Season highs power Eye net

A few days after CBS extended its lengthy run through at least next season, unscripted skein “Survivor” hit fall highs Thursday, teaming with “CSI” to power the Eye to another sweeps victory.

Now in its 12th edition, “Survivor” is off its ratings pace of a year ago but has actually become more dominant in Thursday’s leadoff hour as NBC’s comedies and Fox’s “The OC” have declined.

CBS rolled on the second Thursday of the sweep and also had an easy time of things on Friday, where rookie drama “Close to Home” looked good in a special airing between hits “Ghost Whisperer” and “Numbers.”

According to Nielsen, “Survivor: Guatemala” (6.9 rating/18.98 million viewers overall) delivered its best perf to date, easily topping NBC’s “Joey” (3.1/9 in 18-49, 8.08m) and “Will & Grace” (3.6/9, 8.85m) — both up week to week — and Fox’s third-place “The OC” (2.7/7, 5.76m), which was down week to week to a season low.

The strong “Survivor” perf also helped boost “CSI” (10.2/25 in 18-49, 29.55) to an even more convincing triumph at 9: Crime drama roughly matched the 18-49 delivery of the other five broadcast nets combined.

It beat NBC’s second-place “The Apprentice 4″ (4.8/12 in 18-49, 11.11m) by 13 shares in 18-49 and by 16 shares in 25-54. Fox’s “Reunion” ran third at 9 (1.8/5 in 18-49, 4.02m) and was up week to week, while ABC’s “Night Stalker” was frail after a week off (1.4/3, 3.91m).

NBC’s “ER” (6.7/18 in 18-49, 15.44m) carried the 10 o’clock hour in demos over CBS’ “Without a Trace” (6.3/17, 20.78m), with the Eye drama posting another victory in total viewers.

CBS then enjoyed its best Friday of the season, winning each hour.

“Ghost Whisperer” (prelim 3.2/10 in 18-49, 11.4 million) easily led at 8 in most categories and “Close to Home” (prelim 3.2/9, 11.9 million) was up 28% vs. the perf by “Threshold” in the hour a week earlier. Net is flopping timeslots for the shows, with “Threshold” airing on Tuesday for the first time Nov. 22.

Stronger, more compatible lead-in helped 10 o’clock drama “Numbers” hit season highs (prelim 3.6/11 in 18-49, 12.1 million), winning its hour by 3 shares in 18-49 over ABC and NBC.

ABC ran second on the night with its best average of the season as “Super Nanny” hit a season high at 8 (prelim 2.6/8 in 18-49, 7.3 million). That helped middle-hour comedies “Hope & Faith” (prelim 2.5/8 in 18-49, 6.9 million) and “Hot Properties” (prelim 2.3/7, 6.2 million) rise week to week.

NBC’s best numbers Friday came with a repeat of “Law & Order: CI” at 10 (prelim 2.6/8 in 18-49, 8.2 million). Fox was a distant fourth with its struggling lineup.

Saturday saw season-best scores for Fox’s hour of “Cops” (prelim 2.5/8 in 18-49, 6.3 million) and “America’s Most Wanted” (prelim 2.6/8, 6.72m) as the net edged out CBS in 18-49.

Eye was strong, though, winning the night in 25-54 and total viewers behind a “CSI” repeat (2.7/8 in 18-49, 10.9 million) and “48 Hours Mystery” (prelim 2.5/8, 10.2 million).

ABC was above average but nothing special with its preem of theatrical “Old School” (prelim 2.2/7, 5.0 million).

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