‘Grey’s,’ ‘CSI’ shine Thursday

CBS beats ABC in a tight ratings race

Despite opposing each other, vet dramas “Grey’s Anatomy” on ABC and “CSI” on CBS were the top-rated programs on Thursday night as their respective nets finished neck and neck in the demo race. CBS pulled farther ahead in total viewers, as usual.

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen that include same-day DVR playback, “Grey’s Anatomy” delivered its strongest numbers since its season premiere (projected 8.2 rating/19 share in adults 18-49, 19.5 million viewers overall from 9 to 10:02 p.m.), holding off an above-average perf from “CSI” (6.4/15 in 18-49, 21.3 million viewers overall). “CSI,” which featured the final episode for series regular Jorja Fox, was the night’s most-watched program overall.

Elsewhere for CBS, which edged out ABC for the night’s demo lead for a second straight week, “Survivor: China” remained in control at 8 o’clock (4.8/13 in 18-49, 14.8 million viewers overall), and “Without a Trace” (4.1/11 in 18-49, 14.5 million viewers overall) prevailed at 10.

At ABC, “Ugly Betty” (3.5/9 in 18-49, 10.7 million viewers overall) ran second at 8 o’clock, and a special firstrun episode of rookie drama “Women’s Murder Club” (projected 3.2/9 in 18-49, 8.5 million viewers overall) placed third at 10 o’clock. “Murder Club,” which airs Fridays at 9, did perform a bit better than recent episodes of “Big Shots” in the Thursday-at-10 p.m. time period for the Alphabet.

NBC was above average with comedies “My Name Is Earl” (3.6/10 in 18-49, 8.0 million viewers overall), “30 Rock” (3.2/8 in 18-49, 6.5 million viewers overall) and “The Office” (4.8/11 in 18-49, 8.9 million viewers overall), but “Scrubs” continues to fall off quite a bit from its “Office” lead-in at 9:30. Closing out the night, “ER” (3.8/10 in 18-49, 9.5 million viewers overall) finished a competitive second in 18-49 even though rival dramas on ABC and CBS enjoyed considerably stronger lead-ins.

Fox hit a season high at 8 o’clock with “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader” (2.9/8 in 18-49, 9.6 million viewers overall), which featured “American Idol’s” Kellie Pickler as a celebrity contestant playing for charity. Net then dipped at 9 o’clock with “Don’t Forget the Lyrics” (2.1/5 in 18-49, 6.0 million viewers overall).

CW was on par with recent results for its dramas “Smallville” (1.8/5 in 18-49, 4.5 million viewers overall) and “Supernatural” (1.2/3 in 18-49, 2.9 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: CBS, 5.1/13; ABC, 5.0/12; NBC, 3.7/9; Fox, 2.5/6; Univision, 1.9/5; CW, 1.5/4.

In total viewers: CBS, 16.8 million; ABC, 13.0 million; NBC, 8.1 million; Fox, 7.8 million; Univision, 4.3 million; CW, 3.7 million.

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