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Hot ‘Joe’ no match for CBS

Eye wins night in total viewers with 17.1 million

Even as Fox’s “Joe Millionaire” hit another ratings high, CBS held tough on Monday, with big timeslot gains for “CSI: Miami” boosting the net to its largest February sweep aud on the night in seven years.

Monday also saw ABC’s “The Practice” improve a bit but remain fourth in its slot while the Alphabet’s two new dramas on the night declined roughly 20% in their second tries.

According to Nielsen, CBS ran a strong second in demos and won the night in total viewers (17.1 million) with its best showing on a February sweep Monday since 1996. Powering the Eye was 10 p.m. drama “CSI: Miami” (18.17m, 6.9/18 in A18-49), which topped the combined 18-49 scores of NBC’s “Crossing Jordan” (3.7/9) and ABC’s “Miracles” (2.9/7).

“CSI: Miami” more than doubled the perf of feeble “Family Law” a year ago (3.3/8) and gave CBS its best showing in the hour since February 1996 (“Chicago Hope”).

CBS’ comedy block was down year-to-year, but “Everybody Loves Raymond” was a strong second in demos at 9 (6.4/14 in A18-49) and led in total viewers (20.35 million). And “Yes, Dear,” featuring guest appearances by Tim Conway and the cast of “JAG,” drew the Eye’s biggest February sweep aud in the 8:30 slot (14.80m) in five years.

Fox’s “Joe Millionaire” hit a series high in total viewers (20.60m) and again dominated its hour in adults 18-49 (10.8/24) and 18-34 (12.5/31). Combined with “Boston Public” (3.9/10 in A18-49), net drew its best Monday rating in the demo with regular programs (7.4/18) in three years.

Big showing has helped Fox move into second in adults 18-49 for the February sweep through five nights (4.5/12), behind NBC (5.2/14). CBS and NBC are tied for the lead in total viewers (13 million).

At ABC, anchor drama “The Practice” (3.1/7 in A18-49, 8.90m) remained fourth in its new 9 o’clock hour but was up 11% in the demo vs. its Monday preem of a week earlier. New dramas “Veritas” (2.5/6, 7.21m) and “Miracles” (2.9/7 in adults 18-49, 7.13m) dropped off by 24% and 19% respectively week-to-week.

Overall, the Alphabet’s revamped Monday lineup fell behind the WB among adults 18-49 (2.9/7 to 2.8/7).

NBC’s “Fear Factor” (6.3/16, 15.26m) again led the 8 o’clock hour and “Third Watch” (4.4/10 in A18-49) remained solid at 9. At 10, though, a “Crossing Jordan” episode that flashed back to the 1960s delivered the drama’s second lowest score of the season (3.6/9 in A18-49).

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