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Return of ‘Lost’ lifts ABC

Morning Ratings Flash - Rick Kissell

ABC captured Wednesday’s primetime ratings race with the first episode of “Lost” in six weeks and a clip show preceding it, according to preliminary nationals from Nielsen. UPN, meanwhile, sank with its premiere of sudser drama “South Beach.”

From 9 to 10, “Lost” stood as the night’s top-rated program (8.4 rating/20 share in adults 18-49, 20.5 million viewers overall), building nicely upon the 8 o’clock “Lost” recap spec “Revelation,” which also won its hour (5.0/13 in 18-49, 13.5 million viewers overall). Net’s momentum ended at 10, though, as “Invasion” ran third in its hour (3.8/10 in 18-49, 9.6 million viewers overall).

CBS was a solid second on the night, with “Criminal Minds” (4.8/11 in 18-49, 15.8 million viewers overall) putting up pretty good numbers against “Lost,” and a repeat “CSI: NY” winning at 10 (4.3/11 in 18-49, 13.1 million viewers overall). Net’s comedies “Still Standing” (2.9/8 in 18-49, 9.3 million viewers overall) and “Yes, Dear” (3.2/8 in 18-49, 9.1 million viewers overall) ran second in the night’s opening hour.

NBC was fourth at 8 with an original “E-Ring” (2.2/6 in 18-49, 8.2 million viewers overall), and moved up slightly to third at 9 with “The Biggest Loser” (2.7/6 in 18-49, 6.6 million viewers overall). “Law & Order” closed things out with a second-place perf at 10 (4.0/10 in 18-49, 12.9 million viewers overall).

Fox was paced by a repeat of “That ’70s Show” at 8 (2.5/7 in 18-49, 5.2 million viewers overall).

At UPN, the two-hour debut of “South Beach” settled for a 1.0/2 in 18-49 and 2.3 million viewers overall, placing sixth among the broadcast nets from 8 to 10 in adults 18-34 (1.0/3).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 5.8/14; CBS, 4.1/10; NBC, 3.0/7; Fox, 2.2/6; WB, 1.3/3; UPN, 1.0/2.

In total viewers: ABC, 14.5 million; CBS, 12.7 million; NBC, 9.2 million; Fox, 5.1 million; WB, 2.9 million; UPN, 2.3 million.

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