Modest bow for NBC’s ‘Contender’

Morning Ratings Flash - Rick Kissell

NBC’s unscripted boxing skein “The Contender” opened to lukewarm ratings with its special Monday preview episode, placing a distant second to CBS drama “CSI: Miami” in most key categories, according to preliminary nationals from Nielsen.

From 9:36 to 11 p.m., “The Contender” averaged roughly a 4.1 rating/10 share in adults 18-49 and 8.4 million viewers overall, airing behind “Fear Factor” (3.7/9 in adults 18-49, 9.1 million viewers overall). “Contender,” which has another preview seg Thursday before sliding into its regular slot Sunday at 8, won its time period among men 18-34 and did show some growth in the final half-hour, when the boxing action took place.

Elsewhere, Fox was again a Monday winner with the last of its scheduled three special “American Idol” segs to air on the night. “Idol” (10.0/25 in adults 18-49, 23.7 million viewers overall) dominated at 8, and “24” (5.6/13 in adults 18-49, 13.2 million viewers overall) led in 18-49 from 9 to 10.

CBS was paced by “CSI: Miami” (7.3/18 in adults 18-49, 21.3 million viewers overall), “Two and a Half Men” (5.6/13 in adults 18-49, 17.6 million viewers overall) and a repeat “Everybody Loves Raymond” (5.0/12 in adults 18-49, 16.6 million viewers overall).

ABC’s all-reality lineup was led by “Supernanny” at 10 (3.8/9 in adults 18-49, 9.0 million viewers overall). The special “Boss Swap,” a twist on the net’s “Wife Swap,” placed a distant fourth at 9 against tough competish (2.7/6 in adults 18-49, 8.1 million viewers overall).

Preliminary adults 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 7.8/19; CBS, 5.1/12; NBC, 3.9/9; ABC, 3.0/7; WB, 1.2/3; UPN, 1.1/3.

In total viewers: Fox, 18.4 million; CBS, 16.0 million; NBC, 8.7 million; ABC, 7.4 million; WB, 3.1 million; UPN, 2.7 million.

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