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RATINGS: Big numbers for CBS's 'NCIS,' BET's 'The Game'
January 12, 2011  | By Diane Werts
 
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So the TV audience is fragmenting, eh? A dissenter might argue that if you give viewers dramas and comedies they actually want to watch, they'll come back together again.

Two cases in point this week: CBS's NCIS and BET's The Game.

NCIS drew a whopping 22 million viewers on Tuesday, Jan. 11, according to Nielsen's overnight ratings. That's the biggest viewership this Mark Harmon procedural hour has ever had -- and it's eight seasons into the series' run.

The Game -- the football-wives sitcom canceled by The CW back in May 2009 -- was revived this week by BET, after going back into production for fresh fourth-season episodes. Its Tuesday, Jan. 11 premiere at 10 p.m. ET drew another whopping number, for a cabler -- 7.7 million viewers, according to Nielsen's overnights. (A second new episode, which some viewers may not have realized was added for BET's premiere night, still pulled 4.4 million viewers, Nielsen said.)

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When The Game last aired on the CW broadcast network, it was drawing fewer than 2 million viewers. So what the heck happened? Obviously, BET is the right place for the show. And that right place has also been running incessant repeats of the first three seasons.

Let's remember that NCIS only really started growing its audience on CBS after USA Network started saturating the cable landscape with off-network repeats in fall 2008.

Too much of a good thing sometimes leads to even more of it.

 
 
 
 
 
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