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‘CSI,’ ‘Trace’ pace Eye

Morning Ratings Flash - Rick Kissell

ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” and the WB’s “Smallville” also shined on Thursday but CBS carried the night again behind original segs of “CSI” and “Without a Trace,” according to preliminary Nielsen nationals.

“CSI” was the night’s top-rated program and ruled the 9 o’clock hour (8.1 rating/20 share in adults 18-49, 25.5 million viewers overall) although this were its lowest firstrun scores in more than a year. “Without a Trace” also led its slot at 10 (7.0/19 in 18-49, 22.0 million viewers overall), topping the combined scores of a repeat “ER” on NBC (3.3/9 in 18-49, 7.8 million viewers overall) and ABC’s “Primetime” (2.9/8 in 18-49, 8.8 million viewers overall).

At ABC, the 90-minute “Dancing With the Stars” (5.1/13 in 18-49, 19.3 million viewers overall) was on par with the previous week’s score, finishing in a virtual 18-49 tie with CBS’ “CSI” original and repeat and winning in total viewers. At 9:30, new comedy “Crumbs” (3.1/7 in 18-49, 10.8 million viewers overall) edged down a bit in its third episode.

NBC started slowly with originals of “Will & Grace” (3.0/8 in 18-49, 7.0 million viewers overall) and “Four Kings” (3.1/8 in 18-49, 6.3 million viewers overall) but picked up in the middle hour with “My Name is Earl” (5.0/12 in 18-49, 10.4 million viewers overall) and “The Office” (4.6/11 in 18-49, 8.6 million viewers overall). “Office” built on its “Earl” lead-in among adults 18-34 for the first time, and both comedies led their slots in men 18-34.

The 100th episode of the WB’s “Smallville” soared to season highs (2.7/7 in 18-49, 6.1 million viewers overall) and the show’s best score in adults 18-34 (3.2/10) since November 2004.

Fox’s revamped lineup showed a little more growth, with both “That ’70s Show” (2.8/8 in 18-49, 5.7 million viewers overall) and “The OC” (2.9/7 in 18-49, 5.7 million viewers overall) posting their best slot results to date.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: CBS, 6.3/16; ABC, 4.0/10; NBC, 3.7/10; Fox, 2.9/7; WB, 2.4/6; UPN, 0.9/2.

In total viewers: CBS, 20.4 million; ABC, 14.4 million; NBC, 8.0 million; Fox, 5.7 million; WB, 5.2 million; UPN, 2.5 million.

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