TV ratings: NCAA basketball dominates scripted television for Friday night

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Fast National ratings for Friday, March 28, 2014

With basketball narrowing down its winners on Friday night, the NCAA tournament handily won in ratings for CBS during all three hours of primetime. The sports coverage ended up with the top spot in both total viewers and in the adults 18-49 demo.

Unfortunately for scripted television everywhere, the other winners of the night were news programs "Dateline: NBC" and "20/20," as well as a repeat of "Shark Tank" on ABC. "Last Man Standing" had the highest rating of any scripted programming, bringing in 6.2 million viewers at 8 p.m. on ABC. Only two other scripted programs broke the 2-million-viewer barrier for the night: "The Neighbors" (ABC, 4.0 million) and "Hannibal" (NBC, 3.6 million).

Basketball naturally gave CBS the win for the night, with an average of 9.86 million viewers and a 5.7/10 share in households. NBC took second place with 6.6 million and a 4.5/8. ABC (5.7 million, 3.7/6), FOX (1.7 million, 1.1/2) and The CW (1.4 million, 0.9/2) landed in the bottom three spots.

For the adults 18-49 demographic, CBS kept its lead with a 3.1. NBC narrowly surpassed ABC, with 1.3 and 1.2, respectively. FOX and The CW, meanwhile, ended up in a tie for the demo, each with a 0.4.

Friday hour by hour:

8 p.m.

CBS: NCAA basketball (8.5 million, 5.1/9)
NBC: "Dateline: NBC" (7.3 million, 5.1/9)
ABC: "Last Man Standing" (6.2 million, 3.9/7)/"The Neighbors" (4.0 million, 2.5/4)
FOX: "Rake" (1.9 million viewers, 1.3/2 households)
The CW: "Whose Line Is It Anyway" (1.7 million, 1.1/2)

18-49 leader: NCAA basketball (2.5)

9 p.m.

CBS: NCAA basketball (10.8 million, 6.2/10)
ABC: "Shark Tank" repeat (5.0 million, 3.2/5)
NBC: "Dateline: NBC" (8.7 million, 6.0/10)
FOX: "Enlisted" (1.4 million, 0.9/2)/ "Raising Hope" (1.6 million, 1.0/2)
The CW: "Hart of Dixie" (1.1 million, 0.7/1)

18-49 leader: NCAA basketball (3.3)

10 p.m.

CBS: NCAA basketball (10.2 million, 5.9/10)
ABC: "20/20" (7.0 million, 4.7/8)
NBC: "Hannibal" (3.6 million, 2.5/4)

18-49 leader: "NCAA basketball" (3.5)

Ratings information includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are preliminary and subject to change. Source: The Nielsen Company.

More ratings at Zap2it

Photo/Video credit: Getty Images