Expanded ‘Grey’s hot for ABC

Ratings Flash - Rick Kissell

ABC cruised to victory in key demos on the second Thursday of the May sweep, riding a two-hour “Grey’s Anatomy” and solid numbers from “Ugly Betty.”

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, “Ugly Betty” kicked off the night for the Alphabet with a second-place finish at 8 o’clock (3.6 rating/11 share in adults 18-49, 10.7 million viewers overall), the rookie show’s best demo score in 11 weeks. And from 9 to 11, “Grey’s Anatomy” — featuring Kate Walsh, Taye Diggs and other actors on tap for the medical show’s fall spinoff for ABC — averaged a 9.0/24 in 18-49 and 21 million viewers overall, in line with recent averages for “Grey’s.”

CBS ran second on the night but led the opening hour as usual with “Survivor: Fiji” (4.5/14 in 18-49, 13.7 million viewers overall). “CSI” followed with a solid runner-up performance (5.5/14 in 18-49, 18.9 million viewers overall) although this repped its lowest regular firstrun Thursday score to date. “Shark” wrapped up its rookie season at 10 with a second-place 3.2/9 in 18-49, 12.7 million viewers overall, below its average thanks in part to the expanded “Grey’s.”

Also impacted at 10 by “Grey’s” by NBC’s “ER” (roughly 3.2/9 in 18-49, 8.0 million viewers overall from 9:53 to 11 p.m.), which delivered its lowest rating to date for an original episode. Earlier in the evening, the Peacock aired expanded episodes of its comedies, with “My Name Is Earl” averaging roughly a 3.3/10 in 18-49 and 7.8 million viewers overall from 8 to 8:36, followed by “The Office” (roughly 3.5/10 in 18-49, 7.1 million viewers overall from 8:36 to 9:19 p.m.) and “Scrubs” (roughly 2.5/6 in 18-49, 5.0 million viewers overall from 9:19 to 9:53 p.m.).

Fox ran fourth on the night with “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader” (2.9/9 in 18-49, 8.6 million viewers overall) and “Trading Spouses” (1.8/5 in 18-49, 4.4 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 7.2/20; CBS, 4.4/12; NBC, 3.1/9; Fox, 2.4/7; Univision, 1.8/5; CW, 1.4/4.

In total viewers: ABC, 17.5 million; CBS, 15.1 million; NBC, 7.0 million; Fox, 6.5 million; Univision, 3.9 million; CW, 3.4 million.

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