The Winter Olympics ruled in the ratings last week, treating NBC to an average audience roughly three times the size of its nearest rival, Fox.

NBC's coverage of the Winter Games held seven of the top eight spots for the week, the Nielsen Co. said Tuesday.

But Fox didn't come up empty. Its dual editions of "American Idol" placed fifth and ninth in the week's top 10 rankings.

Tuesday's "Idol" drew more viewers than did NBC's Olympic action airing at the same time. During the Wednesday hour when the two shows went head-to-head, the Olympics were chosen by about 30 million viewers while more than 18 million tuned to "Idol."

Meanwhile, CBS' recently introduced reality show, "Undercover Boss," showed continuing strength by seizing 10th place with a hefty 13.8 million viewers.

Overall, NBC trampled its competition with an average of 24.8 million viewers (14.1 rating, 23 share) in its first full week of Olympics coverage, with the network surely cheered that the torch stays lit until Sunday.

Second-place Fox averaged 8.7 million viewers (5.0 rating, 8 share). Not far behind in third place was CBS, averaging 7.8 million (4.9 rating, 8 share). ABC had 6.3 million (4.0 rating, 6 share), the CW had 1.4 million (0.9 rating, 1 share) and ION Television had 1.0 million (0.7 rating, 1 share).

As usual, NBC's "Nightly News" won the evening newscast race with an average of 8.26 million viewers.


1 Winter Olympics, Wed. (NBC)

2 Winter Olympics, Sat. (NBC)

3 Winter Olympics, Mon. (NBC)

4 Winter Olympics, Thu. (NBC)

5 American Idol, Tue. (Fox)

6 Winter Olympics, Fri. (NBC)

7 Winter Olympics, Sun. (NBC)

8 Winter Olympics, Tue. (NBC)

9 American Idol, Wed. (Fox)

10 Undercover Boss (CBS)

11 Survivor: Heroes-Villains (CBS)


13 The Bachelor (ABC)

14 60 Minutes (CBS)

15 Desperate Housewives (ABC)

16 Two and a Half Men (CBS)

17 Grey's Anatomy (ABC)

18 The Big Bang Theory (CBS)

19 Lost (ABC)

20 NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS)