Frog gets into swim of things

WB's 'Smallville' living large

The arrival of Aquaman helped “Smallville” drench most of its competish Thursday night, as the Frog drama continued its hot start this fall.

It’s not often that a show with four seasons under its belt can move to a new night and improve its ratings, but that’s exactly what “Smallville” has done for the WB. No longer in the shadow of ABC’s “Lost” on Wednesday, the young-Superman skein has blossomed on Thursday and helped the net’s sked strategy pay off.

Last week, with an episode featuring the “Smallville” premiere of DC Comics character Aquaman (played by Alan Ritchson), the Frog skein averaged a season-high 2.9 rating/8 share in adults 18-49 and 6.4 million viewers overall.

“Smallville” also won its hour in males 12-34 for the fourth time in as many tries this season (3.6/12) and placed second to CBS’ “Survivor” in adults 18-34 (3.1/10) and men 18-49 (3.3/10).

Lead-out drama “Everwood” (1.5/4, 4.07m) isn’t faring as well on Thursday after shifting over from Monday but is nonetheless also contributing to hefty year-to-year increases on the night for the Frog.

Through the first month of the season, the WB’s Thursday is the most improved night on any network this season — up 122% in its target 18-34 demo and up about 90% in both adults 18-49 and total viewers.

CBS rolled as usual on the night, with “CSI” (9.7/24 in 18-49, 28.48m) and “Survivor: Guatemala” (6.1/17, 17.78m) both remaining in control of their hours and “Without a Trace” (6.1/16, 19.82m) a close second in demos at 10.

NBC’s “ER,” with an episode that introduced a character played by John Leguizamo, won the night’s final hour in 18-49 (6.6/17, 14.70m), logging season highs in 25-54 and total viewers.

At UPN, “Everybody Hates Chris” (2.1/6 in 18-49, 5.52m) continues to perform well kicking off the night, although these scores were its lowest in five outings.

Of note on Friday was season-high scores for rookie NBC unscripted series “Three Wishes” (prelim 2.6/8 in 18-49, 8.8 million viewers overall). Show is expected to win its 9 o’clock hour when nationals are released today.

And on Saturday, Fox Sports got off to its expected modest start with Game 1 of the World Series between the Chicago White Sox and Houston Astros.

Contest averaged an 11.4 household rating/19 share in Nielsen’s metered-market overnights, which was down 25% from last year’s opener between the Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals (15.2/26) and off 16% from 2003’s Game 1 between the New York Yankees and Florida Marlins (13.6/23).

Still, it was slightly above the low-rated 2002 opener between the San Francisco Giants and Anaheim Angels (11.2/19), and Fox did dominate Saturday’s primetime ratings race.

Net is hoping for a lengthy series; last year the Red Sox won in the minimum four games.

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