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Will finds way for UPN

ABC, NBC tie atop demo heap

UPN proved Tuesday night that it too could play the sweep stunt game, as a guest appearance by Will Smith on “All of Us” lifted the successful first-year comedy to series-high ratings .

Actually, all three of UPN’s rookie comedies established highs on the net’s “Night of Guest Stars” that also included Jennifer McCarthy and Smokey Robinson on “One on One,” Missy Elliott on a special “Eve” and Jessica Alba on “Rock Me Baby.”

Elsewhere on the third Tuesday of the November sweep, ABC and NBC tied for the 18-49 lead, while CBS won in total viewers.

With eight nights of the November sweep to be counted, NBC continued to lead CBS in adults 18-49 (4.4/12 vs. 4.2/11) and remains the favorite to prevail by that measure for a fourth straight year.

The nets also figure to be in a down-to-the-wire battle for the adults 25-54 lead, with CBS leading through Tuesday (5.4/13 to 5.0/12), but NBC expected to make it a tight race over the next week. (Keep an eye on the Sunday newsmag showdown that pits a two-part “60 Minutes” report on pornography opposite NBC’s sure-fire “Dateline” ratings grabber on weight loss.)

CBS, whose extra episode of “Survivor” on the sweep’s last night could put it over the top, is attempting to win November in its target demo of 25-54 for the first time on record.

As for UPN, its strong night was highlighted by “All of Us,” which featured Smith, a producer on the series. Skein averaged a 2.3/6 in 18-49 and 4.98 million viewers overall, placing a close second in its 8:30 slot among women 18-34 (3.9/11).

Net also did well at 8 with “One on One” (1.8/5 in 18-49, 3.94m), at 9 with “Eve” (2.2/6 in 18-49, 4.76m) and at 9:30 with “Rock Me Baby” (1.7/4, 3.80m).

In both adults 18-34 (2.5/8) and total viewers (4.4 million), this was UPN’s strongest overall Tuesday perf in 18 months. From 8 to 10, net ran third in all 12-34 categories.

NBC pulled into a tie with ABC for the 18-49 lead on Tuesday (4.2/11) behind the strength of the 100th episode of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” which rated as the top show of the night in both the demo (5.3/14) and total viewers (13.94 million).

Feat was particularly impressive since the opposition included ABC’s “NYPD Blue,” which was just a tick below its season high (4.1/11 in 18-49, 9.58m); a special repeat of “CSI: Miami” that gave CBS its best 18-49 score of the season in the hour (3.4/9); and the return of Bravo’s “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” which averaged 2.82 million viewers overall and was cable’s top program of the day in 18-49 (1.6/4, up 11% from its first-run summer average).

Also for NBC, “Frasier” (4.6/12 in 18-49, 11.60m) edged out ABC’s “According to Jim” (4.5/11 in 18-49, 10.00m) at 9, and both “Whoopi” (3.3/9 in 18-49, 9.05m) and “Happy Family” (3.1/8 in 18-49, 8.34m) spiked up vs. the previous week.

ABC, in addition to the virtual first-place 18-49 finish at 9 for “Jim,” won in the demo at 8 with “8 Simple Rules” (4.2/12 in 18-49, 10.99m), at 8:30 with “I’m With Her” (3.9/10 in 18-49, 8.89m) and at 9:30 with “Less Than Perfect” (4.1/10 in 18-49, 9.13m). For “I’m With Her,” its 93% 18-49 retention of “Rules” was its best yet.

Fox was again competitive at 8 with a special repeat of “That ’70s Show” (3.7/10 in 18-49, 7.01m), while “24” placed third in demos at 9 (3.8/10 in 18-49, 8.35m).

CBS, which won the night in total viewers, was led by “CSI: Miami” at 10. Also, “Navy NCIS” (2.8/8 in 18-49, 13.21m) ran second in 25-54 and first in both men 25-54 and total viewers.

The WB’s rookie sudser “One Tree Hill” hit series highs in women 18-34 (2.8/7) and total viewers (3.75m).

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