NCAA Final Four helps CBS win weekly ratings. ''Housewives'' and ''Lost'' help ABC take second place

By Gary Susman
April 05, 2005 at 04:00 AM EDT

Basketball bin berry berry good to CBS. Aided by the NCAA Final Four, the network handily won the weekly Nielsen ratings race, averaging 13.4 million viewers. The North Carolina vs. Michigan State game drew 17.5 million viewers, making it the week’s No. 10 show. Of course, elsewhere in the top 10, it was back to business as usual for CBS, with CSI: Crime Scene Investigation drawing 28.2 million viewers to become the week’s most-watched show, and with Survivor: Palau and Without a Trace finishing strongly as well.

Coming in a distant second was ABC (9.6 million). Desperate Housewives was the week’s No. 4 show (24.6 million), and new hit Grey’s Anatomy continued to benefit from Housewives‘ coattails, finishing at No. 9 with 17.7 million (up 1.4 million from its debut last week). That’s just a hair behind Lost, with 17.8 million (No. 8). Fox continued to score with American Idol (Tuesday’s show was No. 2 for the week with 26.4 million, followed by Wednesday’s with 24.9 million) and House (No. 7, 18.3 million), but the network finished fourth overall with 9.1 million, behind NBC’s 9.3 million. UPN finished with 3.4 million, ahead of the WB with 2.7 million.