‘Jake’ modest in Thursday bow

Morning Ratings Flash - Rick Kissell

ABC comedy “Jake in Progress” had a rather quiet premiere in its regular Thursday timeslot, improving the net’s performance from 8 to 9 but placing a distant fourth, according to preliminary national ratings from Nielsen.

In the night’s opening hour, two original episodes of “Jake in Progress” averaged a 2.3 rating/6 share in adults 18-49 and 7 million viewers overall – well behind NBC’s hour of “Will & Grace” (3.6/10 in adults 18-49 and 8.6 million viewers overall for an original and repeat). Still, “Jake” improved upon ABC’s woeful average in the tough time period this season (1.6/4 in adults 18-49).

Also topping “Jake” were Fox’s “The OC” (3.4/10 in adults 18-49, 7.5 million viewers overall) and opening-round coverage of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament on CBS (roughly 3.2/9 in adults 18-49 and 9.1 million viewers overall).

At 9, a recap show of “The Apprentice 3” won for NBC (5/13 in adults 18-49, 11.5 million viewers overall), while ABC did decently with repeats of last Sunday’s preview episodes of “Jake in Progress” (2.5/6 in adults 18-49, 6.7 million viewers overall). Fox’s “Point Pleasant” (1.9/5 in adults 18-49, 4.2 million viewers overall) continues to struggle but delivered one of its highest scores.

A repeat of NBC’s “ER” (4/11 in adults 18-49, 9.3 million viewers overall) won out at 10 over ABC’s “Primetime Live” (2.9/8 in adults 18-49, 8.7 million viewers overall).

For CBS, reliable estimates were unavailable for college basketball, but in affiliate-based fast nationals, this year’s opening night looks to have performed below last year’s levels.

The WB enjoyed success with 8 o’clock Jeff Foxworthy spec “The Early Daze” (1.7/5 in adults 18-49, 4.7 million viewers overall).

Preliminary adults 18-49 averages for the week: NBC, 4.2/12; CBS, 3.5/10; ABC, 2.6/7; Fox, 2.6/7; UPN, 1.9/5; WB, 1.2/3.

In total viewers: NBC, 9.8 million; CBS, 9.5 million; ABC, 7.5 million; Fox, 5.9 million; UPN, 4.9 million; WB, 3.3 million.

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