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ABC, CBS set Thursday pace

Ratings Flash - Rick Kissell

ABC and CBS were the clear standouts on the third Thursday of the February sweep, with the Alphabet’s “Grey’s Anatomy” and the Eye’s “CSI” posting the night’s top scores despite opposing each other. ABC again led in adults 18-49 and female categories, while CBS prevailed in adults 25-54, male categories and total viewers.

In the 9 o’clock hour, ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” (10.7 rating/25 share in adults 18-49, 25.6 million viewers overall) was again at the top of its game, logging its third best scores of the season and easily topping CBS’ still-formidable “CSI” (7.2/17 in 18-49, 22.5 million viewers overall). NBC was a distant third with “Scrubs” (3.0/7 in 18-49, 6.3 million viewers overall) and “30 Rock” (2.4/6 in 18-49, 5.0 million viewers overall), while Fox’s “The OC” ran fifth (1.6/4 in 18-49, 3.6 million viewers overall) and got no bump in the week prior to its series finale.

The 8 o’clock hour was one where three nets could be pleased with the results, led by CBS’ “Survivor: Fiji” (5.6/15 in 18-49, 16.4 million viewers overall), which was in line with its week-earlier premiere averages. ABC placed second in most catgories and first in some femme demos with the solid “Ugly Betty” (4.5/12 in 18-49, 13.6 million viewers overall), while NBC remained competitive with “My Name Is Earl” (3.9/11 in 18-49, 9.1 million viewers overall) and “The Office” (4.4/11 in 18-49, 8.8 million viewers overall).

CBS is making up ground at 10 o’clock with rookie drama “Shark” (4.3/12 in 18-49, 15.1 million viewers overall), which finished in its closest competitive finish yet opposite a firstrun seg of NBC’s “ER” (2.7/6 in 18-49, 5.6 million viewers overall) while tying the medical drama in adults 25-54 (5.4/13) and again leading the hour in total viewers. ABC ran third with “Men in Trees” (4.1/11 in 18-49, 11.2 million viewers overall), with the first-year skein positioned to hit highs for a second straight week.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 6.4/16; CBS, 5.7/14; NBC, 3.9/10; Fox, 1.9/5; CW, 1.7/4; Univision, 1.7/4.

In total viewers: CBS, 18.0 million; ABC, 16.8 million; NBC, 8.7 million; Fox, 4.4 million; CW, 4.1 million; Univision, 3.9 million.

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