For the second night in a row, ABC won the prime-time Nielsen Media Research ratings in the key 18-49 demo, and this time it added narrow household and total-viewer victories primarily on the strength of Monday Night Football (CBS won Sunday in household ratings and viewers).
The caveat is that the early Nielsen ratings returns will probably change slightly when the West Coast numbers for the football game are tallied.
ABC averaged a 5.2/13 Monday for football and a behind-the-scenes Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (4.3/11) to edge NBC in the demo for the night (5.1/13). ABC also averaged an 8.8 household rating/13 share to edge out CBS in that category (8.7/13, again at least in the early returns).
NBC's second-place finish in 18-49's was primarily on the strength of an 8-9 time period victory from Fear Factor (4.9-13) and again from a Saturday Night Live presidential debate spoof special (5.9/15 at 10-11). In between, NBC's LasVegas managed a third-place finish with a 4.7/11 at 9-10.
CBS was in third with a 4.3/11 for an all repeat night (sitcoms and CSI) a strategy mirrored by co-owned UPN.
Fox was fourth with a 3.2/8 for reality shows Trading Spouses and The Swan, followed by The WB in fifth with a 2.2/5 for Seventh Heaven and Everwood, and UPN in Sixth with an all-repeat sitcom lineup.