Morning Ratings Flash - Rick Kissell

A powerful season-opening ratings perf by CBS drama “CSI: Miami” and a strong delivery for ABC’s “NFL Monday Night Football” highlighted the inaugural night of the television season, according to preliminary nationals from Nielsen.

Kicking off its third season, “CSI: Miami” (7.9/20 in adults 18-49, 22.0 million viewers overall) was easily the top-rated program of the night, up considerably over last year’s preem. It overwhelmed rival NBC drama “LAX” (3.1/8 in adults 18-49, 8.0 million viewers overall), which declined sharply from its sturdy series preem one week earlier opposite a “CSI: Miami” repeat.

CBS was a strong second to football in the night’s middle hour with “Everybody Loves Raymond” (5.9/15 in adults 18-49, 18.0 million viewers overall) and “Two and a Half Men” (5.5/13 in adults 18-49, 16.4 million viewers overall) and did OK at 8:30 with the series preem of “Listen Up” (3.5/10 in adults 18-49, 11.9 million viewers overall). Jason Alexander laffer ran second in 18-49 and led its slot in total viewers, building a bit on its lead-in from “Still Standing” (3.1/10 in adults 18-49, 11.1 million).

Reliable prelims weren’t available for ABC’s “Monday Night Football,” but affiliate-based estimates show that the game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings averaged roughly a 7.3/18 in adults 18-49 and 14.2 million viewers overall. Skedmate “The Benefactor” came down in week two from its OK start, although its averages are even murkier to decipher at this point.

For NBC, second-year drama “Las Vegas” looked good at 9 (4.8/12 in adults 18-49, 12.1 million viewers overall), up vs. last week and building by 20% on its lead-in from “Fear Factor” (4.0/12 in adults 18-49, 9.7 million viewers).

Fox struggled with “North Shore” at 8 (fifth-place 1.8/5 in adults 18-49, 4.1 million viewers overall) and then picked up a tad at 9 with “Renovate My Family” (2.3/5 in adults 18-49, 4.9 million viewers overall).

The WB’s dramas “7th Heaven” and “Everwood” were on par with last week’s season premieres, while UPN’s new comedy “Second Time Around” looked iffy in its bow (1.2/3 in adults 18-49, 2.8 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 5.9/16; CBS, 5.6/15; NBC, 4.0/10; WB, 2.2/6; Fox, 2.1/5; UPN, 1.4/4.

In total viewers: CBS, 16.9 million; ABC, 14.2 million; NBC, 10.0 million; WB, 6.0 million; Fox, 4.5 million; UPN, 3.3 million.

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