Sweeps feel heat of ‘Miami’

Show gives CBS win to open ratings season

The explosive season finale of “Third Watch” scored for NBC on the first Monday of the May sweep, but CBS notched a nightly victory with a powerful perf from “CSI: Miami.”

“Third Watch,” featuring the grisly death of paramedic Alex Taylor (Amy Carlson), was the first of NBC’s Monday skeins to wrap its season, with “Crossing Jordan” and “Fear Factor” following over the next two weeks with event finales. The final Monday of the ratings period (May 19) will include the wedding of Robert and Amy on CBS’ “Everybody Loves Raymond” and ABC’s star-studded, three-hour, 50th-anniversary celebration.

Fox’s Monica Lewinsky-hosted “Mr. Personality” also will wrap May 19, although it looks less likely to be a ratings spoiler on that night after putting up only so-so ratings with its second outing Monday.

According to Nielsen, “CSI: Miami” (6.3/16 in adults 18-49, 17.18 million viewers overall) was the night’s top program in 18-49, easily defeating NBC’s “Crossing Jordan” (3.9/10) and the second hour of a disappointing showing for the premiere of theatrical “Charlie’s Angels” on ABC (2.9/7).

CBS (5.3/14 in 18-49 for the night) also received a winning score from “Everybody Loves Raymond” (5.9/15), which was the night’s most watched program overall (17.92 million). Compared with the sweep-opening Monday last season, the Eye was up 23% in 18-49, with timeslot gains for every show but “Raymond.”

Fox’s “Mr. Personality” wasn’t as impressive in its second try, declining 33% week-to-week in 18-49 (3.8/9 vs. 5.7/14) to place third. (Its preem aired behind a special “American Idol.”)

Still, the reality skein led its hour in adults 18-34 (4.6/13) and built across the board on its soft “Boston Public” lead-in (2.9/8 in A18-49, 7.55m).

At NBC, “Fear Factor” (5.2/15 in A18-49, 12.21m) led from 8 to 9, and the season finale of “Third Watch” (5.0/12, 12.76m) was second in most categories and first in men 18-49 (4.2/11). At 9:30, “Watch” moved ahead of an original seg of CBS comedy “Still Standing” in 18-49 for the first time (5.0/12 vs. 4.8/12).

UPN’s comedy block was up 80% year-to-year in adults 18-34 (1.8/6 vs. 1.0/3), led by “Girlfriends” (2.0/6) and “Half and Half” (1.9/5), which combined to edge out the WB’s “Everwood” (1.8/5). This was the best “Half” delivery since December.

Through five nights of the four-week sweep period, NBC remains on top in adults 18-49 with a 4.7 rating/14 share (down 6% in rating vs. a year ago), followed by CBS (3.8/11, down 10%), Fox (3.2/9, down 9%), ABC (2.8/8, down 26%), the WB (1.5/4, flat) and UPN (1.4/4, down 7%).

CBS leads easily in total viewers with 13.7 million.

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