'Survivor,' 'CSI' carry network to ratings victory

The penultimate episode of this fall’s “Survivor” combined with some of the best scores of the season for “CSI” and “Eleventh Hour” to lift CBS to a convincing victory in key demos on Thursday.

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, “Survivor” (4.1/11 in 18-49, 13.2 million viewers overall) was up vs. recent weeks in advance of its two-hour finale┬áthis Sunday. It was followed by “CSI” (5.7/14 in 18-49, 20.6 million viewers overall), which delivered its strongest scores since its season premiere in early October with an episode that introduced new cast member Lawrence Fishburne. And at 10, “Eleventh Hour” (3.8/10 in 18-49, 13.4 million viewers overall) retained about two-thirds of its “CSI” lead-in to win its hour with best-since-premiere ratings.

NBC ran second, led by “The Office” at 9 o’clock, which matched some season highs (4.8/12 in 18-49, 8.8 million viewers overall) and dominated its half-hour in adults 18-34 (5.4/15), doubling up on its “Kath & Kim” lead-in (2.4/7 in 18-49, 5.3 million viewers overall). Also for the Peacock, “My Name Is Earl” (2.7/8 in 18-49, 6.6 million viewers overall), “30 Rock” (3.8/9 in 18-49, 8.9 million viewers overall) and “ER” (3.4/9 in 18-49, 8.9 million viewers overall) were also up week to week.

ABC finished a distant third on the evening with repeats of “Ugly Betty” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 5.4 million viewers overall), “Grey’s Anatomy” (2.1/5 in 18-49, 6.4 million viewers overall) and the timeslot premiere of “Private Practice” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 4.5 million viewers overall).

Fox did OK with “Secret Millionaire” (2.0/6 in 18-49, 5.4 million viewers overall) but then fell way off at 9 o’clock with the fading “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader” (1.2/3 in 18-49, 4.6 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: CBS, 4.5/12; NBC, 3.4/9; ABC, 1.7/4; Fox and Univision, 1.6/4; CW, 0.8/2.

In total viewers: CBS, 15.8 million; NBC, 7.7 million; ABC, 5.4 million; Fox, 5.0 million; Univision, 4.3 million; CW, 2.2 million.

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