Nielsen’s Top 10 for 2006: How Television Stacked Up

Nielsen's Top 10 for 2006: How Television Stacked Up 1SUMMARIZING 2006 IN TELEVISION SUCCESS seems easy when it comes to top-rated shows: “American Idol” and “Super Bowl,” tried-and-true winners. But other names crept into our scorecards in 2006, like NBC’s “Heroes,” “The Biggest Loser”–and surprisingly, “Studio 60.”

What’s telling is how they stack up. In the first part of a two-part series, Nielsen Media Research offers its top 10 list for a number of entertainment categories: television, film, books, music, and online. Today, we examine the TV category.

For regularly scheduled TV programming, there’s little doubt regarding which show earns the No. 1 and No. 2 slot. It begins and ends with “American Idol,” with its average household ratings of 17.7 on Tuesday night and 17.2 on Wednesday night.

But most revealing is that NBC moved into the top 10 list this year–coming in at sixth place for its “Sunday Night Football” show with an 11.1 household rating, and its still underrated “Deal or No Deal,” which earned an average 9.8 rating, tied for 10th place.