CBS, NBC outpace the pack Thursday


Thursday nights have become a two-network race -- CBS and NBC tied in
household ratings and share for the night, although CBS had a slight edge in the
total-viewer count. In the key demos, NBC was first but CBS was a competitive
second, while ABC and Fox barely showed on the Nielsen Media Research radar

Both CBS and NBC have attracted a huge audience base this season on Thursday nights
-- between them, they attracted an average 44 million viewers this past Thursday night.
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation on CBS was the most-watched show with 30 million viewers, while its
lead-in, Survivor, was the second-most-watched with 26 million. ER and Friends were also big draws with audiences of 25.3
million and 25.5 million, respectively.

NBC won the first hour of prime with Friends and Scrubs. At 8
p.m., Friends dominated the key demos, although at 8:30 p.m., the second
half of Survivor overtook Scrubs across most of the key ratings

At 9 p.m., CSI on CBS was the clear winner, with 12 million more
viewers than Will & Grace and 15 million more than
Good Morning, Miami on NBC. In the key adult demos, CSI had a 2-rating-point advantage with adults 18 through 49 and a 4-point advantage with
adults 25 through 54 from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. The networks were virtually tied among
adults 18 through 34.

At 10 p.m., ER turned the tide to NBC's favor. About 15 million
viewers bailed from CBS, while NBC added 8 million. Still, the demos for
Without a Trace on CBS would look like winners in most time periods,
except against ER. which more than doubled Trace's 18-through-49
and 25-through-54 ratings.

Meanwhile, ABC (with Monk, the soon-to-be-gone Push, Nevada and
20/20) and Fox (with a Fastlane repeat and an America's Most
special on the Washington, D.C.-area sniper) battled to stay out of fourth.
ABC had better circulation, while the two networks were nip and tuck in the key
adult demos but miles behind CBS and NBC.

For the night, the Nielsen fast affiliate household ratings: CBS and NBC
13.8/22; ABC 4.1/7; Fox 2.8/4.

Adults 18 through 9: NBC 10.6/27, CBS 8.5/22, Fox 2.0/5 and ABC 1.8/5.

Adults 25 through 54: NBC 10.9/25, CBS 9.9/23, ABC 2.2/5 and Fox 2.0/5.

Adults 18 through 34: NBC 10.6/30, CBS 7.1/20, Fox 1.8/5 and ABC 1.4/4.

Meanwhile, Nielsen's metered-market ratings showed that UPN's SmackDown!
averaged a 4.6 household rating and a 7 share from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. In the same time
period, The WB Television Network's comedy block (Family Affair, Do Over, Jamie Kennedy and
Off Centre) averaged a 1.9/3.