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'America's Got Talent,' Notre Dame football top ratings

TV viewers are idling away the final weeks of summer the way they started it: with reality programs.

Half of last week's 20 most-watched programs were unscripted contests, according to Nielsen Co. figures released Wednesday.

The field was topped by NBC's two episodes of "America's Got Talent" and the Notre Dame-Michigan football game, helping make the network the most-watched for the ninth consecutive week.

Notre Dame's prime-time 24-17 victory drew the team's biggest audience on NBC in 13 years, since a game against University of Southern California in 2005.

Amid a somber week of tributes to the late Sen. John McCain, a rerun of "Saturday Night Live" provided a reminder of the politician's trademark humor. The episode featuring him as host gave the show its biggest audience in six weeks, NBC said.

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NBC won the week in prime-time with an average of 5.1 million viewers. CBS had 3.5 million viewers, ABC had 3.7 million, Fox had 1.7 million, ION Television had 1.4 million, Univision had 1.18 million, Telemundo had 1.17 million and the CW had 780,000.

Fox News Channel led the cable networks with an average of 2.2 million viewers. MSNBC had 1.8 million, USA had 1.36 million, HGTV had 1.3 million, ESPN had 1.2 million, History had 1.06 million and CNN had 1.05 million.

ABC's "World News Tonight" topped the evening newscasts with an average of 8.2 million viewers. The "NBC Nightly News" had 8.1 million and the "CBS Evening News" had 5.8 million.

For the week of Aug. 27-Sept. 2, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: "America's Got Talent" (Tuesday), NBC, 10.78 million; "America's Got Talent" (Wednesday), NBC, 9.9 million; Notre Dame Football: Michigan at Notre Dame, NBC, 7.1 million; "Sunday Night Kickoff," ABC, 6.55 million; "American Ninja Warrior," NBC, 5.86 million; "60 Minutes," CBS, 5.84 million; "Big Brother" (Wednesday), CBS, 5.78 million; "NCIS," CBS, 5.74 million; "World of Dance," NBC, 5.06 million; "Dateline Classic," NBC, 4.93 million.

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ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co. CBS is owned by CBS Corp. CW is a joint venture of Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corp. Fox is owned by 21st Century Fox. NBC and Telemundo are owned by Comcast Corp. ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks.

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Online:

http://www.nielsen.com

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