Morning Ratings Flash - Rick Kissell

The “37th Annual Country Music Assn. Awards” was a strong performer for CBS on Wednesday, ruling the night in all key measures and delivering its largest overall audience in six years, according to preliminary nationals from Nielsen.

The “CMAs” (6.1/16 in adults 18-49, 20.7 million viewers overall) delivered its largest 18-49 share in three years and its best adults 25-54 rating in five years (7.8/18). CBS also led the night in adults 18-34 and kids.

ABC and NBC were in a close battle for second on the night in adults 18-49, with ABC again paced by “The Bachelor” (6.0/15 in adults 18-49, 13.3 million viewers overall) and “My Wife and Kids” (4.0/11 in adults 18-49, 10.4 million viewers overall), which moved ahead of Fox’s “That ’70s Show” (3.7/11 in adults 18-49, 7.7 million viewers overall).

For NBC, both “West Wing” (3.8/9 in adults 18-49, 12.5 million viewers overall) and “Law & Order” (5.6/15 in adults 18-49, 16.4 million viewers overall) seemed to be affected by the music awards.

Fox’s “The OC” (3.5/9 in adults 18-49, 7.6 million viewers overall) was down from its premiere of a week earlier, and lead-in comedy “A Minute With Stan Hooper” (2.5/7 in adults 18-49, 5.2 million viewers overall) fell to fifth at 8:30.

Preliminary 18-49 averages: CBS, 6.1/16; ABC, 4.3/11; NBC, 4.2/11; Fox, 3.3/9; WB, 2.4/6; UPN, 1.2/3.

In total viewers: CBS, 20.7 million; NBC, 12.6 million; ABC, 10.1 million; Fox, 7.0 million; WB, 5.3 million; UPN, 3.0 million.

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