Jersey Shore, Snooki


Why are the fine men and women of Jersey Shore smarter than a box of hammers? Why is Haiti a hotter TV tragedy than Hurricane Katrina? And how long before you noticed last week's The Office was a clip job? 

The answers—and more indelicate questions about Conan O'Brien, Castle and more—in the latest TV ratings quiz:

1. What makes the Jersey Shorers so savvy? Unlike the aforementioned box of hammers, they, or their agents, can read the Nielsen ratings, which showed the MTV show's first finale with a season-high 4.8 million viewers. Let the contract renegotiations begin

2. If Jersey Show's so big, why wasn't it cable's No. 1 show last week? Well, it was among young women. But, overall, it wasn't No. 1 because Nick's iCarly was superhuge (11.1 million), Lifetime's The Pregnancy Pact (5.9 million) was superinvolving, USA's Burn Notice (5.4 million) was supernew, and the Disney tween shows Wizards of Waverly Place and Suite Life on Deck were like Disney tween shows: superbig.

3. How can you possibly compare the earthquake in Haiti to Hurricane Katrina? Actually, the stats makes it easy, showing that Friday's Hope for Haiti Now telethon was watched in more homes, and averaged more viewers, than 2005's all-star effort for Katrina. Neither was able to match the viewership of the 9/11-themed A Tribute to Heroes telethon, which was seen by nearly 90 millon people.

4. How'd that Office clip-job episode work for you? Eh. The NBC comedy finished in the top 30 (7.3 million), but it pulled in about 2 million fewer viewers than it usually gets for an episode where Toby doesn't have flashbacks.

5. Is Conan O'Brien over? Yes and no. Yes, his Tonight Show run is ended, obviously, but, no, his ratings hot streak isn't. Last night's rerun beat a Late Show With David Letterman rerun among young adults.

6. Is Charlie Sheen still not over? Correct. Last night's Two and a Half Men was fine (estimated 12.1 million). Last week's was finer (16.3 million).

7. Name The Bachelor's biggest fan? Castle, which is thriving in the post-Bachelor slot for ABC. Last night's episode hit with an estimated 10.5 million and hit a new series high in young adults.

8. Name Survivor's biggest unfan? Bones, which scored its biggest audience in about three years (12 million) airing on a Thursday night not opposite the between-seasons Survivor.

9. Say, what about the Screen Actors Guild Awards? Right, the SAG Awards...Let's see...Scroll down...Further...A-ha! Here it is: 4.8 million viewers on TNT and TBS combined.

Here's a rundown of the most-watched broadcast network shows for the week ended Sunday, per Nielsen Media Research:

  1. NFL playoff game (Minnesota vs. New Orleans), Fox, 57.9 million
  2. American Idol (Wednesday), Fox, 26.9 million
  3. American Idol (Tuesday), Fox, 26.4 million
  4. NFL playoff postgame, Fox, 23.8 million
  5. Two and a Half Men, CBS, 16.3 million
  6. The Big Bang Theory, CBS, 15 million
  7. Criminal Minds, CBS, 14.9 million
  8. The Mentalist, 14.6 million
  9. CSI, CBS, 14.3 million
  10. NCIS (rerun), CBS, 14.2 million


The Haiti telethon was a start, not an end. Find out how you can aid relief efforts right here.

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