Once again, Thursday night is looking like a two-network battle between NBC
NBC won Thursday night -- "Premiere Thursday" -- across the key ratings
categories, while CBS was a strong No. 2 and ABC and Fox were also-rans.
NBC took the first hour with the season premieres of hit sitcoms
Friends at 8 p.m. EST and Will & Grace at 9 p.m.
CBS won the 9 p.m.-10 p.m. hour with the return of CSI: Crime Scene
Investigation, which reigned as the most-watched show of the night,
attracting 26.7 million viewers.
From 9 p.m.-9:30 p.m., Will & Grace gave up the total-viewers lead
but held on to first place in the key adult demographics.
From 9:30 p.m.-10 p.m., however, the second half of CSI captured the
demo lead from the premiere of Coupling, the British import that NBC has
high hopes for.
At 10 p.m., medical drama ER was tops across the board, followed by
CBS’ Without a Trace and ABC’s PrimeTime Live.
For the night, NBC was down 10% in household rating versus a year ago and
CBS was down 2%, while ABC was up 22% (albeit from a very low base).
Fox aired reality show Temptation Island and placed fourth among
adults 18-49 and 18-34 but finished fifth in households behind UPN’s wrestling
offering, Smackdown!, which was fifth in the demos.
The WB Television Network was sixth across the board with Steve Harvey’s Big Time,
JKX: The Jamie Kennedy Experiment, What I Like About You and Run of the
For the night, the Nielsen Media Research fast-affiliate total-viewer averages: NBC 21.2
million, CBS 21 million, ABC 7 million, UPN 4.5 million, Fox 3.5 million and
WB 2.7 million.
Adults 18-49: NBC 10.3 rating/27 share, CBS 7.6/20, ABC 2.3/6, Fox 1.9/5, UPN
1.5/4 and WB 0.9/2.