Fox flops on Thursday

Morning Ratings Flash -- Rick Kissell

ABC, CBS and NBC all had reason to be happy with their opening-night sweep performances Thursday, but Fox bombed with its return to an entertainment lineup following baseball. The Alphabet led in young adults and CBS prevailed in total viewers.

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, “Survivor: Cook Islands” captured the opening hour (5.5 rating/14 share in adults 18-49, 15.6 million viewers overall) but was down more than 10% vs. a year ago. Picking up some of those viewers were ABC with its strong rookie “Ugly Betty” (4.4/11 in 18-49, 13.7 million viewers overall) and NBC’s comedy block of “My Name Is Earl” (4.1/11 in 18-49, 9.6 million viewers overall) and “The Office” (4.2/10 in 18-49, 8.9 million viewers overall), with both nets rising year to year.

Fox was an afterthought of viewers both in the leadoff hour with first-year comedies “Til Death” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 4.3 million viewers overall) and “Happy Hour” (1.4/3 in 18-49, 3.2 million viewers overall) and at 9 with the season preem of vet sudser “The OC” (1.5/3 in 18-49, 3.4 million viewers overall). Net was beaten on the night by Univision, which delivered its best numbers of the season from 8 to 11 with the Latin Grammys (2.6/6 in 18-49, 5.5 million viewers overall).

ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” (9/21 in 18-49, 21.0 million viewers overall) again rolled in demos during the 9 o’clock hour, with CBS vet “CSI” a solid second (6.9/16 in 18-49, 20.5 million viewers overall) and closing in on the medical drama in total viewers. NBC’s “Deal or No Deal” was on the high side (4.6/11 in 18-49, 13.1 million viewers overall) as a contestant walked away with more than $300,000.

And at 10, NBC’s “ER” (5.6/15 in 18-49, 13.8 million viewers overall) was down year-to-year but won easily in key demos over rookie dramas “Shark” (3.7/10 in 18-49, 13.2 million viewers overall) and “Six Degrees” (3.2/9 in 18-49, 7.6 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 5.6/14; CBS, 5.3/13; NBC, 4.8/12; Univision, 2.6/6; CW, 1.8/4; Fox, 1.5/4.

In total viewers: CBS, 16.4 million; ABC, 14.1 million; NBC, 12.0 million; Univision, 5.5 million; CW, 4.2 million; Fox, 3.6 million.

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