Football Tops Ratings, Then 'Friends'
The Patriots winning over the Rams — that was a surprise. Super Bowl XXXVI being the No. 1 show of the week, according to the Nielsen ratings — not a surprise. Even so, last Sunday’s upset by New England wasn’t as good as 2000’s 89-million Super Bowl viewership, though an audience of 87 million people is nothing to shake a stick at. Industry observers still expect the Fox broadcast to rank as the most-watched TV program this season. Another special event also pulled in a lot of curious eyeballs last week. — President Bush’s State of the Union address on Tuesday night scored 52 million viewers, though the wealth was spread among multiple broadcast and cable networks. Among last week’s losers was NBC’s much-maligned Playboy Playmate edition of “Fear Factor.” Only 11.4 million switched over to watch during Super Bowl halftime. The Top 10 primetime programs for the week of Jan. 28 to Feb. 2, according to Nielsen Media Research: