por Joal Ryan | Traducido por | mar., 20 may. 2008 3:29 PM
The odds have caught up with CSI.
For the first time in five years, the Vegas-set crime show will not finish a season as TV's most-watched scripted show.
The 2007-08 season ends Wednesday night.
Desperate Housewives, much maligned for its own ratings slippage over the past couple of years, should finish the season on top among scripted shows, with 18.2 million viewers.
CSI, which currently holds a slight edge for second place over House, ends its eighth season averaging 16.89 million viewers, its least amount ever. The show's previous "low" was 17.8 million, posted during its first season.
The last time CSI didn't wind up as TV's top scripted show was 2001-02, when the departing Friends ruled.
Since 2003-04, CSI has been trumped by American Idol for the overall No. 1—and sometimes the overall No. 2—spot. But up until this season, it was the standard-bearer for scripted shows.
Ratings-wise, CSI has been in decline for more than a year. From the 2005-06 season to the 2006-07 season, the show lost 5.3 million viewers.
CSI opened this past season big and through November was TV's No. 1 show. Then came the writers' strike—and there went 21 percent of its audience. By comparison, Desperate Housewives only lost about 7 percent of its viewers from the start of the strike through the end of the season.
In addition to the strike, CSI went through cast upheaval, with the early season departure of Jorja Fox and the late season word that Gary Dourdan would not be back in the fall.
Desperate Housewives' win, meanwhile, is its first. It takes the scripted crown the old-fashioned way—it actually had more viewers this season than last, adding more than 1 million fans to its ranks.
Overall, Housewives looks to finish sixth, behind various editions of Dancing With the Stars and American Idol, which despite all the hand-wringing over what's wrong with it, should finish the season as TV's No. 1 and No. 2 shows.
Elsewhere, here are the ratings highlights for the TV week ended Sunday:
Overall, CBS won the week in viewers (10.3 million), and preemptively declared itself the like winner of the May sweeps. Fox won the week in 18-to-49-year-olds (4.6 million), and did CBS one better, declaring itself the demo winner of sweeps—and the season.
Make that, Fox did CBS two better. It also said it would best CBS as the most watched network of 2007-08, the first such victory for Fox.
In cable, basketball-powered TNT averaged the most prime-time viewers (3.1 million), followed by wrestling-powered USA (2.4 million) and basketball-powered ESPN (2.1 million).
Here's a look at the 10 most-watched broadcast network prime-time shows for the week ended Sunday, according to Nielsen Media Research:
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