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Eye-opening ratings

CBS sweeps up; ABC solid

CBS is halfway home to sweeping November’s key ratings categories, while an improved ABC — seemingly down for the count in recent years — remains in contention for silver.

The Eye and Alphabet webs are both up double-digits vs. the same period a year ago, wrapping the second week of the November sweep with nice showings Wednesday. CBS won with the conclusion of disaster movie “Category 6” and “CSI: NY,” while second-place ABC’s “Lost” matched its series-best scores.

Through Wednesday (14 nights of the four-week sweep period), CBS is the decisive leader in adults 18-49, adults 25-54 and total viewers, according to Nielsen.

While the Eye prevailed as recently as last November in both 25-54 and total viewers, its victory in adults 18-49 — the holy grail of demos — would be its first in a November sweep since Nielsen implemented PeopleMeters to chart it in 1987.

ABC, meanwhile, is only a tick behind second-place NBC in adults 18-49, while Fox appears headed for another fourth-place November finish. The Alphabet-Peacock showdown could hinge on how well NBC fares with its “A Christmas Carol” musical opposite ABC’s hot frosh “Desperate Housewives” on the month’s final Sunday.

NBC and the WB are off by single-digit percentages vs. a year ago. Fox and UPN are roughly flat.

Where it’s really close at the halfway mark is in the younger demos, where three-tenths of a ratings point separates the Big Four in adults 18-34 (with NBC on top). The gap is a scant two-tenths in viewers 12-34 (with ABC and Fox tied for the lead).

Looking at Wednesday’s action, ABC’s “Lost” (6.8 rating/18 share in adults 18-49, 17.64 million viewers overall) matched its 18-49 high from 8 to 9, dominating despite facing tough competish from the first hour of “Category 6” and again standing as the night’s top-rated program.

The CBS pic (5.0/13 in 18-49, 16.68m), although not as strong as its opening seg Sunday, was a solid second from 8 to 9, and then surged to an easy slot victory from 9 to 10. Also for CBS, “CSI: NY” (6.5/17 in 18-49, 17.46m) ruled at 10 over NBC’s “Law & Order” (4.4/12 in 18-49, 13.80m) and ABC’s “Wife Swap” (4.4/11 in 18-49, 10.36m).

This was the best showing since Sept. 29 for “CSI: NY.”

At Fox, unscripted skein “Nanny 911” continues to perform well at 9 (4.0/10 in 18-49, 8.62m), topping in 18-49 both NBC’s “West Wing” (3.9/9 in 18-49, 12.41m) and the “Women Tell All” episode of ABC’s “The Bachelor” (3.7/9 in 18-49, 8.61m). “Nanny” also led its hour in adults 18-34 (4.3/12) and persons 12-34 (4.1/12).

“West Wing” seemed to be hit hardest by the CBS movie, falling 2 shares in 18-49 from last week’s strong perf (4.5/11). It ran second in both 25-54 (5.0/11) and total viewers.

Of note at the weblets, the WB’s “Jack & Bobby” (featuring guest star Tom Cavanaugh) defeated UPN’s “Kevin Hill” in adults 18-34 for the first time (1.7/4 vs. 1.3/4), with the Frog skein hitting a new high in some male demos.

UPN was up 65% year-to-year in 18-34 with its combo of “America’s Next Top Model” and “Kevin Hill.”

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