CBS swipes must-see title

'Survivor,' 'CSI' help network reach milestone

CBS has scaled the heights of Mount Thursday.

For the first time since demographic ratings were initially charted in 1987, the Eye net last week topped NBC among adults 18-49 when both aired original segs of their regular Thursday schedules. It’s also the first time NBC has lost to any network’s regular lineup on the night since “Friends” and “ER” joined the sked in September 1994.

CBS had moved ahead of NBC on a regular basis among total viewers last season, according to Nielsen, and had been narrowing the 18-49 gap early this season while also pulling ahead in adults 25-54.

But on Thursday, behind the consistent combo of “Survivor” and “CSI,” the Eye edged the Peacock in the lucrative 18-49 demo (7.5 rating/19 share to 7.4/19). “CSI” hit season highs (10.1/24 in 18-49, 27.58 million viewers overall) and dominated its hour opposite both NBC comedies “Will & Grace” (6.7/16 in 18-49, 13.51m) and “Coupling” (4.9/12, 9.56m) and the World Series on Fox (6.5/17, 20.39m for the 9 o’clock hour).

And “Survivor: Pearl Islands” (7.5/20 in 18-49, 20.19m) pulled well ahead of NBC’s “Scrubs” at 8:30 (6.8/17 in 18-49, 14.09m) after placing second to “Friends” (9.1/25 in 18-49, 18.77m) in the opening half-hour.

CBS’ achievement also coincides with record-low “Must See TV” results for NBC’s lineup, whose “Coupling” again looked shaky. The first-year laffer retained 73% of its “Will & Grace” lead-in.

“ER” bounced back at 10 (8.3/21 in 18-49, 18.01m) to defeat the combined scores of CBS’ “Without a Trace” (4.7/12 in 18-49, 14.72m) and ABC’s “Primetime” (3.1/8, 8.55m).

Final national ratings for Wednesday, meanwhile, showed solid sampling for Comedy Central’s new series “Kid Notorious,” which averaged about 1.6 million viewers, and nearly 1 million in the adults 18-49 demo.

Still, it lost more than half of the lead-in from a strong “South Park,” whose 2 million viewers in 18-49 was up from its March premiere.

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