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Nielsen: 'Dancing With the Stars' edged out 'American Idol' in '13

"Dancing With the Stars" edged out "American Idol"

"Dancing With the Stars" edged out "American Idol" as TV's most viewed unscripted show last season, according to Nielsen. Credit: AP

Interesting bit of news from Nielsen's annual Top Ten list, released Tuesday morning: "Dancing With the Stars" edged out "American Idol" as TV's most viewed unscripted show last season. "NCIS" remained TV's top draw overall. 

It's not earth-shattering news by any means -- "Idol," consistently TV's most watched for a decade, has been in an inexorable slide for years now, but "Idol" has usually been the superior in terms of numbers; in 2012, for example, "Idol's" Wednesday show edged out "DWTS" (15.1 million viewers to "DWTS's" 15.0 million.)

But ... Nielsen's numbers show a drop of about 1 million each for both shows.

Here's the list and you'll be shocked -- shocked! -- to learn that football remains preeminent. 

1. NBC SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL (NBC) 7.4 ... 21,734,000

2. SUNDAY NIGHT NFL PRE-KICK (NBC) 5.3 ... 15,708,000

3. THE OT (FOX) 5.0 ... 14,753,000

4. NCIS (CBS) 5.0 ... 14,692,000

5. DANCING WITH THE STARS (ABC) 4.7 ... 13,862,000

6. NFL REGULAR SEASON (ESPN) 4.6 ... 13,446,000

7. AMERICAN IDOL-WEDNESDAY (FOX) 4.6 ... 13,384,000

8. BIG BANG THEORY (CBS) 4.5 ... 13,217,000

9. AMERICAN IDOL-THURSDAY (FOX) 4.5 ... 13,136,000

10. DANCING WITH THE STARS RESULTS (ABC) 4.5 ... 12,890,000

Data from 12/31/2012 - 12/08/2013. Regularly scheduled English and Spanish-language programs on Broadcast and Cable. Primetime. Persons 2+ estimates include live and same-day timeshifted viewing. Excludes breakouts, specials, programs less than 5 minutes in duration and programs with less than 4 telecasts. Read as: NBC Sunday Night Football averaged 21.7 million viewers who watched live or via timeshifted viewing within the same day. Source: Nielsen

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