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Stunts lift NBC comedies

CBS takes night; ABC's 'Grey's' still strong

CBS opened up some distance on ABC in the Thursday demo race this week, as “CSI” bounced back from its series low but still lagged ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy,” which remained the top show among young adults. NBC got a boost from its live episode of “30 Rock” and a special space-themed seg of “Community.”

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, CBS ruled the night’s opening hour with “The Big Bang Theory” (4.1 rating/13 share in adults 18-49, 12.5 million viewers overall), flat week to week, and “Bleep My Dad Says” (3.1/9 in 18-49, 10.1 million viewers overall), which was up slightly despite tougher competition from the first live episode of NBC’s “30 Rock” (3.0/9 in 18-49, 6.7 million viewers overall). The Eye then tied for second in 18-49 and won in total viewers at 9 p.m. with “CSI” (3.1/8 in 18-49, 14.3 million viewers overall) and then grew some at 10 p.m. with “The Mentalist” (3.3/9 in 18-49, 15.0 million viewers overall), which was also up week to week to lead the broadcasters at 10 p.m. while drawing more total viewers than other show on the night.

For the night, CBS moved 2 shares ahead of ABC in adults 18-49 while winning by 3 shares in adults 25-54 and by about 5 million viewers in overall audience. This marks the first time in five years that the network has won the night the first four weeks of the season in all three categories.

At ABC, it remains slow going at 8 p.m. with a “Grey’s Anatomy” repeat (1.1/3 in 18-49, 4.2 million viewers overall), but the original remains potent at 9 p.m. (4.5/12 in 18-49, 12.0 million viewers overall), in line with last week and again the evening’s No. 1 show in 18-49. And at 10, “Private Practice” (3.0/9 in 18-49, 8.3 million viewers overall) was also in line with last week to stay a competitive second in 18-49 among the broadcast nets.

NBC was above average in the night’s opening hour with its stunted episodes of “Community” (2.2/7 in 18-49, 4.8 million viewers overall) and “30 Rock” (3.0/9 in 18-49, 6.7 million viewers overall), with the former matching its best 18-49 score since March and the latter tying its best delivery in 14 months; this was the closest competitive position to date for both shows opposite the half-hours airing in the same hour on CBS. The Peacock was also up at 9 p.m. with “The Office” (3.7/10 in 18-49, 7.3 million viewers overall), which placed second in 18-49, and held steady at 9:30 p.m. with rookie comedy “Outsourced” (2.5/7 in 18-49, 5.4 million viewers overall). Also flat was 10 p.m. competition series “The Apprentice” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 3.7 million viewers overall), which continues to be a drag on a night that otherwise has performed fairly well for NBC.

Fox was down slightly week to week and slipped to fourth place with its dramas “Bones” (2.6/8 in 18-49, 9.5 million viewers overall) and “Fringe” (1.9/5 in 18-49, 5.3 million viewers overall).

CW aired repeats of “The Vampire Diaries” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 2.0 million viewers overall) and “Nikita” (0.6/2 in 18-49, 1.7 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: CBS, 3.3/10; ABC, 2.9/8; NBC, 2.4/7; Fox, 2.3/7; Univision, 1.7/5; CW, 0.7/2.

In total viewers: CBS, 13.5 million; ABC, 8.1 million; Fox, 7.4 million; NBC, 5.3 million; Univision, 4.0 million; CW, 1.7 million.

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