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ABC, ‘Grey’s’ pace rating race

NBC's 'Southland' drops more viewers

May sweeps usually deliver a dearth of repeats, but Thursday’s primetime ratings were a virtual rerun from the previous week, with ABC again leading the way among viewers 18-49, according to preliminary nationals from Nielsen. “Grey’s Anatomy” was the top-ranked show in the demo, while timeslot rival “CSI” and its network CBS had the most viewers overall.

Perhaps most noteworthy on the night was the continued slow bleed of viewers by NBC’s Southland (2.1 rating/6 share in 18-49, 6.7 million overall). The cop drama, airing at 10 p.m. and considered a likely candidate for fall renewal, nevertheless has shed more than a quarter of its audience since its Apr. 16 premiere and trailed not only the season finale of ABC’s “Private Practice” (3.5/10, 9.8 million) but also a CBS repeat of “Criminal Minds” (2.4/7, 10.3 million). “Southland” did win its timeslot among men 18-49, however.

“Grey’s Anatomy” (5.0/13, 13.9 million) did its familiar dance with “CSI” (3.6/9, 15.3 million), winning 18-49 at 9 p.m., but trailing in overall viewers. NBC’s “The Office” (3.7/10, 7.3 million) slid into second place at the top of the hour ahead of “CSI” in 18-49, with “30 Rock” (2.9/7, 6.0 million) dropping slightly from the week prior. Fox’s “Hell’s Kitchen” (2.8/7, 7.0 million) was competitive with the NBC sitcoms.

CBS’ “Survivor” (3.6/11, 11.7 million) cruised at 8 p.m. ahead of Fox’s “Bones” (2.2/7, 8.8 million) and NBC’s “My Name Is Earl” (2.2/7, 5.3 million) and “Parks and Recreation” (2.3/7, 5.3 million). Numbers for the latter, in its fourth episode, are holding relatively steady.

For its part, the CW presented “Smallville” (1.4/4, 3.1 million) at 8 p.m. and “Supernatural” (1.3/3, 3.0 million) at 9. “Supernatural” showed a slight bump compared to the previous week.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC 3.5./10, CBS 3.2/9, Fox 2.5/7, NBC 2.5/7, Univision 1.7/5, CW 1.3/4.

In total viewers: CBS 12.5 million, ABC 10.2 million, Fox 7.9 million, NBC 6.2 million, Univision 4.1 million, CW 3.1 million.

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