CBS Wins Sweeps Debut

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CBS won Thursday night easily, the first night of the important May sweeps, taking every half hour but the very last with its lineup of Survivor, CSI, and Without a Trace.

CBS averaged a 6.6 rating/18 share of viewers in the key 18-49 demo. Its top show, and the night's as well, was CSI at an 8.4/22 at 9-10.

NBC was a distant second at a 4/11 for its lineup of sitcoms and ER, which was the only show to top CBS with a 5.3/15 for its second half-hour to a 5.2/14 for CBS' Without a Trace, though since the numbers are preliminary Nielsen metered-market overnights, even that slim victory is not a done deal.

Fox was third with a 2.3/6 for That 70's Show and The O.C.

ABC, whose Thursday night fortunes had been trending up after Dancing With the Stars and early returns from  American Inventor, came in fourth, with back-to-back Inventor episodes and Commander in Chief.Inventor was down in the 8-9 hour from its airing last week, only able to muster a 1.6/5 for fifth place. It's 9-10 episode did much better at a 3/8 for third place, but was still down from the week before and far below its initial ratings, which topped a 6 rating at one point.

The WB was fifth with a 1.7/5; UPN was sixth with a 1/3.

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