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ABC beats CBS in close ratings race

Crossover episodes down from last week

Although the crossover episodes of “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Private Practice” didn’t fare as well as the previous week, ABC captured the Thursday night ratings race by narrowly defeating CBS. Fox was third and NBC, in repeating “The Office” and “30 Rock,” came in fourth.

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, “Grey’s Anatomy” earned a 5.8 rating/14 share in the 18-49 demo, with 15.3 million total viewers watching. It was the best-rated show in the demo for the night and on par with last Thursday. “Private Practice” (4.4/12, 11.3 million total viewers) however, took a hit, with the rating falling 23% from last week and losing just fewer than 3 million total viewers.

That being said, “Practice” was easily No. 1 in the 10 p.m. slot. Both CBS’ “Eleventh Hour” and NBC’s “ER” each earned an identical 2.7/7, with “Hour” garnering 11.2 million viewers and “ER” 7.4 million.

At 9 p.m., “CSI” (4.4/11) was the most-watched program of the night, with 16.8 million viewers tuning in. Week three of Fox’s “Hell’s Kitchen” (3.2/8, 6.5 million total viewers) remains steady and defeated NBC’s repeats of “The Office” (2.7/7, 5.8 million total viewers) and Emmy winner “30 Rock” (2.1/5, 4.8 million total viewers).

In the second week of its new season, “Survivor” (4.3/12 13.2 million total viewers) remained on course and took the 8 o’clock hour, defeating Fox’s resilient “Bones” (2.9/8, 9.5 million total viewers). “Ugly Betty” (2.0/6, 7.2 million total viewers) fell a bit from last Thursday and continues its decline after launching impressively in 2006. NBC’s sitcoms “My Name Is Earl” (2.6/7, 6.7 million total viewers) and “Kath & Kim” (2.2/6, 5.1 million total viewers) nudged ahead of “Betty.”

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 4.2/11; CBS, 3.9/10; Fox, 3/8; NBC, 2.5/7; Univision, 1.6/5; CW, 0.8/2.

In total viewers: CBS, 13.9 million; ABC, 11.4 million; Fox, 8 million; NBC, 6.2 million; Univision, 4.6 million; CW, 2.1 million.

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