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Eye closes demo gap with Elvis, ‘Survivor’

Elvis helps CBS score rare Friday night triumph

CBS, on pace to win the May sweep in adults 25-54 and total viewers, is keeping the pressure on Fox in the key 18-49 demo as well after notching Thursday and Friday victories to kick off the third week.

The Eye had it over an improved NBC on Thursday and then scored a rare Friday triumph thanks to an Elvis Presley special. Although Fox is still on track to win May in 18-49 with a big final night from “American Idol,” Sunday’s “Survivor: Palau” finale and tonight’s “Everybody Loves Raymond” swan song will give CBS the lead this week.

Nets were virtually tied through Saturday at a 3.9 rating in 18-49, based on preliminary nationals from Nielsen for Friday and Saturday.

On Thursday, CBS (7.4/20 in adults 18-49, 21.7 million viewers overall) topped NBC (6.1/16 in 18-49, 13.5 million), although the latter put up a stronger fight than usual.

“CSI” was the night’s top program and easily led the 9 o’clock hour for CBS (9.1/23 in 18-49, 26.46m), but second-place “The Apprentice 3” on NBC hit its highest scores since March 3 (6.8/17, 14.80m).

Similarly at 8, “Survivor: Palau” on CBS (7.1/21 in 18-49, 19.65m) doubled up NBC’s hourlong season finale of “Joey” (3.6/11 in 18-49, 8.56m), with the rookie laffer generating its best 18-49 average since March 24.

And at 10, NBC’s “ER” (8.0/21 in 18-49, 17.16m) stitched up its highest 18-49 result since Feb. 17, besting CBS’ “Without a Trace” (5.9/15, 18.92m) in all key categories except total viewers.

Fox was paced by “The OC” (2.8/8 in 18-49, 6.12m), a bit lower than usual, and didn’t get much out of the season finale of “The Simple Life 3” (1.9/5, 4.05m). ABC stumbled with the net preem of theatrical “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” (1.8/5, 6.65m).

Elvis spec elevates Eye

CBS, which didn’t do much with its two-part Elvis Presley biopic last week, was solid Friday with two-hour spec “Elvis by the Presleys” (prelim 3.0/10 in 18-49, 11.6 million). It combined with a winning perf at 10 from the season finale of “Numbers” (3.4/11 in 18-49, 11.2 million) to give CBS every hour for the night in 18-49, 25-54 and total viewers.

ABC was only so-so with a two-hour “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (prelim 2.2/8 in 18-49, 7.5 million) but picked up nicely at 10 with “20/20” (prelim 3.3/10, 10.1 million). Fox was weak with a repeat of “X-Men” (prelim 1.4/5, 3.8 million).

UPN saw a bump for its two-hour series finale of “Enterprise” (prelim 1.6/6 in 18-49, 3.6 million), topping Fox and the WB in 18-49 but a sixth-place 1.2/5 in the net’s 18-34 demo.

Saturday was weak across the board, with even “Cops” and “America’s Most Wanted” settling for a soft 2.2/8 in 18-49 and 5.3 million viewers overall. A night of crime programs put CBS on top in adults 25-54 (2.6/8) and total viewers (8 million).

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