CBS tops ’em all on Thursday

Morning Ratings Flash - Rick Kissell

CBS impressively led the Thursday night ratings race, defeating both NBC’s regular lineup and Fox’s World Series among adults 18-49, according to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, with “CSI” ranking as the night’s No. 1 program.

The Eye edged out NBC in adults 18-49 (7.4 to 7.3) and easily led in adults 25-54 and total viewers. “CSI” (9.9/24 in adults 18-49, 27 million viewers overall) appears to have hit season highs, easily defeating baseball and NBC’s combo of “Will & Grace” (7.0/17 in adults 18-49, 14.1 million viewers overall) and “Coupling” (5.0/12 in adults 18-49, 9.9 million viewers overall), both of which were at firstrun season lows for original episodes.

CBS also received another strong perf from the consistent “Survivor: Pearl Islands” (7.3/20 in adults 18-49, 19.8 million viewers overall), which led its hour in adults 25-54 and total viewers and cruised past NBC’s “Scrubs” in 18-49 at 8:30. NBC’s “Friends” remained on top at 8 (8.9/25 in adults 18-49, 18.5 million viewers overall).

The 10 o’clock hour went to NBC’s “ER” (8.0/20 in adults 18-49, 17.5 million viewers overall) over CBS’ “Without a Trace” (5.0/12 in adults 18-49, 17.5 million viewers overall) but this gap closed a bit – thanks in part to CBS’ huge advantage at 9:30 with “CSI” over “Coupling.”

ABC was again led by OK numbers for “Primetime Thursday” (3.1/8 in adults 18-49, 8.5 million viewers overall) and “Extreme Makeover” (2.7/7 in adults 18-49, 7.3 million viewers overall).

Reliable prelim nationals weren’t available for Game 5 of the World Series on Fox, but the contest figures to average at least a 6.0 rating among adults 18-49 and 18 million viewers overall.

Preliminary 18-49 averages: CBS, 7.4/19; NBC, 7.3/18; Fox, 5.6/14; ABC, 2.5/6; UPN, 2.1/5; WB, 0.9/2.

In total viewers: CBS, 20.7 million; Fox, 17.4 million; NBC, 15.3 million; ABC, 7.4 million; UPN, 5.4 million; WB, 2.6 million.

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