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‘Apprentice’ wins for NBC

Morning Ratings Flash - Rick Kissell

Its ratings were a far cry from the first edition’s finale, but Thursday’s conclusion to “The Apprentice 2” helped NBC take the night in key demos, according to preliminary nationals from Nielsen.

The three-hour finale of “The Apprentice 2,” which included a reunion show in the 10 o’clock hour, averaged a 7.8 rating/21 share in adults 18-49 and 17 million viewers overall, peaking in the 9:30 half-hour with a 9.3/23 in the demo and 19.9 million viewers overall. This is roughly 40% below the season finale of the first edition of the series last April (13.6/34 in 18-49).

CBS was a solid second on the night with three repeats of crime dramas, including a “CSI” in its regular time period (6.5/17 in adults 18-49, 19.4 17 million viewers overall) that edged out “The Apprentice” in total viewers.

Fox was a distant third at 8 with “The OC” (2.7/8 in adults 18-49, 6.3 17 million viewers overall), tying with a repeat of ABC’s “A Charlie Brown Christmas” (2.7/8 in adults 18-49, 8.7 17 million viewers overall).

In the 9 o’clock hour, both Fox’s “North Shore” (1.6/4 in adults 18-49, 3.8 17 million viewers overall) and ABC’s “Life As We Know It” (1.3/3 in adults 18-49, 3.7 17 million viewers overall) continue to perform weakly.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: NBC, 7.8/21; CBS, 5.1/14; Fox, 2.2/6; ABC, 1.9/5; UPN, 1.7/5; WB, 0.8/2.

In total viewers: NBC, 17 million; CBS, 16.4 million; ABC, 6 million; Fox, 5 million; UPN, 5 million; WB, 2.2 million.

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