Michael J. Fox special also fares well for network

Building momentum toward its two-part season finale next week, ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” increased its primetime ratings lead over CBS’ “CSI” and propelled ABC to another Thursday victory among adults 18-49, according to preliminary nationals from Nielsen. CBS did top ABC in terms of overall viewers for the night, but its edge shrunk.

“Grey’s” (5.3 rating/14 share in 18-49, 15.3 million viewers overall) not only continued its winning streak over “CSI” (3.5/9, 14.6 million) in the 18-49 demo, it leapt past its timeslot rival in overall viewers for the first time in this year’s May sweeps. “Grey’s” had nearly the same amount of male 18-49 viewers as “CSI” but nearly 85% more female 18-49 viewers.

ABC also enjoyed success with its special, “Michael J. Fox: Adventures of an Incurable Optimist” (3.3/10, 10.6 million), which won at 10 p.m. over a “CSI” repeat (2.4/7, 9.7 million). NBC’s “Southland” (1.9/5, 6.3 million) lost viewers for the fourth consecutive week but was tops among men 18-34.

NBC’s sitcoms “The Office” (3.8/11, 7.7 million) and “30 Rock” (2.9/8, 6.2 million) gave the Peacock the bronze medal at 9 p.m. over Fox’s “Hell’s Kitchen” (2.7/7, 6.3 million) and the CW’s Supernatural (1.2/3, 2.8 million).

At 8 p.m., “Survivor” (3.8/12, 12.0 million) exhibited its typical dominance for CBS. Fox was second in the timeslot with “Bones” (2.3/7, 8.6 million) while ABC’s “Ugly Betty” (2.1/7, 7.5 million) was third.

NBC 8 p.m. comedies “My Name Is Earl” (1.7/6, 4.4 million) and “Parks and Recreation” (2.0/6, 4.6 million) showed a bit of deterioration from the previous week, though “Parks” won the time period in 18-34. The CW’s “Smallville” (1.5/5, 3.4 million) had a slight bump overall at 8 p.m.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC 3.5./10, CBS 3.2/9, Fox 2.5/7, NBC 2.4/7, Univision 1.5/4, CW 1.3/4.

In total viewers: CBS 12.1 million, ABC 11.1 million, Fox 7.6 million, NBC 6.0 million, Univision 4.0 million, CW 3.1 million.

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