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CBS rolls Thursday; ‘OC’ hot

Morning Ratings Flash - Rick Kissell

CBS stormed out of the gate on the opening night of the November sweep Thursday, posting sizable victories in key demos as well as total viewers, according to preliminary nationals from Nielsen. Fox also got encouraging news from “The OC,” which bowed on its new night with strong results.

“CSI” again dominated Thursday’s middle hour for CBS (10.6 rating/25 share in adults 18-49, 30.1 million viewers overall), up more than 10% year-to-year. “Survivor: Vanuatu” (7.8/20 in adults 18-49, 20.7 million viewers overall) led from 8 to 9 for CBS, remaining vibrant despite stepped up competish, and 10 o’clock drama “Without a Trace” continued hot (7.2/19 in adults 18-49, 21.6 million viewers overall) – up sharply vs. last year and in a virtual 25-54 tie with NBC’s “ER.”

Over at NBC, “ER” led the way (8.2/21 in adults 18-49, 16.9 million viewers overall), winning at 10 in 18-49 but down about 15% year-to-year. Net’s “The Apprentice 2” was at a six-week high at 9 (7.8/19 in adults 18-49, 16.1 million viewers overall), and the net’s opening-hour comedies “Joey” (5.2/14 in adults 18-49, 12.5 million viewers overall) and “Will & Grace” (5.2/13 in adults 18-49, 11.9 million viewers overall) were a solid second to “Survivor” in 18-49.

Fox’s “The OC” (3.8/10 in adults 18-49, 8.5 million viewers overall) opened well at 8, third in 18-49 but posting the net’s best series score in the hour in nearly seven years. Sudser also placed second to “Survivor” in adults 18-34 and was the outright leader in persons 12-34 (5.4/16). At 9, the time-period debut of “North Shore” (2.0/5 in adults 18-49, 4.9 million viewers overall) placed third in most categories.

ABC’s “Primetime” was on the high end of its range but remained a distant third at 10 (2.4/6 in adults 18-49, 7.6 million viewers overall), and the net’s 9 o’clock drama “Life as We Know It” (1.5/4 in adults 18-49, 4.1 million viewers overall) was on par with its recent soft scores.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: CBS, 8.5/21; NBC, 7.1/18; Fox, 2.9/7; ABC, 2.0/5; UPN, 1.6/4; WB, 0.9/2.

In total viewers: CBS, 24.2 million; NBC, 15.1 million; Fox, 2.9/7; ABC, 2.0/5; UPN, 1.6/4; WB, 0.9/2.

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