‘CSI’ on rise for CBS

Morning Ratings Flash - Rick Kissell

ABC and CBS battled to a draw among young adults on Thursday, with the Alphabet getting a lift from a Barbara Walters special and the Eye rising thanks to some above-average scores of the season from “CSI” and “Shark.”

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, “CSI” (7.9 rating/19 share in adults 18-49, 23.8 million viewers overall) closed to within 1 demo ratings point of ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” (8.8/21 in 18-49, 21.0 million viewers overall), with the dramas in a virtual tie for the 25-54 lead after the Alphabet medical drama had led by wider margins in both categories in each of their first seven head-to-head firstrun battles. “CSI” had its second best 18-49 score of the season and also opened up a wider advantage over “Grey’s” in total viewers, hitting a season high in this category.

A likely factor in the week to week gains for the 9 o’clock hour’s heavyweight dramas was NBC’s weak-performing comedy “30 Rock” (roughly 2.4/6 in 18-49, 5.0 million viewers overall). From 9:30 to 10, the 2.3 demo rating for “30 Rock” was a 39% falloff from “Deal or No Deal” in the time period a year ago.

CBS also led the night’s opening hour with “Survivor: Cook Islands” (5.4/15 in 18-49, 15.5 million viewers overall), which rebounded from its season low of a week earlier. NBC’s super-sized episodes of “My Name Is Earl” (roughly 3.9/11 in 18-49, 9.3 million viewers overall) and “The Office” (roughly 4.2/11 in 18-49, 8.6 million viewers overall) finished in a virtual demo draw for second with ABC’s “Ugly Betty” (3.9/11 in 18-49, 13.0 million viewers overall), as the latter has softened some in recent weeks after a hot start.

At 10, NBC’s “ER” remained on top in demos (5.5/15 in 18-49, 12.4 million viewers overall) despite a third-place finish in total viewers. Chipping away at its lead were ABC’s Walters spec “30 Mistakes in 30 Years” (4.9/13 in 18-49, 13.1 million viewers overall) and CBS drama “Shark” (4.4/12 in 18-49, 15.3 million viewers overall), with the first-year Eye drama hitting season highs.

At Fox, “Til Death” (1.8/5 in 18-49, 4.5 million viewers overall) and “The OC” (1.7/4 in 18-49, 3.8 million viewers overall) both rose a bit week to week but the net remains well behind the other nets on the night.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 5.9/15; CBS, 5.9/15; NBC, 4.2/11; Fox, 1.8/5; CW, 1.7/4; Univision, 1.4/4.

In total viewers: CBS, 18.2 million; ABC, 15.7 million; NBC, 9.2 million; Fox, 4.2 million; CW, 4.0 million; Univision, 3.4 million.

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