Much like Super Bowl XXXV, last week's Nielsen race was a blowout.
According to Nielsen Media Research, for the week of Jan. 22 - 28, the Eye Network snagged a total-viewer average of 21.3 million, with Sunday's Super Bowl raking in a whopping 84.3 million. The premiere of "Survivor: The Australian Outback" brought in 45.3 million -- better than industry analysts expected.
The CBS surge last week decreased ABC's established margin of dominance over the other networks: CBS had trailed ABC by 12%; now, CBS trails by only 6%, according to Nielsen.
And CBS isn't stopping there.
In addition to the network's one-two punch on Super Bowl Sunday, the CBS enjoyed curiously high ratings later in the week, as the Monday sitcoms "Everybody Loves Raymond," "King of Queens" and "Yes, Dear" saw their best ratings to date. Yes, shameless plugging during the Super Bowl worked.
According to Nielsen statistics, CBS' stellar ratings week boasted the largest viewership since NBC premiered the 2000 Summer Olympics last September.