CBS won a close ratings race in the key 18-49 demo Wednesday night on the strength of its CSI: Crime Scene Investigation franchise, primarily CSI: NY, which was the night's top show in the demo, as well as households, with a 6.9 rating/18 share.
CBS averaged a 4.9/13 in 18-49s, to NBC's 4.8/13 and ABC's 4.7/12. NBC's top show was The Apprentice, which won its 9-10 p.m. time period with a 6.2/16. CBS's CSI was second with a 5.2/13, though it was a solid first in households.
ABC's Lost found its audience again. In its second outing, the drama, which combines a script with the sort of island-bound psychological interplay found in reality shows like Survivor, averaged a 6.2/18, building strongly in its second half hour (a 6.8/19).
Lost won the time period easily (by more than double the next closest competitor), with the second through sixth places unusually close. Only a half a rating point separated netlet UPN's last-place finisher, America's Next Top Model (a 2.1), from the number two-ranked time period performers, a tie between NBC's Hawaii and the average of two Fox sitcoms, That 70's Show and Quintuplets (2.6).
ABC's Wife Swap averaged a 4.9/13 at 10-11, outperforming Fox's Trading Spouses, which on Tuesday night (at 8, when audiences are usually smaller), got a 3.5/10.
Fox came in a fairly distant fourth for the night in 18-49, with a 2.5/7. It's top show was That 70's Show at a 2.8/8.
The WB and UPN tied with a 1.9/5 in 18-49. UPN's top show was Top Model with a 2.1/6, while The WB's big show was Smallville, with a 2.6/7. WB needed all of that rating to compensate for the little hill that was The Mountain (1.3/3).