‘Will’ finale lifts Peacock

Morning Ratings Flash - Rick Kissell

The finale of eight-year laffer “Will & Grace” powered NBC to a rare Thursday victory among young adults, with the net’s “ER” benefiting from a stronger lead-in to hit a season high. CBS remained potent with “CSI” and “Without a Trace,” while Fox had one of its grooviest Thursdays in a while with the series finale of “That ’70s Show.”

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, “Will & Grace” (8.1 rating/20 share in adults 18-49, 18.1 million viewers overall) nearly doubled its season average in finishing a tick behind “CSI” for the 18-49 lead and winning its hour easily among adults 18-34. A retrospective on the laffer led the 8 o’clock hour in demos (5.1/16 in 18-49, 12.6 million viewers overall) and the net closed the night with the best perf in a year for “ER” (7.2/19 in 18-49, 16.7 million viewers overall), which led in 18-49 and 25-54.

CBS, which took the night in adults 25-54 and total viewers, was paced by the sixth-season finale of “CSI” (8.2/20 in 18-49, 25.1 million viewers overall), which led its hour in most key demos as well as total viewers. And the season finale of “Without a Trace” (6.0/16 in 18-49, 19.5 million viewers overall) was a solid second to “ER” in demos and led as usual in total viewers.

At Fox, the one-hour finale of “That ’70s Show” netted a 4.3/13 in 18-49 and 9.2 million viewers overall, the show’s best average in two years. “The OC” wrapped its season on the high side (2.9/7 in 18-49, 6.4 million viewers overall) but was a distant third in its slot.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: NBC, 6.8/19; CBS, 5.9/16; Fox, 3.6/10; ABC, 2.1/6; Fox, 3.6/10; WB, 0.9/2; UPN, 0.7/2.

In total viewers: CBS, 19.5 million; NBC, 15.8 million; Fox, 7.8 million; ABC, 5.8 million; Fox, 7.8 million; WB, 2.5 million; UPN, 1.9 million.

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