CBS rode Survivor to a split victory with NBC on the opening night of the May sweeps period.
Survivor: The Australian Outback drew 26 million viewers and outdistanced the competition in its time period on Thursday night among adults 18-49 with a 10.6 rating, 30 share. Friends hit a 7.9/23 and drew 16.3 million, while The Weber Show pulled a 5.7/15 with 11.7 million viewers. C.S.I.: Crime Scene Investigation continued to capitalize on its Survivor lead-in, drawing 22.2 million viewers with an 8.7/22.
But E.R. anchored the night for NBC with a 12.4/32 and 25 million viewers. And Will & Grace (8.7/22) and Just Shoot Me (8.3/20) showed renewed strength among 18-49ers.
So NBC won the night among the 18-49 crowd with a 9.2 average rating to CBS's 7.7. CBS took the night in total viewers, averaging 19.4 million viewers to NBC's 18.1 million. ABC averaged only 9.2 million viewers on the night, with Who Wants To Be a Millionaire? drawing a relatively middling 13.5 million viewers. - Richard Tedesco