ABC, CBS shine Wednesday

Morning Ratings Flash -- Rick Kissell

ABC has won another Wednesday in key demo categories behind “Lost” but CBS made some noise with improved scores for its entire lineup, including new drama “Criminal Minds.”

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, “Lost” (9.1 rating/22 share in adults 18-49, 21.2 million viewers overall) was roughly flat week-to-week and dominated the 9 o’clock hour. The Eye’s “Criminal Minds” placed second with its best regular-slot scores in three tries (4/10 in 18-49, 13.4 million viewers overall).

CBS also grew in the night’s opening hour with “Still Standing” (2.3/7 in 18-49, 7.6 million viewers overall) and “Yes, Dear” (2.9/8 in 18-49, 8.8 million viewers overall), although they finished behind ABC’s comedy combo of “George Lopez” (3.3/10 in 18-49, 8.4 million viewers overall) and the premiering “Freddie” (3.9/11 in 18-49,

The Eye’s “CSI: NY” (5/13 in 18-49, 14.8 million viewers overall) and Alphabet’s “Invasion” (5/13 in 18-49, 12 million viewers overall) were locked in a tight battle for the 18-49 lead at 10 o’clock, although the CBS skein should make it a sweep of the 18-49, 25-54 and total-viewer categories when nationals are released this afternoon.

NBC had a soft night, kicking off with a fifth-place perf from drama “E-Ring” at 8 (2.2/6 in 18-49, 8.2 million viewers overall). “The Apprentice: Martha Stewart” rose to its best scores yet at 9 (fourth-place 2.7/7 in 18-49, 7.3 million viewers overall) but it again made for an incompatible lead-in for 10 o’clock drama “Law & Order” (3.5/9 in 18-49, 10.5 million viewers overall), which could come in fourth for the hour in nationals.

Of note at the weblets was a strong showing by UPN’s “America’s Next Top Model” (2.8/8 in 18-49, 5.6 million viewers overall), which placed second for the 8 o’clock hour in 18-49 and first in 18-34.

Reliable prelim nationals weren’t available for Fox’s coverage of baseball’s League Championship Series, but the split-national coverage of the Cardinals-Astros and Angels-White Sox contest averaged a 9.4 household rating/14 share in Nielsen’s metered-market overnights — 15% lower than last year’s 11/16 for the Yankees and Red Sox.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 5.9/15; CBS, 3.9/10; Fox, 3.0/8; NBC, 2.8/7; UPN, 2.1/5; WB, 1.2/3.

In total viewers: ABC, 14 million; CBS, 12.1 million; Fox, 9.3 million; NBC, 8.7 million; UPN, 4.3 million; WB, 2.7 million.

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