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ABC, CBS top Thursday

Morning Ratings Flash - Rick Kissell

HOLLYWOOD — ABC and CBS were again the top nets on Thursday, according to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, while NBC remains competitive thanks in large part to timeslot-leading “ER.” Most of the evening’s key shows were on the low end of their ratings range.

In the evening’s opening hour, “Survivor: Cook Islands” (4.9 rating/13 share in adults 18-49, 14.6 million viewers overall) won as usual, but ABC’s “Ugly Betty” was a sturdy second (4.1/11 in 18-49, 12.9 million viewers overall). And while NBC’s comedy combo of “My Name Is Earl” (3.7/11 in 18-49, 9.1 million viewers overall) and “The Office” (3.9/10 in 18-49, 8.1 million viewers overall) were also competitive, Fox was not with its hour of laffer “Til Death” (1.8/5 in 18-49, 4.7 million viewers overall for an original and repeat).

From 9 to 10, ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” (8.5/21 in 18-49, 20.6 million viewers overall) maintained its demo edge on CBS’ “CSI” (6.8/17 in 18-49, 20.5 million viewers overall) while also narrowly leading in total viewers. NBC’s “Deal or No Deal” ran third (3.8/9 in 18-49, 11.5 million viewers overall), with Fox’s “The OC” a distant fourth (1.5/4 in 18-49, 3.7 million viewers overall).

NBC’s “ER” (5.8/16 in 18-49, 14.5 million viewers overall) prevailed as usual at 10, defeating CBS’ “Shark” (3.9/11 in 18-49, 13.6 million viewers overall) and ABC’s special repeat of “Desperate Housewives” (3.7/10 in 18-49, 9.0 million viewers overall). For “ER,” this was its best showing since Oct. 12.

CW was solid with “Smallville” (1.9/5 in 18-49, 4.5 million viewers overall) and “Supernatural” (1.4/3 in 18-49, 3.2 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 5.5/14; CBS, 5.2/14; NBC, 4.5/12; Fox, 1.7/4; CW, 1.6/4; Univision, 1.6/4.

In total viewers: CBS, 16.2 million; ABC, 14.1 million; NBC, 11.5 million; Fox, 4.2 million; CW, 3.8 million; Univision, 3.6 million.

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