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Olympics coverage keeps NBC the ratings leader

NEW YORK (AP) — To no one's surprise, the ongoing Olympics handed NBC last week's most-watched seven telecasts, keeping the network in the Nielsen stratosphere and dwarfing its rivals.

Tuesday was NBC's biggest night, seen by more than 23 million viewers. Its least-followed Olympics coverage, on Saturday, still placed seventh for the week, drawing 17 million viewers. Right behind, ranking eighth: AMC's "The Walking Dead," with 13 million viewers.

Fox's pair of "American Idol" editions placed 10th and 11th. Overall for the week in prime time, NBC averaged 21.2 million viewers. Runner-up CBS had 5.3 million, followed by Fox with 4.4 million and ABC with 3.7 million. Univision had 2.9 million, ION Television had 1.3 million, Telemundo had 1.2 million and the CW had 860,000 viewers.

The week's top-rated cable networks were TNT with 2.88 million, USA with 2.55 million and Disney Channel with 2.16 million. Boosted by NBC's coverage of the Olympics, the network's Sochi-based "Nightly News" topped the evening newscasts with an average of 11.6 million viewers, its best showing in nine years. NBC says "Nightly" has won the evening-news race for 231 consecutive weeks. ABC's "World News" was second with 8.8 million and the "CBS Evening News" had 8.0 million viewers.

For the week of Feb. 10, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: Winter Olympics (Tuesday), NBC, 23.72 million; Winter Olympics (Thursday), NBC, 22.94 million; Winter Olympics (Monday), NBC, 22.40 million; Winter Olympics (Sunday), NBC, 21.27 million; Winter Olympics (Wednesday), NBC, 20.81 million; Winter Olympics (Friday), NBC, 19.11 million; Winter Olympics (Saturday), NBC, 17.10 million; "The Walking Dead," AMC, 13.34 million; "The Big Bang Theory," CBS, 11.78 million; "American Idol" (Wednesday), Fox, 11.68 million.

ABC and Disney Channel are 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, USA and Telemundo are owned by Comcast Corp. ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks. AMC is owned by AMC Networks. TNT is owned by Time Warner.

Online:

Nielsens: http://www.nielsen.com

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