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Retirement? Barbara Walters still at the centre of things at ABC

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NEW YORK, N.Y. - Barbara Walters isn't forgotten, and isn't gone.

Less than two months after stepping away from a regular role on television, Walters returned last week to conduct an interview with the father of a California man who shot and killed six people and injured 13 before killing himself. It was ABC's most-watched prime-time program of the week, and in the Nielsen company's top 10 among all networks.

Meanwhile, she's watching from offstage the turmoil at "The View," the daytime program she started that is now down to Whoopi Goldberg as the only host set to come back next year.

"NY Med," ABC's non-fiction series about life in two New York area hospitals, finished in the top 20 with a bigger audience than any of the episodes of the series that aired two years ago.

During a slow week for television, the five most-watched prime-time shows were all reruns, four of them on CBS, Nielsen said. The most popular, "NCIS," had just over half the audience of the Mexico-Netherlands World Cup game that aired in the daytime over the weekend.

CBS won the week in prime time, averaging 5.3 million viewers. NBC had 4.4 million viewers , ABC had 4.3 million, Fox had 3 million, Univision had 2.8 million, Telemundo had 1.4 million, ION Television had 1.1 million and the CW had 790,000.

TNT was the week's most popular cable network, averaging 2.49 million viewers in prime time. The Disney Channel had 2.36 million, USA had 2.11 million, ESPN had 2.02 million and History had 1.79 million.

NBC's "Nightly News" topped the evening newscasts with an average of 7.9 million viewers. ABC's "World News" was second with 7.3 million and the "CBS Evening News" had 5.9 million viewers.

For the week of July 23-39, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: "NCIS," CBS, 8.8 million; "60 Minutes," CBS, 8.53 million; "The Big Bang Theory," CBS, 8.02 million; "America's Got Talent" (Tuesday), NBC, 7.93 million; "BET Awards," BET, 7.5 million; "NCIS: Los Angeles," CBS, 6.93 million; "Big Brother" (Wednesday), CBS, 6.71 million; "Big Brother" (Thursday), CBS, 6.56 million; "20/20," ABC, 6.39 million; "Blue Bloods," CBS, 6.34 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 is owned by 21st Century Fox. NBC and Telemundo are owned by Comcast Corp. ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks.

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Online:

http://www.nielsen.com

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