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`Wizards of Waverly Place' Huge Hit For Disney Channel

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NEW YORK — An audience that hasn't reached puberty yet made the Disney Channel's "Wizards of Waverly Place" movie one of television's biggest hits last week.

The 11.43 million viewers who watched the film last Friday was second in popularity only to the 11.46 million who watched Tuesday's edition of "America's Got Talent" on NBC, according to Nielsen Media Research. Only once before, when the first "High School Musical" sequel debuted in 2007, has a cable network beaten everything on broadcast.

Of that Disney audience last Friday, 7.1 million were under age 15, Nielsen said.

It was the most-watched program on cable this year.

NBC had a strong week, led by "America's Got Talent," an exhibition football game and a true-crime story about a bridegroom who went missing while on his honeymoon cruise.

For the week, CBS averaged 6.6 million viewers (4.3 rating, 8 share). NBC had 6.4 million (4.1, 7), and won among the 18-to-49-year-old age group it targets. Fox had 4.8 million (2.9, 5), ABC had 3.8 million (2.5, 4), My Network TV had 1.5 million and the CW had 1.3 million (both 0.9, 2), and ION Television had 700,000 (0.5, 1).

Among the Spanish-language networks, Univision led with 3.2 million viewers (1.7 million rating, 3 share), Telemundo had 950,000 and TeleFutura 930,000 (both 0.5, 1), and Azteca had 160,000 (0.1, 0).

NBC's "Nightly News" topped the evening newscasts with an average of 7.9 million viewers (5.3, 11). ABC's "World News" was second with 7.1 million (4.8, 10) and the "CBS Evening News" had 5.4 million viewers (3.7, 8).

A ratings point represents 1,149,000 households, or 1 percent of the nation's estimated 114.9 million TV homes. The share is the percentage of in-use televisions tuned to a given show.

For the week of Aug. 24-30, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: "America's Got Talent" (Tuesday), NBC, 11.46 million; "America's Got Talent" (Wednesday), NBC, 11.19 million; NFL Exhibition Football: Chicago at Denver, NBC, 10.4 million; "NCIS," CBS, 10.06 million; "60 Minutes," CBS, 9.71 million; "Two and a Half Men," CBS, 9.55 million; "The Big Bang Theory," CBS, 8.56 million; "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," CBS, 8.4 million; "The Mentalist, CBS, 8.07 million; "Big Brother 11" (Thursday), CBS, 7.79 million.

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ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co. CBS is owned by CBS Corp. CW is a joint venture of Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corp. Fox and My Network TV are units of News Corp. NBC and Telemundo are owned by General Electric Co. ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks. TeleFutura is a division of Univision. Azteca America is a wholly owned subsidiary of TV Azteca S.A. de C.V.

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