NEW YORK (AP) – So much for a public thirst for original material on TV in the summer.

Nielsen Media Research’s 10 most-watched shows last week featured eight reruns, a NASCAR race and one new show: Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie’s “The Simple Life 2.”

Fox has made a bid for summer viewership with a handful of original shows that began in June. But with the exception of “The Simple Life 2,” all fell below NBC’s coverage of the Fourth of July fireworks in the ratings.

People even seem to prefer repeating reality. A rerun of “Fear Factor” on NBC drew more viewers than some of the network’s originals, “Last Comic Standing” or “For Love or Money.”

The weeks surrounding July 4 are generally the ones with the least television viewership of the year. Overall, viewership on CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox is down 9 percent in the weeks since Memorial Day, compared to the same period last year, Nielsen said.

CBS won last week, averaging 8 million viewers (5.4 rating, 11 share). NBC had 6.5 million (4.4, 9), Fox 4.9 million (3.2, 6), ABC had 4.7 million (3.2, 6), UPN 2.3 million (1.6, 3), the WB 1.9 million (1.3, 3) and Pax TV 850,000 (0.6, 1).

ABC’s “World News Tonight” won the evening news ratings race, averaging 8.6 million viewers (5.9 rating, 13 share). NBC’s “Nightly News” had 8.3 million (5.7, 13 share) and the “CBS Evening News” 6.7 million (4.8, 11).

A ratings point represents 1,084,000 households, or 1 percent of the nation’s estimated 108.4 million TV homes. The share is the percentage of in-use televisions tuned to a given show.

For the week of June 28-July 4, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” CBS, 15.9 million; “CSI: Miami,” CBS, 13.5 million; “Without a Trace,” CBS, 13.1 million; “Two and a Half Men,” CBS, 11.4 million; “Law & Order,” NBC, 10.8 million; “Everybody Loves Raymond,” CBS, 10.7 million; “Law & Order: SVU,” NBC, 10.2 million; “Without a Trace” special, CBS, 9.6 million; “The Simple Life 2,” Fox, 9.3 million; “NASCAR Pepsi 400,” Fox, 9.3 million.

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AP-ES-07-07-04 1556EDT

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