CBS Rides Reality to Ratings Win


Endings beat beginnings Tuesday night.

Season finales of Big Brother 5 and Emmy Award-winning Amazing Race propelled CBS to the top of the prime-time broadcast ratings.

The network won the night in total viewers, adults 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54. Big Brother 5 pulled in 10.4 million viewers, a 4.1 rating in adults 18-49 and a 4.6 rating in 25-54s, while the two-hour Amazing Race finale grabbed 12.2 million viewers, a 5.6 rating in adults 18-49 and 6.2 rating in adults 25-54, according to preliminary Nielsen ratings. 

NBC turned in a second-place performance, boosted by the season premiere of Law & Order: SVU, which grabbed 13.9 million viewers and a 5.2 rating in adults 18-49, on par with its premiere marks last fall. SVU triumphed in a head-to-head match-up with NYPD Blue on ABC. The final-season premiere of Blue garnered 9.6 million viewers and a 3.3 rating in 18-49s.

But in comedy face-offs in the 9 p.m. hour, ABC claimed victory over NBC.

The season premiere of According to Jim delivered 10.6 million viewers and a 4.2 rating in 18-49s, while NBC’s Father of the Pride posted 9.3 million viewers and a 3.9 rating in 18-49s. At 9:30 p.m., ABC’s new sitcom, Rodney, debuted to 9.8 million viewers and a 3.9 rating in the key demo, besting NBC’s quirky Scrubs, which delivered 8.4 million viewers and a 3.8 rating.

The WB had a good night with season premieres of Gilmore Girls and One Tree Hill. Gilmore attracted 6.2 million viewers and a 3.0 rating in the network’s target 12-34-year-old demo and One Tree Hill pulled in 5.2 million viewers and a 2.8 rating in the demo. Both were improvements over last fall’s premieres.

Fox’s Next Great Champ continues to struggle, with 4.8 million viewers and a 2.3 rating in adults 18-49.