Net has solid night as shows pick up in finales

ABC captured the final Thursday of the May sweep in key young-adult demos and CBS led in total viewers, but it was a solid night all around as well for NBC, whose shows picked up in their finales.

Kicking off the night, the absence of CBS’ “Survivor,” which ended its run a week earlier, enabled other shows to post week-to-week gains. The hourlong finale of NBC’s “My Name Is Earl” led among young adults with a 3.0 rating/9 share in adults 18-49 and 7.1 million viewers overall — its best delivery in five weeks. ABC’s “Ugly Betty” was also on the upswing (2.7/8 in 18-49, 8.5 million viewers overall), as were Fox’s “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader” (2.2/7 in 18-49, 8.3 million viewers overall) and CW’s “Smallville” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 3.8 million viewers overall). CBS didn’t do much in the hour with its special repeat of “CSI” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 7.8 million viewers overall).

At 9 o’clock, the competitive hour went to ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” in demos (projected 6.0/15 in 18-49, 15.5 million viewers overall from 9 to 10:02 p.m.), although the show flirted with a firstrun low. CBS drama vet “CSI” (4.7/12 in 18-49, 17.7 million viewers overall) ran second in demos and first in total viewers, though it also could come in with a firstrun Thursday low. And NBC’s “The Office” (4.1/10 in 18-49, 8.1 million viewers overall) ran third in most broad measures but moved to the timeslot lead in men 18-49 and was up vs. its finale in an earlier timeslot a year ago.

Also in the hour, Fox’s “Don’t Forget the Lyrics” (2.3/6 in 18-49, 6.7 million viewers overall) and “Supernatural” (1.2/3 in 18-49, 2.9 million viewers overall) were both up week-to-week with their finales.

At 10, ABC’s “Lost” (projected 4.9/13 in 18-49, 11.1 million viewers overall) was up week to week in easily winning the hour in demos over CBS’ “Without a Trace” (3.6/10 in 18-49, 14.5 million viewers overall), which still held a comfortable edge in total viewers. NBC’s “ER” placed third (3.3/9 in 18-49, 8.4 million viewers overall) but scrubbed in with its best numbers since January.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 4.5/12; NBC, 3.5/9; CBS, 2.4/9; Fox, 2.3/6; Univision, 1.7/5; CW, 1.4/4.

In total viewers: CBS, 13.4 million; ABC, 11.7 million; NBC, 7.9 million; Fox, 7.5 million; Univision, 4.0 million; CW, 3.3 million.

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