Ratings: Olympics End with a Win, Boost Marriage Ref Premiere


The closing ceremonies of the Vancouver Winter Olympics gave NBC another ratings win Sunday night, and set up a strong debut for Jerry Seinfeld's new series, The Marriage Ref.


The closing ceremonies averaged 23.3 million viewers, a 47 percent improvement over Torino's closing festivities in 2006 among adults 18-to-49. NBC cut from the ceremonies during the last half hour of prime time to premiere The Marriage Ref, which drew 14.5 million viewers.


Overall, the 17 days of Winter Games coverage drew 190 million viewers, besting the 2002 Salt Lake City Games (187 million viewers) and placing second only to the 1994 Games in Lillehammer (204 million viewers) .


CBS' programming, however, didn't really suffer against the stiff competition. The Amazing Race (10.2 million viewers) was up 10 percent from the previous week. More remarkably, Undercover Boss (15 million viewers) built on Race's audience for the second week in a row and even defeated the Olympic coverage in the demo during Boss' second half hour. Cold Case held steady with 9.9 million viewers.


ABC's Desperate Housewives (10.8 million viewers) was down 3 percent in the demo. Brothers & Sisters (8 million viewers) remained off its average, but did improve slightly from the previous week. An Extreme Makeover: Home Edition repeat pulled in 6.7 million viewers.


Repeats of Fox's Sunday animation block averaged 4.4 million viewers for the night.


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