ABC Rides Bears, Dolphins To Victory

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ABC’s first installment of Monday Night Football last night squeaked by second-helpings of CBS’ sitcoms and CSI: Miami among 18-49 year-old viewers, according to Nielsen overnight ratings data for Aug. 8, though the national ratings released later in the day could conceivably change the equation.

Kicking off its 36th—and last—season of MNF, ABC won the night with a three-hour broadcast that averaged a 3.3 rating and 9 share. The Chicago Bears rallied in the fourth quarter to beat the Miami Dolphins, 27-24, for the annual "Hall of Fame" preseason game held in Canton, Ohio.

CBS was a close second, posting a 3.2/9. At 8 p.m., the network aired repeats of The King of Queens (2.3/8) and Everybody Loves Raymond (2.8/8). Two half-hours of Two and Half Men followed at 9, with both episodes pulling a 3.4/9—enough to match ABC’s football numbers that hour.

CBS won the 10 o’clock hour with CSI: Miami (3.6/10).

NBC was in third place with a 2.0/6. It aired Fear Factor at 8 p.m., posting a 1.6/6. The 2005 Miss Teen USA pageant aired from 9-11 p.m., averaging a 2.1/6 as Ohio’s Allie LaForce took the crown. (The 16-year-old from Vermilion intends to study broadcast journalism in college, by the way.)

Fox took fourth place with 1.7/5. A two-hour block of Renovate My Family aired from 8-10 p.m. that spanned all of the network’s prime time programming.

The WB and UPN tied for last place with .8/2 apiece. The WB aired reruns of 7th Heaven (.9/3) at 8 and Summerland (.7/2) at 9. UPN offered up second helpings of One on One (.7/2) and All of Us (.8/2) at 8 p.m., and Girlfriends (.9/2) and Half and Half (.9/2) at 9 p.m.

Nielsen’s fast national data is preliminary and subject to change.

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