Ratings: Another Gold Medal for ‘Undercover Boss’

CBS reality hit can’t be stopped. Olympics, meanwhile, end on a high note for NBC

Last Updated: March 1, 2010 @ 9:39 AM

NBC got solid sampling for Jerry Seinfeld’s "The Marriage Ref," but in terms of reality shows Sunday night, CBS was still "Boss."

Despite facing the closing ceremonies of the Olympics and a first-run "Desperate Housewives," the Eye’s "Undercover Boss" added viewers over last week and was the night’s highest-rated entertainment show. It averaged a 5.0/12 in the adults 18-49 demo and just over 15 million viewers, according to fast national Nielsen data.

"Boss," a shoo-in for a second season renewal that should come any day now, managed to beat NBC’s Olympics coverage handily in its second half-hour — though the Games were tops overall from 9-10 p.m.

More impressively, "Boss"  outdrew NBC’s mega-hyped preview of "Marriage Ref." The new Seinfeld show earned a 4.8/13 in adults 18-49 and 14.5 million viewers.

While "Boss" may have beaten "Ref," NBC has to be happy with the strong sampling its new series snagged. It was up vs. the network’s non-sports average in the timeslot by 50 percent and held on to 91 percent of its Olympics lead-in.

The real test for "Ref" comes Thursday, when the show settles into its regular 10 p.m. timeslot.

As for the Olympics, the Games closed out on a high. The closing ceremonies averaged a winning 5.6/14 in the demo, up 47 percent from the Torino games capper.

We’ll have final Olympics comparisons shortly, but right now, the Games appear to be up about 20 percent in overall viewership vs. Torino.

Other ratings notes:

–ABC’s "Housewives" (3.6/9) again fell to an all-time low. Still not sure why the network wasted these episodes opposite the Games, but it’s quite possible "Boss" — not the Olympics — is hurting "Housewives" the most.

–"Cold Case" continues to squander its new "Boss" lead-in, this week averaging a 2.4/6 — less than half of "Boss’s" demo audience. Time for CBS to experiment with something else for this suddenly valuable real estate.