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CBS sees total viewers sweeps win

Eye dominates Thursday ratings

CBS has its eye on the May sweep’s total-viewers crown after the season finales of “CSI” and “Without a Trace” produced a decisive victory on the final Thursday of the ratings period.

Net moved past NBC in the popular-vote category through Thursday (12.7 million to 12.6 million) and then solidified its lead by drawing more viewers than any other web on both Friday and Saturday nights.

NBC, which front-loaded its May sweep and is headed for triumphs in both adults 18-49 and 25-54, is largely laying low in the final week. It certainly didn’t put up much of a fight on Thursday when its lineup included a repeat of the “Friends” series finale.

Eye sweeps sweep Thursday

According to Nielsen, CBS captured Thursday over second-place NBC in adults 18-49 (6.4/19 vs. 3.4/10), adults 25-54 (8.0/21 vs. 3.5/9) and total viewers (19.7 million vs. 7.6m) — the Eye’s first Thursday victory in all categories in a May sweep since the night of the “Survivor: Australian Outback” finale in 2001.

“CSI” (8.8/24 in 18-49, 25.40 million viewers overall) was easily the night’s No. 1 program, overwhelming “Friends” (3.3/9 in 18-49, 7.15m). Laffer’s swan song drew roughly one-seventh the rating it amassed when originally broadcast two weeks earlier.

And at 10, “Without a Trace” (6.3/18 in 18-49, 19.62m) closed out its second season by easily topping a special repeat of NBC’s “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” (3.6/10 in 18-49, 8.51m). “Trace” was up 26% from its first-season finale (5.0/13 in 18-49), which opposed “ER.”

And although the second cycle of ABC quizzer “Super Millionaire” has not performed as well as the first, Thursday’s 10 p.m. seg produced the net’s best non-sports results in the hour (3.0/8 in 18-49, 9.59m) in nine weeks.

Fox improved itself by going with two repeat audition hours of “American Idol” (3.0/9 in 18-49, 7.28m).

No soap for Daytime Emmys

On Friday, the “Daytime Emmy Awards” on NBC settled for a third-place 18-49 finish from 9 to 11 (prelim 2.4/8, 8.3m). CBS stole the night in the demo (prelim 2.8/10) thanks to winning perf by a “CSI: Miami” repeat at 10 (prelim 3.7/12 in 18-49, 12.2m).

Also for CBS, the season finales of both “Joan of Arcadia” (2.1/9 in 18-49, 8.5m) and “JAG” (2.5/9 in 18-49, 11.5m) led their hours in adults 25-54, according to Nielsen prelims.

Fox’s premiere of “Legally Blonde” (2.0/8 in 18-49, 5.2m) led the night in adults 18-34 (2.1/9), and ABC’s “George Lopez” ended its season with an hourlong seg that took the time period in 18-49 (2.4/10) — its sixth slot triumph in seven weeks.

On Saturday, Fox’s combo of “Cops” and “America’s Most Wanted” easily won in 18-49 (prelim 2.6/10), while a repeat of “The Carol Burnett Show: Let’s Bump Up the Lights” at 10 (prelim 2.1/7 in 18-49, 7.8m) helped CBS take the night in total viewers.

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