Morning Ratings Flash - Rick Kissell

ABC, powered by “Monday Night Football,” has captured the fourth Monday of the season in key demo categories despite tough sports competition from the deciding fifth game of baseball’s Yankees-Angels playoff game on Fox.

Reliable preliminary demo and total-viewer estimates won’t be available until this afternoon, but the Pittsburgh Steelers-San Diego Chargers football matchup averaged an 11.3 household rating/18 share in Nielsen’s metered-market overnights, and Fox’s American League Division Series baseball contest earned a 10.7/17 in the overnights — a big 67% rise over the 6.4 rating that Game 5 of the National League Division Series netted on the same night a year ago for Fox.

On the entertainment side, CBS led with “CSI: Miami” (5.9/14 in adults 18-49, 17.8 million viewers overall), the evening’s most-watched program overall. “Two and a Half Men” remained solid at 9 (4.9/11 in 18-49, 15.1 million viewers overall), and new 9:30 comedy “Out of Practice” was on the rise for a second straight week (4.1/9 in 18-49, 12.3 million viewers overall).

In the night’s opening hour, CBS laffers “King of Queens” (3.5/9 in 18-49, 10.6 million viewers overall) and “How I Met Your Mother” (3.3/8 in 18-49, 9.7 million viewers overall) were in a tight battle with NBC’s “Surface” (3.3/8 in 18-49, 10.3 million viewers overall), with the latter improving 10% vs. last week.

Also for NBC, “Las Vegas” (4.8/11 in 18-49, 13.6 million viewers overall) matched last week’s 18-49 rating, its highest since February, and 10 o’clock drama “Medium” remains a solid performer (4.7/11 in 18-49, 12.6 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night (based on network affiliates and subject to change due to sports): ABC, 5.5/13; CBS, 4.6/11; Fox, 4.4/10; NBC, 4.3/10; UPN, 1.7/4; WB, 1.5/4.

In total viewers: CBS, 13.9 million; ABC, 13.8 million; Fox, 12.2 million; NBC, 12.1 million; UPN, 3.83 million; WB, 3.82 million.

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