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NBC skates to ratings victory

Winter Games draw 25.3 million viewers Thursday

Though it couldn’t match the heights of the previous night’s golden performance, NBC’s Winter Olympics coverage Thursday still drew a cool

25.3 million viewers in primetime, more than doubling up its closest competition.

The Olympics had a 7.1 rating and 19 share in the 18-49 demo, according to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, compared with 8.9/23 Wednesday, when the U.S. won six medals.

CBS’ “Survivor” (3.9 rating/11 share in the 18-49 demo, 11.9 million viewers overall) provided the closest challenge to the Olympics, which came in at 6.2/18, 24.2 million from 8-9 p.m. Little else proved attractive to auds, whether struggling ABC rookie “The Deep End” (1.1/3, 4.3 million) or reruns of Fox’s “Bones” (1.6/4, 5.7

million) and “The Vampire Diaries” (0.7/2, 1.7 million) on the CW.

ABC’s flashback-infused episode of “Grey’s Anatomy” (3.7/9, 10.2

million) was tops among scripted programming at 9 p.m., in an hour that the Olympics surged to its audience peak (8.3/21, 28.4 million, compared with 9.0/22, 30.1 million in the hour Wednesday). Similarly, ABC’s “Private Practice” (2.8/7, 7.6 million) was tops among episodic shows at 10 p.m.; the Olympics drew a 6.8/18, 23.3 million in its final primetime hour.

CBS flip-flopped the usual timeslots of “The Mentalist” (1.9/5, 8.8

million) and “CSI” (1.7/5, 7.9 million), with “Mentalist” having no trouble holding off Fox newbie “Past Life” (1.1/3, 3.5 million) and the CW’s “Supernatural” (0.7/2, 1.6 million) at 9.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: NBC 7.1/19, CBS 2.5/7, ABC 2.5/7, Univision 2.2/6, Fox 1.3/4, CW 0.7/2.

In total viewers: NBC 25.3 million, CBS 9.6 million, ABC 7.4 million, Univision 5.2 million, Fox 4.6 million, CW 1.6 million.

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