast National ratings for Friday, March 23, 2012.
 
CBS' coverage of the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16 drew almost numbers almost identical to last week's Second Round games, as CBS held off "Shark Tank"-boosted ABC to win Friday in most key measures.
 
Meanwhile, if "Fringe" fans weren't nervous before, now might be a good time to contemplate nervousness as the FOX cult drama fell to what may end up as series low among young viewers.
 
For the night, CBS averaged a 2.2 rating among adults 18-49, tops in the key demographic. ABC was second with a 1.6 rating, with a bit of space ahead of FOX's 1.0 rating and the 0.9 rating for NBC in the key demo. The CW averaged a 0.5 rating for Friday night.
 
Overall, CBS averaged an estimated 6.53 million viewers and a 4.0 rating/7 share for Friday primetime, just ahead of the 3.7/6 and 5.51 million viewers for ABC. NBC averaged a 3.0/5 and nearly 4.5 million viewers, with FOX's 1.9/3 and 2.97 million viewers following. The CW averaged a 1.0/2 and 1.56 million viewers.
 
8 p.m. - "Shark Tank" won the 8 p.m. hour overall for ABC with 5.95 million viewers and finished second with a 1.5 rating among adults 18-49. NBC's "Who Do You Think You Are?" was second overall with 5.79 million viewers, but tied for third with a 1.0 key demo rating. CBS' NCAA Tournament coverage -- Baylor/Xavier or Kentucky/Indiana, depending on your time zone -- averaged 5.31 million viewers for third and won the hour with a 1.6 key demo rating. It was a low return for a new "Kitchen Nightmares," which averaged only 3.06 million viewers and a 1.0 key demo rating. The CW's "Nikita" was in line with last week, averaging 1.56 million viewers and a 0.5 key demo rating.
 
9 p.m. - CBS moved into first for the 9 p.m. hour with 5.8 million viewers and a 1.8 rating among adults 18-49 for NCAA hoops. ABC's "Primetime: What Would You Do?" averaged 5.19 million viewers and a 1.6 key demo rating for second. NBC's repeat of "Grimm" was third overall with 3.34 million viewers and fourth with a 0.7 key demo rating. On FOX, a new "Fringe" averaged 2.88 million viewers and a 0.9 key demo rating, which was down by 0.3 in the key demo from the show's last original airing in February and down 0.2 in the key demo from the "Kitchen Nightmares" repeat in the same hour last week. Also down a bit was The CW's "Supernatural," which averaged 1.57 million viewers and a 0.6 key demo rating.
 
10 p.m. - The 10 p.m. hour of NCAA coverage soared to 8.48 million viewers and a 3.1 rating among adults 18-49 for CBS. ABC was second with nearly 5.4 million viewers and a 1.6 key demo rating for "20/20." NBC's "Dateline" averaged 4.36 million viewers and a 0.9 key demo rating for third.
 
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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