Morning Ratings Flash - Rick Kissell

Fox prevailed Wednesday in key demo categories behind another dominant perf from reality skein “The Simple Life,” according to preliminary nationals from Nielsen.

At 8:30, “Simple Life” averaged a 5.3/15 in adults 18-49 and 10.5 million viewers overall, leading its timeslot in all significant demos while placing second in total viewers to CBS newsmag “60 Minutes II.” Fox also led in demos at 8 with an original “That ’70s Show” (4.6/15 in adults 18-49, 9.0 million viewers) and was competitive in the 9 o’clock hour with “The OC” (3.9/11 in adults 18-49, 8.2 million viewers).

ABC did well with a pair of specs, with “Barbara Walters: 10 Most Fascinating People of 2003” leading from 9 to 10 (4.1/11 in adults 18-49, 13.2 million viewers) and with a “Primetime” edition devoted to Oprah Winfrey’s visit to Africa running a solid second from 10 to 11 (4.2/12 in adults 18-49, 13.9 million viewers).

NBC tied ABC for second on the night in 18-49 on the strength of two repeats of “Law & Order,” including a winning perf at 10 (5.0/15 in adults 18-49, 14.4 million viewers). CBS was paced by “King of Queens” (4.0/11 in adults 18-49, 11.5 million viewers).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 4.5/13; ABC, 3.9/11; NBC, 3.9/11; CBS, 2.8/8; WB, 1.1/3; UPN, 0.8/2.

In total viewers: ABC, 12.0 million; NBC, 11.5 million; CBS, 10.0 million; Fox, 9.0 million; WB, 2.8 million; UPN, 2.6 million.

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