AP Television Writer
NEW YORK (AP) -- CBS found itself in an unfamiliar third place in the television ratings last week and it's primarily because of the viewer demand for something new.
CBS is generally the most popular network, but it aired more reruns than competitors ABC and NBC last week and paid for it. Season finales of "Dancing With the Stars" and "The Voice" were the week's most popular programs. Cam and Mitch's wedding on the season-ending "Modern Family" episode and the Disney World visit of "The Middle" cast were big winners for ABC, too.
Only two reruns for scripted series finished in the Nielsen company's top 20 for the week, both on CBS.
Last week's ratings are an indication that viewers are demanding more than just reruns in the warm-weather months for broadcast networks.
The History channel learned that World Wars I and II aren't as much of a draw as feuding backwoods families or The Bible. The first of a three-night special series on the wars reached 3.4 million people on Memorial Day, Nielsen said.
That wasn't close to recent History blockbusters like "Hatfields & McCoys" (13.9 million) and "The Bible" (13.1 million) on their opening nights. History contends that the two scripted miniseries isn't necessarily a fair comparison to "World Wars," which relies on a mixture of historical footage, acted scenes and interviews with experts.
ABC averaged 6.5 million viewers in prime time, the network's first weekly win since last June, with the exception of Oscars week. NBC had 5.6 million and won among the 18-to-49-year-old demographic most prized by networks. CBS had 5.3 million, Fox had 5.1 million, Univision had 2.5 million, Telemundo had 1.14 million, the CW had 1.1 million and ION Television had 870,000.
TNT was the week's most popular cable network, averaging 2.83 million viewers in prime time. ESPN had 2.36 million, USA had 2.06 million, History had 1.7 million and TBS had 1.68 million.
NBC's "Nightly News" topped the evening newscasts with an average of 7.9 million viewers. ABC's "World News" was second with 7.4 million and the "CBS Evening News" had 6.5 million viewers.
For the week of May 19-25, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: "Dancing With the Stars" (Monday), ABC, 15.66 million; "Dancing With the Stars" (Tuesday), ABC, 15.07 million; "The Voice" (Monday), NBC, 11.7 million; "The Voice" (Tuesday, 9 p.m.), NBC, 11.69 million; "Dancing With the Stars: Road to the Finals," ABC, 11.64 million; "American Idol" (Wednesday), Fox, 10.53 million; "Modern Family," ABC, 10.45 million; "Survivor," CBS, 9.55 million; "The Big Bang Theory," CBS, 9.09 million; "The Middle," ABC, 7.85 million.
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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