Jamie Lynn Spears, Zoey 101


And for her first baby shower present, Jamie Lynn Spears got a hit Zoey 101. One last time.

The hourlong season—and series—finale of the hit Nick tween comedy, billed as the Zoey 101 movie Chasing Zoey, was the most watched show in the 10,000-show cable universe, averaging 5.1 million viewers, per the latest Nielsen Media Research rankings.

Another Zoey 101 airing after the finale placed second, with 5 million viewers.

The shows aired Friday, the night before the pregnant Spears celebrated a baby shower in Louisiana with her family, elder sister Britney Spears included.

In real life, the 17-year-old Spears is expecting her first out-of-wedlock child this summer. In Zoey life, Spears' character went gently into the prom night after sharing a chaste first kiss with her star-crossed crush, Sean Flynn's Chase Matthews.

As previously announced, Zoey's just-concluded fourth season was its last.

One of Nick's top shows, the comedy only got bigger with its with-child star. January's season opener, airing a month after the Spears pregnancy story broke, averaged a series-best 7.3 million viewers.

Here are other ratings highlights from the TV week ended Sunday:

  • In American Idol news, Neil Diamond night (first place, 25.1 million) was bigger than the previous week's Andrew Lloyd Webber night (24.7 million). But the Brooke White farewell (second place, 22.8 million) was less well-attended than the Carly Smithson goodbye (23.2 million).
  • While it's fun to speculate why Idol is down this season—5 percent on Tuesdays, and 10 percent on Wednesdays—it's ludicrous to portray the show as troubled when CSI (fourth place, 18 million) is down 19 percent, and Grey's Anatomy (seventh place, 15.3 million) and CSI: Miami (10th place, 13.9 million) are both down 20 percent. If Idol's in trouble, then those Top 10 hits are about to be canceled. Which they're not.
  • Here's what's endangered: The habit of watching TV on TV. Through the first two weeks of the May sweeps, every English-language broadcast network, save Fox, is down at least 15 percent from last year. Fox, which airs Idol, is "only" down 7 percent. MyNetworkTV, which cleverly scored as low as possible ratings last year, so as to make this year's ratings look fantastic by comparison, is up a whopping 40 percent.
  • Among TV's top hits, only two shows are up right now over last year: Dancing with the Stars' results show (fifth place, 17.1 million); and, Desperate Housewives (sixth place, 16.8 million), which are both on ABC, which overall is down, natch, 14 percent for the season.
  • Fox's Hell's Kitchen (16th place, 11.9 million) is actually pretty hot. (Airing after Idol will do that to a show.) It's even hotter among 18- to 49-year-olds, where it finished sixth.
  • Lindsay Lohan can't show up soon enough on ABC's Ugly Betty (37th place, 7.9 million), which is drawing the kind of numbers has CBS' Moonlight (36th place, 7.9 million) on the bubble for a fall renewal.
  • Out of all NBC's trendy Thursday night shows, untrendy ER (38th place, 7.8 million) drew the most viewers.
  • In cable, MTV's The Hills (4 million) and Nick's Zoey 101 heir apparent, iCarly (3.9 million), were among the top performers.
  • George W. Bush was the old ratings draw for Fox News. Hillary Clinton is the new one. The Democratic presidential contender stopped by The O'Reilly Factor, and led the show to its weekly best—3.7 million viewers.

In the network races, CBS was the most watched network, averaging 10 million procedural crime fans. Fox was the most watched network by 18- to 49-year-olds, averaging 4.6 million Idol worshippers and others.

Among the cable networks, TNT was the top prime-time network (2.8 million), followed by USA (2.3 million) and Disney Channel (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:

  1. American Idol (Tuesday), Fox, 25.1 million viewers
  2. American Idol (Wednesday), Fox, 22.8 million viewers
  3. Dancing With the Stars (Monday), ABC, 18.2 million viewers
  4. CSI, CBS, 18 million viewers
  5. Dancing With the Stars (Tuesday), ABC, 17.1 million viewers
  6. Desperate Housewives, ABC, 16.8 million viewers
  7. Grey's Anatomy, ABC, 15.3 million viewers
  8. NCIS, CBS, 14.8 million viewers
  9. House, Fox, 14.6 million viewer
  10. CSI: Miami, CBS, 13.9 million viewers
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