Few Indulge in CBS' Papal Portrait


On a night when not a lot of people were watching any network TV, ABC won the 18-49 demo Wednesday with a 3.3 rating/9 share average, one of the lower winning ratings averages in recent memory.

On a night of mostly new shows, the standout was instead ABC's repeat of Lost, which was the night's top-rated show at a 4.1/10. UPN also scored with the finale of Next Top Model, averaging a 2.9/8 at 8-9 for second place among all networks.

The big disappointment again was Pope John Paul. The second part of the critically acclaimed miniseries was the lowest-rated show at 8-9 among all networks and netlets at a 1.3/3, though its second half (9-10) did manage to beat a repeat of Related on The WB and Veronica Mars on UPN.

For the night, part II of the papal miniseries registered only a 1.4/4. That was also down from part I of the mini, which recorded a 1.6 rating/4 share on Sunday night at 9:30-11:30 (delayed by a football overrun).

Coincidentally, ABC's own papal mini, which aired last Wednesday (it was a one-parter), also at 8-10, recorded the same 1.4/4 overnight average as CBS' part II, though CBS ekes out a win when both of its airings are combined.

Fox took second on the night with a 3.1, thanks to a strong performance from a new Trading Spouses at 9-10 (3.3/8) and a time-period-winning outing from That '70s Show, with a 3.3/9 at 8. Interestingly, Lost lost  audience from its first half hour (4.3/11) to its second (3.9/10), while Trading Spouses traded up sharply over the same stretch, going from a 3.0/8 to a 3.7/9.

NBC was third on the night with a 2.9/8. Its top show was Law & Order at 10 with a time-period-winning 3.7/10.

UPN edged out CBS for fourth with a 2.1/6 for Tyra and company plus Veronica Mars, while CBS was fifth with a 2/5, getting a little help from CSI:NY's second-place finish at 10 (3.2/8).

The WB was sixth with a 1.2/3 for One Tree Hill and a repeat of Related.