‘Betty’ stays sharp for ABC

'Degrees' dropping as 'ER' starts strong

“Ugly Betty” continues to gussy up ABC’s Thursday night, retaining most of its impressive premiere ratings in its second try.

News isn’t as good for the Alphabet’s 10 o’clock newbie “Six Degrees,” which is losing massive chunks of its “Grey’s Anatomy” lead-in. Still, ABC stood as the top young-adult draw on the key night for the third time in as many weeks this season while CBS ruled in total viewers.

According to Nielsen nationals, “Ugly Betty” (4.5 rating/13 share in adults 18-49, 14.26 million viewers overall) again placed second in the night’s opening hour to CBS’ “Survivor: Cook Islands” (5.6/16 in 18-49, 15.83m) — an 88% improvement in the timeslot for ABC compared with last year’s “Alias.”

“Betty” held on to 90% of its premiere-week 18-49 rating (4.5 vs. 5.0) and 98% of its women 18-34 (5.9 vs. 6.0), a core demo for ABC on the night.

At 9, ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” (9.4/23 in 18-49, 22.80m) beat CBS’ “CSI” (7.3/18, 21.51m) for a third straight week in key demos and for the second time in three tries in total viewers. “CSI” moved to the slot lead among men 18-49 and 25-54.

And NBC’s “ER” continues to look good in the early going (6.1/17 in 18-49, 14.68m), easily dispensing with rival new dramas “Shark” on CBS (3.8/10 in 18-49, 13.75m) and “Six Degrees” on ABC (3.6/10, 9.11m) — both of which benefit from big lead-ins.

While “Shark” has been unspectacular, it has at least consistently retained the same percentage of its “CSI” 18-49 lead-in (slightly more than 50% each week). “Six Degrees,” on the other hand, has seen its retention slide from 49% in week one to 43% in week two and 38% in its latest try.

Also of note Thursday was a soft number for Fox’s baseball playoff game between the New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers (1.9/5 in 18-49, 6.39m). Like the net’s first postseason game on Tuesday, it came in down more than 20% from comparable games last season.

For the night, ABC led in adults 18-49, persons 12-34 and all female demos while CBS prevailed in adults 25-54, most male demos and total viewers.

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