Frasier Crane can always say that he went out on top.
The series finale of “Frasier” on NBC was television’s most popular show last week, with 25.2 million people watching the psychiatrist make a surprise flight to Chicago in search of love.
That was less than half of the audience for the “Friends” send-off a week earlier, but it still topped television’s No. 1 show, “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” which had 22.5 million viewers last Thursday night, according to Nielsen Media Research.
Two appeals to nostalgia on CBS — “The Dick Van Dyke Show Revisited” and a Carol Burnett highlights special — both finished in Nielsen’s Top 20.
Yet there was one event viewers weren’t interested in revisiting. CBS’ movie remake “Helter Skelter,” about Charles Manson’s murderous spree, was seen by a paltry 9.3 million viewers.
CBS earned a narrow victory for the week, averaging 11.8 million viewers (7.8 rating, 13 share). NBC had 11.2 million viewers (7.6, 13), while Fox had 9.2 million (5.8, 10) and narrowly beat NBC among the key 18- to 49-year-old demographic.
Struggling ABC had 8.3 million viewers (5.4, 9), the WB 4.1 million (2.8, 5) and UPN 3.3 million (2.3, 4).
The top 10 shows for the week ending Sunday: “Frasier” finale, NBC, 25.2 million viewers; “ER,” NBC, 23.9 million; “American Idol” (Tuesday), Fox, 23.3 million; “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” CBS, 22.5 million; “American Idol” (Wednesday), Fox, 22.3 million; “CSI: Miami,” CBS, 20.9 million; “Survivor All-Stars,” CBS, 19.1 million; “Frasier” clip show special, NBC, 17.9 million; “Without a Trace,” CBS, 17.7 million; “Everybody Loves Raymond,” CBS, 16.9 million.
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