Most Popular Primetime TV Shows

Popular TV Shows

Zap2it.com has posted the Nielsen Television TV ratings for primetime network television, in the current season. We browsed through and found some surprises. Here are the 15 most popular network TV shows in America, as of February 7, 2010 (when the most recent data was released). Photo Credit: Getty Images


#15: Grey’s Anatomy

Network: ABC Viewers: 14,808,000 This medical drama follows “Meredith Grey, one of a group of young doctors at a Seattle hospital.” But please, don’t confuse TV doctors with real doctors. Turns out they often have no idea what they are doing. According to the American Academy of Neurology study that looked at how TV doctors treat seizures, “inappropriate practices, including holding the person down, trying to stop involuntary movements or putting something in the person’s mouth, occurred in 25 cases, nearly 46 percent of the time. First aid management was shown appropriately in 17 seizures, or about 29 percent of the time. Appropriateness of first aid could not be determined in 15 incidents of seizures, or 25 percent.” Photo Credit: ABC.com


#14: Two And A Half Men

Network: CBS Viewers: 14,838,000 This successful show (the top rated sit com on TV) has been a cash cow for CBS, but star Charlie Sheen’s recent and ongoing troubles may actually be putting the series, and the network’s finances, at risk. The L.A. Times reports, “Sheen was charged last week with felony menacing and two lesser counts in connection with a Christmas incident in which Aspen, Colo., police said he assaulted and threatened his wife, Brooke Mueller. Sheen, out on bail, didn't enter a plea and is due back for a court hearing March 15. If convicted, he could face three years behind bars… CBS will likely find itself in the unenviable position this May of having to announce a fall schedule that relies heavily on 'Men' without even knowing whether the star will be available to shoot new episodes starting in late summer. That could affect the network financially because the 'upfront' market is where the bulk of commercial time is sold during late spring and early summer.” Photo Credit: CBS.com


#13: Criminal Minds

Network: CBS Viewers: 15,100,000 “An elite squad of FBI profilers analyzes the country's most-twisted criminal minds, anticipating their next moves before the perpetrators can strike again.” This show’s success has led to a spin-off, which is currently in the works, a testament that the network is looking to further cash in and perhaps create a franchise along the lines of Law & Order and CSI. The Criminal Minds spin-off will star Forest Whitaker and Beau Garrett. Photo Credit: CBS.com


#12: Desperate Housewives

Network: ABC Viewers: 15,294,000 A perennial Anderson Cooper favorite, the only sin this TV show brand has committed is inspiring the Salahis to crash a White House party. If you haven’t watched the show yet, you may have a new reason to: Heidi Klum is reportedly set to guest star on Desperate Housewives, along with another former model, Paulina Porizkova. The appearance is supposed to air sometime next month. You may recognize her from her other TV gig, as host of Project Runway. Photo Credit: ABC.com


#11: CBS NFL National Post Game

Network: CBS, obvs Viewers: 15,526,000 Football! Go team! Sports analysis! You’ve gotta score touchdowns to win games. None of the other sports commentators get that. Since CBS recently broadcast the Super Bowl this year, some football diehards wish the network would give viewers “just a little more football and a little less of the periphery.” Photo Credit: Getty Images


#10: CSI

Network: CBS Viewers: 15,757,000 Las Vegas. Crimes. Forensic investigators, solving those crimes, always conveniently right before the end of the episode. What more do you want? (And if you’re a huge fan of spin-off CSI: Miami, as I am, you should definitely try your luck at a new CBS talent search. You see, the network is looking for “the best impersonation of the show’s lead detective Lieutenant Horatio Caine.” You have until February 22nd to upload your video. The winner gets a cool $5,000 and a right to eternal bragging rights.) Photo Credit: CBS.com


#9: Dancing With Stars Results

Network: ABC Viewers: 16,145,000 Dancing pros team up with super famous celebs. “At least one couple is eliminated each week, though in some weeks more than one couple will be sent home, and the winning team takes home the coveted mirror ball trophy." Not for me, unless the contestants start killing each other, and a CSI team is brought in to investigate and dust the mirror ball thing for fingerprints. That I would watch. In an interesting turn of events, the show’s co-host Samantha Harris announced she is not returning for the tenth season, which starts March 22nd. A former contestant and winner on the show, Brooke Burke, is reportedly being considered by producers to be the new co-host… which is pretty cool. Win a mirror ball trophy, and then land a lucrative TV hosting gig. Burke confirmed the rumors were true via her Twitter page, telling fans she is screen testing for the position sometime next week and has her “fingers crossed.” Photo Credit: ABC.com


