Star Wars Deal or No Deal

Adam Taylor/NBC

Can President Bush possibly be more popular than Star Wars? Judging by last night's Deal or No Deal overall ratings: Yes.

A two-hour Chewbacca- and Carrie Fisher-graced episode of the NBC game show averaged 9.9 million viewers, per Nielsen Media Research estimates.

Last week, a President Bush-graced episode averaged 10.1 million for a 21st place finish in the Nielsen weekly rankings released today.

Bush, 61, is the widely unpopular commander in chief, who pulled a 69 percent disapproval rating in the latest USA Today/Gallup poll, per

Star Wars, 30, is the widely popular movie that spawned a multibillion-dollar franchise.

If it makes Chewbacca, Fisher and the rest of the George Lucas gang feel better, last night's Deal did better—much better—among all-important 18- to 49-year-old viewers than last week's, pulling an estimated 2.9 rating, compared to the barely there 2.0 generated by the Bush cameo.

Also, it was no Star Wars Holiday Special. Which is a blessing in itself.

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

  • Last year's May sweeps period began with 26 shows averaging at least 10 million viewers, and five shows cracking 20 million. This year's began with 21 shows hitting 10 million, and only two—Tuesday's American Idol (first place, 24.7 million) and Wednesday's American Idol (second place, 23.2 million)—surpassing 20 million.
  • According to CBS, CBS killed on Thursday with Survivor: Micronesia (12th place, 12.9 million), CSI (fifth place, 17 million) and Without a Trace (10th place, 13.5 million).
  • According to ABC, CBS keeled over on Thursday, losing the battle for young adults to its returning series Grey's Anatomy (sixth place, 16.4 million) and Lost (14th place, 12.1 million), except at 8 p.m., where Ugly Betty (32nd place, 8.5 million) got beat by Survivor, and left ABC resorting to CW-esque turns of phrase (i.e., "Betty ranked a strong #1 in the hour among its core audience of women 18-34.")
  • NBC's The Office (40th place, 7.7 million) liked it better when it didn't have to go up against both CSI and Grey's Anatomy.
  • The second hour of USA's WWE Monday Night Raw (5.1 million) was cable's top scripted show; MTV's The Hills (3.8 million) was its No. 1 unscripted show.
  • Take heart, Hannah Montana, scandal hasn't killed Nick's Zoey 101 (3.6 million).
  • This is how things are at the CW: The network was excited that the returning Gossip Girl (111th place, 2.5 million) posted its "third best" numbers in adults 18-34 and the aforementioned women 18-34.
  • Not to douse Gossip Girl's third-hottest hot streak, but Nick's SpongeBob SquarePants averaged more viewers in the 8 p.m. Monday hour (2.7 million) than the CW drama.
  • The CW's America's Top Model (84th place, 4.4 million) hit a season high in viewers, no qualifiers required.
  • The season finale of the CW's noble Girlicious quest was so ginormous (112th place, 2.3 million—a season high), the show almost outdrew Monday's installment of Yo Amo Juan Querendon on Univision (110th place, 2.5 million).
  • TV's highest-rated comedy among prized 18- to 49-year-old trend-setters was CBS' old-school, three-camera Two and a Half Men, which placed a lofty sixth in the demo, and 11th overall (12.9 million).
  • There must be a lot of old young souls watching NBC's ER (41st place, 7.5 million), still a top 25 18-to-49 show after all these centuries.
  • In the mainstream media's beloved network news race, NBC Nightly News' Flomax ads averaged 8 million viewers to ABC's 7.8 million and poor Katie Couric's 5.3 million.

Overall, CBS's scripted shows trumped Fox's Idol, with the Eyeball emerging as the week's most ogled network, averaging 9.2 million viewers.

Fox took second in viewers (9.16 million), and first in the 18-49 demo.

ABC (9.1 million) was third in viewers, and second in the demo. NBC (7 million) was NBC.

In cable, USA (2.7 million) was the top prime-time network, followed by TNT (2.7 million) and Disney (2 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, 24.7 million viewers
  2. American Idol (Wednesday), Fox, 23.2 million viewers
  3. Dancing With the Stars (Monday), ABC, 18 million viewers
  4. Dancing With the Stars (Tuesday), ABC, 17.97 million viewers
  5. CSI, CBS, 17 million viewers
  6. Grey's Anatomy, ABC, 16.4 million viewers
  7. Desperate Housewives, ABC, 16.4 million viewers
  8. CSI: Miami, CBS, 14.4 million viewers
  9. NCIS, CBS, 14.2 million viewers
  10. Without a Trace, CBS, 13.5 million viewers
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