'Grey's' and 'Practice' take network to the top

The crossover episodes of “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Private Practice” paid off for ABC and gave the Alphabet an impressive win Thursday night against all original programming from CBS, NBC and Fox.

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, ABC saw increases at both 9 and 10 p.m., as “Grey’s” and “Private Practice” intertwined their storylines. “Grey’s” (5.9 rating/14 share in the 18-49 demo, 15 million total viewers) was a slight uptick from last week while “Private Practice” (5.8/15, 14.1 million total viewers) saw a more significant surge. Demos were up 9% and the skein saw an increase of about 1.3 million total viewers.

CBS came in second for the night as “Survivor: Tocantins” (4.4/13, 13.7 million total viewers) premiered at 8 o’clock and earned numbers similar to that of opening night of “Survivor: Gambon,” which began last fall. “Ugly Betty” (2.3/6, 7.4 million total viewers) was third, behind slightly better than average performances of NBC’s “My Name Is Earl (2.6/8, 6.3 million total viewers) and “Kath & Kim” (2.4/6, 5.4 million total viewers).

At 9 o’clock, “CSI” (5.9/14, 17.7 million total viewers) took a bit of a hit from “Grey’s,” but was still the most-watched show of the night. That being said, 2 million less total viewers tuned in from what “CSI” is averaging this season and the show was down 9% in the demo. “The Office” (4.6/11, 8.8 million total viewers) and “30 Rock” (3.8/9, 7.6 million total viewers) performed better than last week.

At 10 p.m., the 18-49 demo for “Private Practice” was more than double CBS’ “The Eleventh Hour” (2.7/7, 11 million total viewers) and NBC’s long-running “ER” (2.6/7, 7.2 million total viewers).

Fox didn’t gain much traction with the NAACP Image Awards (1.4/4, 4.2 million total viewers) and came in fourth.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 4.6/12; CBS, 4/11; NBC, 3.1/8; Fox, 1.4/4; Univision, 1.8/5; CW, 0.9/2.

In total viewers: CBS, 14.2 million; ABC, 12.2 million; NBC, 7.1 million; Fox, 4.2 million; Univision, 4.2 million; CW, 2.1 million.

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