#8: The Mentalist

Network: CBS Viewers: 16,642,000 A former psychic helps law enforcement solve crimes. The show’s star, Simon Baker, was recently asked in an interview what he considers to be the secret of The Mentalist’s success. He explains: “On The Mentalist, we’re not slaves to procedure the way many shows are. We don’t use DNA, we don’t use microscopes; I don’t even carry a gun. It’s a very old-fashioned show in that the truth is found in human nature. Patrick Jane is part Columbo, part Kojak. He uses his powers of acute observation and a lot of old-fashioned guesswork to help solve crimes.” That’s funny. I’m part Kojak too. I’m also part Chuck Norris. Photo Credit: CBS.com


#7: NCIS: Los Angeles

Network: CBS Viewers: 16,768,000 Undercover agents keep our nation safe from scary people. This show takes the CSI model and ups the ante considerably. It also appears that the show’s success may lead to more racially diverse broadcast programming. It was recently reported that “'NCIS: LA' has been a runaway success, becoming the first major hit drama series toplined by a black actor (with help from Chris O'Donnell), and CBS replaced ‘CSI: Crime Scene Investigation’ star William Petersen with Laurence Fishburne.” Now that NCIS: LA and CSI have done it, maybe more shows will turn to non-whites for lead acting roles. Photo Credit: CBS.com


#6: Dancing With The Stars

Network: ABC Viewers: 18,171,000 The actual show, understandably, has more viewers than the Results for the show. You all like to see your celebrities dancing the night away, apparently. I prefer to see them acting on the big screen, or not at all. Photo Credit: ABC.com


#5: Sunday Night Football

Network: NBC Viewers: 19,364,000 I actually like Sunday Night Football. An excuse to eat buffalo wings and “slam” pitchers of Bud Light, by any other name, though. Here’s the thing that NBC loves about Sunday Night Football though: According to Advertising Age, “NBC's ‘Sunday Night Football’ continues its reign as the most-expensive fall program for advertisers, with a 30-second ad commanding an average of $339,700, according to an Advertising Age survey of media buying firms." Photo Credit: NBC Sports


#4: NCIS

Network: CBS Viewers: 20,497,000 NCIS classic is very popular as well. In case you are wondering, the acronym stands for Naval Criminal Investigative Service. It may be more popular than football, but it doesn’t command close to the same advertising dollars. It only reigns in $133,304 per 30-second spot. Photo Credit: CBS.com


#3: American Idol (Wednesday)

Network: FOX Viewers: 26,556,000 The Wednesday evening broadcast did all right. There are some changes to the recipe this season, though: “Comic turned talk show host Ellen DeGeneres replaces judge Paula Abdul, joining veteran judges Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi on the panel as the hit reality competition series returns for its ninth season. Ryan Seacrest also returns as host.” Photo Credit: AmericanIdol.com


#2: American Idol (Tuesday)

Network: FOX Viewers: 28,407,000 The American Idol the night before did even better, attracting more than 1.8 million additional viewers than Wednesday’s broadcast. Interestingly, now that it competes with the Olympics, American Idol is still holdings its own: “In their first head-to-head matchup, Fox's ‘American Idol’ easily topped NBC's coverage of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, with the music megahit barely missing a beat from the comparable night a year ago.” Maybe you have Ellen Degeneres to thank. Photo Credit: AmericanIdol.com


#1: Undercover Boss

Network: CBS Viewers: 38,654,000 That’s a lot of viewers. In this show, corporate top dogs take on regular, entry-level positions within their own companies… they go “undercover” to find out how the company is actually doing business. Thus the name Undercover Boss. Nice premise, sure, but kind of surprising that this has become such a runaway hit. Well, it’s a strong premise and the show premiered right after the Super Bowl. The audience seems to have liked it so much that they came back for episode 2, where they followed around the CEO of Hooters. Kind of weird that Hooters even has a CEO, right? Photo Credit: CBS.com


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