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‘Apprentice’ builds in week two

Morning Ratings Flash - Rick Kissell

In an excellent sign for NBC, hot reality series “The Apprentice” built its audience in week two, winning its hour Thursday in adults 18-49, according to preliminary nationals from Nielsen. NBC led the night easily in adults 18-49, while edging past CBS in total viewers.

From 8:30 to 9:30, “The Apprentice” (10.1/24 in adults 18-49, 20.3 million viewers overall) led in 18-49 and was up over its 90-minute averages of last week (9.1/22 in adults 18-49, 18.5 million). NBC also received a very strong perf from an original “Friends” at 8 (12.8/34 in adults 18-49, 26.5 million viewers) and a dominant showing at 10 from “ER” (9.9/26 in adults 18-49, 21.7 million viewers). At 9:30, “Will & Grace” ran second (7.4/17 in adults 18-49, 15.0 million viewers).

Beginning next week, “Apprentice” moves to its regular Wednesday-at-8 slot, while “Scrubs” and “Good Morning Miami” return to NBC’s Thursday sked.

At CBS, “CSI” (10.2/24 in adults 18-49, 27.9 million viewers overall) led the 9-10 o’clock hour in most key categories and ranked as the night’s most-watched program overall. TV’s No. 1 show was also up vs. the same week a year ago. At 10, “Without a Trace” (5.9/15 in adults 18-49, 17.5 million viewers) was a solid second.

ABC didn’t do much until 10 when “Primetime’s” interview with Jennifer Aniston rang up some pretty good numbers (3.5/9 in adults 18-49, 9.3 million viewers). At Fox, “Tru Calling” (1.7/4 in adults 18-49, 4.3 million viewers) was up week-to-week but remained a blip on the ratings screen.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: NBC, 10.1/25; CBS, 7.0/18; ABC, 2.4/6; UPN, 1.8/4; Fox, 1.7/4; WB, 1.1/3.

In total viewers: NBC, 20.9 million; CBS, 20.8 million; ABC, 7.0 million; UPN, 4.9 million; Fox, 4.2 million; WB, 2.9 million.

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