ABC, CBS top quiet Thursday

'Grey's Anatomy' anchors web's night

ABC and CBS were the standout nets on a rather tame penultimate Thursday of the season, which saw top shows including “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Survivor” produce some of their lowest ratings to date.

According to same-day nationals from Nielsen, ABC’s victory among young adults was primarily on the back of 9 o’clock anchor “Grey’s Anatomy” (7.8 rating/21 share in adults 18-49, 19.58 million viewers overall) was at firstrun seasons lows. Leadoff hitter “Ugly Betty” (3.0/10 in 18-49, 9.63 million viewers overall), while a special preview episode of summer series “Traveler” settled for a third-place finish at 10 (3.5/10 in 18-49, 8.61 million viewers overall); latter held onto less than half of its lead-in, although quarter-hour Nielsens show it largely maintained its audience over the final 45 minutes.

CBS, the leader in adults 25-54 and total viewers, was solid but on the low end with “Survivor: Fiji” (4.4/14 in 18-49, 13.77 million viewers overall), which won its 8 o’clock time period, and “CSI” (5.5/15 in 18-49, 18.75 million viewers overall) which placed second at 9. Closing out the night was the special season finale episode of Sunday drama “Without a Trace” (3.9/11 in 18-49, 14.31 million viewers overall), which led its hour in most categories.
At NBC, following low-end numbers for the season finale of “My Name Is Earl” (3.0/10 in 18-49, 6.94 million viewers overall from 8 to 8:42 p.m.), “The Office” performed well even though it extended well into the 9 o’clock half-hour (3.9/11 in 18-49, 7.17 million viewers overall from 8:42 to 9:23 p.m.). “Scrubs” was slightly above average (2.9/7 in 18-49, 5.31 million viewers overall from 9:23 to 9:59 p.m.), while “ER” (3.8/11 in 18-49, 9.39m) was up week to week but remained on the low side.

Fox was above average by airing back-to-back episodes of “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader,” which logged a 3.1/10 in 18-49 and 9.32 million viewers overall in its regular 8 o’clock slot and a 3.0/8 in 18-49 and 8.7 million viewers overall at 9.

CW was slightly below its recent levels with “Smallville” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 3.43 million viewers overall) and “Supernatural” (1.2/3 in 18-49, 2.90 million viewers overall).

National 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 4.8/14; CBS, 4.6/13; NBC, 3.4/10; Fox, 3.1/9; CW, 1.3/4.

In total viewers: CBS, 15.6 million; ABC, 12.7 million; Fox, 9.0 million; NBC, 7.5 million; CW, 3.2 million.

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