Morning Ratings Flash - Rick Kissell

Auds discovered ABC drama “Lost” in a big way Wednesday night, as the critically hailed skein premiered to some of the Alphabet’s best drama numbers in nearly 10 years, according to preliminary nationals from Nielsen. Also on the night, CBS’ premiering “CSI: NY” defeated NBC’s “Law & Order” in their first head-to-head matchup.

In Wednesday’s opening hour, “Lost” (6.5/19 in adults 18-49, 18.0 million viewers overall) dominated the competish, beating CBS’ second-place “Dr. Phil” special by 8 shares in adults 18-49. In total viewers, no ABC drama has opened bigger since “Murder One” in 1995. ABC didn’t do as well from 9 to 11 as “The Bachelor” (3.8/10 in adults 18-49, 8.5 million viewers overall) was nothing special in its season premiere against atypically tough competish.

Night’s 10 o’clock drama battle went to “CSI: NY” (6.9/18 in adults 18-49, 18.5 million viewers overall) over “Law & Order” (5.6/14, 15.7 million viewers overall). For CBS, this is roughly triple what “The Brotherhood of Poland, N.H.” bowed to last September in the hour and the net’s best showing here in seven years. “Law & Order” held tough though, and this matchup figures to be a tight one all season. From 9 to 10 an additional seg of “Law” won with a 6.2/16 in adults 18-49 and about 18.4 million viewers overall.

Elsewhere, CBS did well with the two-hour “Dr. Phil Primetime Special: Family First” (4.6/13 in adults 18-49, 13.0 million viewers overall), which built each half-hour and placed second for its time period.

The WB’s “Smallville” (2.7/8 in adults 18-49, 5.5 million viewers overall) opened well despite opposing “Lost,” and new 9 o’clock sudser “The Mountain” did OK (1.8/5, 4.1 million viewers overall). UPN had a modest opening for the third edition of reality series “America’s Next Top Model” (1.8/5 in adults 18-49, 3.8 million viewers overall) and fell from there at 9 with a special preview of drama “Veronica Mars” (1.1/3 in adults 18-49, 2.6 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: CBS, 5.4/14; ABC, 4.7/13; NBC, 4.7/13; Fox, 2.4/6; WB, 2.3/6; UPN, 1.4/4.

In total viewers: CBS, 14.9 million; NBC, 13.8m; ABC, 11.7m; Fox, 5.2m; WB, 4.8m; UPN, 3.2m.

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