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Another manic Monday

Morning Ratings Flash -- Rick Kissell

Monday has become the most competitive night among the major broadcast networks this spring. All four are within shouting distance of each other this week as ABC moved up with the opening night of original movie “The Ten Commandments.”

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, Dougray Scott starrer “Ten Commandments” averaged a solid 4.6 rating/11 share in adults 18-49 and 13.8 million viewers overall from 9 to 11 p.m., a close second to CBS in most key categories.

The movie, which concludes tonight, seemed to affect CBS hits “Two and a Half Men” (4.5/11 in 18-49, 14.1 million viewers overall) and “CSI: Miami” (5.2/13 in 18-49, 16.7 million viewers overall), which were both on the low end for original episodes although the latter crime drama remained the night’s No. 1 program. At 9:30, rookie laffer “The New Adventures of Old Christine” (3.7/9 in 18-49, 11.4 million viewers overall) retained a fairly good 82% of its demo lead-in from “Men.”

Fox, which edged out the other nets for a nightly victory in adults 18-49, was paced by a slot-winning perf at 9 from “24” (5/12 in 18-49, 12.2 million viewers overall), which built on its lead-in from “Prison Break” (4.2/13 in 18-49, 14.2 million viewers overall).

NBC won Monday’s opening hour with “Deal or No Deal” (4.2/13 in 18-49, 14.2 million viewers overall) and then averaged a 3.7/9 in 18-49 and 9 million viewers overall with an expanded two-hour seg of “The Apprentice 5.”

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 4.2/11; ABC, 4/10; CBS, 4/10; NBC, 3.9/10; WB, 1.6/4; UPN, .9/3.

In total viewers: CBS, 12.5 million; ABC, 11.6 million; NBC, 10.7 million; Fox, 10.1 million; WB, 4.3 million; UPN, 2.3 million.

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