The bubble has burst on Michael Jackson's status as a TV ratings sensation. Either that, or people don't want to watch his home movies any more than they do anyone else's.
"Michael Jackson's Home Videos," a Fox special that opened the latest sweeps period last Thursday, was seen by only 7.8 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research.
It made February seem a distant memory. That's when 27.1 million people watched Jackson's interview on ABC with British journalist Martin Bashir, setting off a rush of Jackson-related programming. A Fox special in response to Bashir's interview and a "Dateline NBC" about Jackson also did very well.
Meanwhile, 13.4 million people watched Diane Sawyer's interview last week with the Dixie Chicks about an antiwar remark made by singer Natalie Maines. That was ABC's most popular show of the week.
CBS, behind the continued dominance of "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," was the week's most-watched network. It averaged 12.7 million viewers in prime time (8.5 rating, 14 share).
The long-running NBC comedy "Just Shoot Me" had a disastrous performance last Tuesday, with back-to-back episodes failing to even reach 5 million viewers. The show is a likely candidate for cancellation when the networks decide on their fall schedules in two weeks.
Viewers are also giving the gong to NBC's "America's Most Talented Kid," which has roughly a third of the audience for Fox's "American Idol."
NBC was the week's second-place network, averaging 11 million viewers (7.4 rating, 12 share). Fox was third with 10.3 million viewers (6.3, 10), but first among the 18-to-49-year-old demographic advertisers seek. ABC was fourth in all categories with 8.5 million viewers (5.7, 9).
The WB averaged 4.1 million viewers (2.7, 4), UPN 3.1 million (2.0, 3) and Pax 1.1 million (0.8, 1)
NBC's "Nightly News" won the evening news ratings race, averaging 10.3 million viewers (7.4 rating, 15 share). ABC's "World News Tonight" was second, averaging 9.3 million viewers (6.8, 14) and the "CBS Evening News' had 7.7 million (5.6, 11).
A ratings point represents 1,067,000 households, or 1 percent of the nation's estimated 106.7 million TV homes. The share is the percentage of in-use televisions tuned to a given show.
For the week of April 21-27, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," CBS, 25.2 million; "ER," NBC, 20.9 million; "Friends," NBC, 20.7 million; "American Idol-Tuesday," Fox, 20.6 million; "Friends" special, NBC, 20.2 million; "American Idol-Wednesday," Fox, 19.5 million; "CBS Sunday Movie: A Painted House," CBS, 18.3 million; "Survivor: Amazon," CBS, 18.1 million; "Law & Order," NBC, 18.1 million; "Will & Grace," NBC, 17.7 million.