Monday race tightens

Morning Ratings Flash - Rick Kissell

CBS prevailed in the primetime ratings race on Monday, but ABC and NBC were both above average to close the gap, according to preliminary nationals from Nielsen. Also, Fox’s “24” remains potent.

The Eye was solid throughout the night, with “King of Queens” looking good at 8 (4.0/10 in 18-49, 11.9 million viewers overall) and “How I Met Your Mother” holding on to much of that aud at 8:30 (3.9/9 in 18-49, 11.1 million viewers overall). “Two and a Half Men” (5.4/12 in 18-49, 16.4 million viewers overall) and “Courting Alex” (4.4/10 in 18-49, 13.2 million viewers overall) each placed second in 18-49 to Fox’s “24” (5.8/13 in 18-49, 13.6 million viewers overall).

At 10, CBS won with “CSI: Miami” (6.1/15 in 18-49, 18.1 million viewers overall), although NBC’s “Medium” closed the gap with its best score since November (4.6/11 in 18-49, 12.0 million viewers overall).

ABC opened an 18-49 winner with “Wife Swap” (4.4/11 in 18-49, 10.8 million viewers overall) and had its best post-football perf of the season from 9 to 11 with a two-hour episode of “The Bachelor” (4.3/10 in 18-49, 9.7 million viewers overall). “Wife Swap” beat out Fox’s competing unscripted skein “Skating With Celebrities” (3.4/8 in 18-49, 10.3 million viewers overall) as well as NBC’s finale of “Surface” (2.9/7 in 18-49, 9.5 million viewers overall), which rose to its best rating since November.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: CBS, 5.0/12; Fox, 4.6/11; ABC, 4.4/10; NBC, 3.8/9; WB, 1.6/4; UPN, 1.6/4.

In total viewers: CBS, 14.8 million; Fox, 12.0 million; NBC, 11.1 million; ABC, 10.1 million; WB, 4.1 million; UPN, 3.5 million.

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