NEW YORK (AP) – Another week, another ratings win for CBS, which drew more than 44 million viewers for its AFC Championship game Sunday night, then got a big audience for its new drama, “Numb3rs,” which followed.

The game, pitting the New England Patriots against the Pittsburgh Steelers, was the most-watched broadcast of the season. “Numb3rs” (which this week moves to its regular Friday slot) was the season’s most-watched premiere.

In the first 18 weeks of the season, CBS has been first in overall prime-time viewers 16 times.

But Fox also had plenty to smile about, with the return of “American Idol.” Tuesday’s season premiere (with 33.6 million viewers) ranked second and Wednesday’s edition was third. Together, they helped lift Fox to runner-up status for the week’s viewers overall, according to Nielsen Media Research.

Meanwhile, NBC was shut out of the week’s top 10 shows, with the third-season return of “The Apprentice” ranking 14th.

ABC had “Desperate Housewives” (No. 4) and “Lost” (No. 8).

For the week, CBS averaged 16.3 million viewers (10.3 household rating, 16 share), while Fox had 12 million viewers (7 rating, 11 share). NBC had 10.8 million viewers (7.1 rating, 11 share), and ABC 10 million viewers (6.4 rating, 10 share).

The WB had 3.13 million viewers (2.1 rating, 3 share), UPN 3.05 million viewers (2.0 rating, 3 share), and Pax TV 700,000 viewers (0.5 rating, 1 share).

NBC’s “Nightly News” took another win in the evening news race, averaging 11.5 million viewers (8.0 rating, 15 share). ABC’s “World News Tonight” had 10.4 million viewers (7.2 rating, 13 share) and “The CBS Evening News” 8 million viewers (5.7 rating, 10 share).

A ratings point represents 1,096,000 households, or 1 percent of the nation’s estimated 109.6 million TV homes. The share is the percentage of in-use televisions tuned to a given show.

For the week of Jan. 17-23, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships:

AFC Championship: New England at Pittsburgh, CBS, 44.3 million; “American Idol” (Tuesday), Fox, 33.6 million; “American Idol” (Wednesday), Fox, 26.7 million; “Desperate Housewives,” ABC, 26 million; AFC Championship postgame show, CBS, 25.8 million; “Numb3rs” (Sunday preview), CBS, 25 million; “CSI: Miami,” CBS, 22 million; “Lost,” ABC, 19.7 million; “Everybody Loves Raymond,” CBS, 19.2 million; “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” CBS, 19 million.


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