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TV Ratings: Tiny 'Fringe' bump, but NCAA Tournament carries CBS on Friday

NBC is a strong second with two hours of 'Dateline'

<p>Kentucky guard Brandon Knight&nbsp;</p>

Kentucky guard Brandon Knight 

Credit: Julio Cortez/AP
Fast National ratings for Friday, March 25, 2011.
 
CBS had a strong slate of Friday night NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 games, including at least one major upset, pushing the network to a comfortable nightly win with young viewers and a close overall win.
 
Meanwhile, the freshly renewed "Fringe" got a miniscule bump on Friday night -- sure to be excitedly trumpeted elsewhere, but little more than a statistical hiccup. Still, "up" is always better than "down."
 
Among adults 18-49, CBS averaged a 2.7 rating, easily tops in the key demographic. NBC's 1.6 rating, FOX's 1.5 rating and the 1.3 rating for ABC followed in their usual Friday pack. The CW's repeats averaged a 0.5 rating for fifth.
 
Overall, things were far closer, with both NBC and CBS averaging a 5.0 rating/9 share, though CBS averaged an estimated 8.03 million viewers to top the 7.59 million viewers for NBC. ABC was a distant third with a 3.1/6 and 4.77 million viewers, which still beat the 2.4/4 and 3.975 million viewers for FOX. The CW stayed fifth with a 0.8/1 and 1.295 million viewers.
 
8 p.m. - CBS' NCAA hoops coverage started primetime in first with 6.67 million viewers and a 2.1 rating among adults 18-49. NBC's "Who Do You Think You Are?" was second with 6.55 million viewers. The time period return of "Shark Tank" gave ABC 4.83 million viewers for third, but finished fourth in the key demo. FOX's "Kitchen Nightmares" was fourth overall with 4.07 million viewers, but second in the demo with a 1.5 rating. The CW's repeat of "Smallville" averaged 1.47 million viewers in fifth.
 
9 p.m. - NBC moved into first overall in the 9 p.m. hour with 7.99 million viewers for "Dateline." CBS' basketball finished second with 7.44 million viewers, but won the hour with a 2.4 demo rating. ABC's "Primetime: What Would You Do?" averaged 4.45 million viewers in third overall. FOX's "Fringe" stayed below 4 million viewers with 3.88 million tuning in along with a 1.5 demo rating in third. The CW's repeat of "Supernatural" averaged 1.12 million viewers.
 
10 p.m. - CBS moved back into first in the 10 p.m. hour with 9.96 million viewers and a strong 3.5 demo rating for college basketball. NBC's "Dateline" was second with 8.23 million viewers. ABC was third with the 5.04 million viewers for "20/20."
 
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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