ABC big winner on Thursday

Ratings Flash - Rick Kissell

ABC opened the February sweep with a decisive victory among young adults Thursday, with “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Ugly Betty” logging their best scores since their season premieres.

According to preliminary nationals, “Ugly Betty” (4.7 rating/12 share in adults 18-49, 14.0 million viewers overall) tied in adults 18-49 during the 8 o’clock hour with NBC’s comedy block of “My Name Is Earl” (4.5/12 in 18-49, 10.7 million viewers overall) and “The Office” (5.0/12 in 18-49, 10.1 million viewers overall) while winning the hour in all key female demos and total viewers. This was the best result since September for “Betty,” while both Peacock comedies approached or matched season highs in key categories.

The 9 o’clock drama battle went to ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” (roughly 10.3/24 in 18-49, 24.1 million viewers overall from 9 to 10:03 p.m.) over CBS’ “CSI” (6.8/16 in 18-49, 21.3 million viewers overall), with the Alphabet medical skein achieving its best ratings since kicking off the season on Sept. 21. NBC ran a distant third with comedies “Scrubs” (3.4/8 in 18-49, 6.9 million viewers overall) and “30 Rock” (2.9/7 in 18-49, 5.7 million viewers overall).

And at 10, NBC’s “ER” (5.1/13 in 18-49, 11.8 million viewers overall) overcame a significant lead-in disadvantage to prevail in most key demos over CBS’ “Shark” (3.9/10 in 18-49, 14.1 million viewers overall) and ABC’s “Men in Trees” (roughly 3.6/9 in 18-49, 10.6 million viewers overall). “Shark” remained the hour’s leader in total viewers, and also moved ahead in men 25-54.

Fox remains a non-factor on the night, although its leadoff laffer “Til Death” (2.3/6 in 18-49, 5.4 million viewers overall) hit a four-month high. CW was paced by “Smallville” (2.0/5 in 18-49, 4.9 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 6.3/16; CBS, 4.7/12; NBC, 4.3/11; Fox, 1.8/4; Univision, 1.8/4; CW, 1.7/4.

In total viewers: ABC, 16.2 million; CBS, 15.8 million; NBC, 9.5 million; Fox, 4.4 million; Univision, 4.3 million; CW, 4.1 million.

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