In its best week so far this season, CBS strengthened its lead in households
and narrowed the gap on NBC in adults 18 through 49, according to Nielsen Media
From Oct. 7 through 13, CBS scored an 8.9 rating/15 share in households
versus NBC's 8.3/14. And in 18 through 49, CBS' 4.2/11 is only 0.7 ratings
points away from NBC's 4.9/13.
CBS' gaining strength was led by CSI: Crime Scene Investigation's
first victory over NBC's Friends as the week's top program, as well as
good performances from the rest of its Thursday-night lineup.
CBS' strong Monday- and Tuesday-night lineups also are propelling the
'Tiffany Network' to the top of the ratings heap. CBS said it hasn't won the
first three weeks of a fall season since 1992-93.
NBC is seeing some soft spots in its schedule, with viewership for older
shows such as TheWest Wing and ER fading and CBS chipping
away at Friends' dominance.
But all three of NBC's Law & Order franchises are proving strong:
Each show wins the night for NBC in viewers and adults 18 through 49 with
original Law & Order Wednesday at 10 p.m., Law & Order:
Special Victims Unit Friday at 10 p.m. and Law & Order: Criminal
Intent Sunday at 9 p.m.
While ABC still has problems on most nights of the week, it is seeing strong
performances on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. The alphabet network's
Tuesday-night lineup last week again won in adults 18 through 49 with a 5.2/14
over NBC's second-place 4.3/12.
The performance of The Bachelor on Wednesday at 9 p.m. against NBC's
West Wing was particularly surprising, with Bachelor winning in
adults 18 through 49 with a 6.4/16 against Wing's 5.3/13.
Last week's Major League Baseball playoffs kept Fox in the No. 3 slot in
households with a 6.7/11, beating ABC, which turned up a 6.4/10.
But Fox lost out in adults 18 through 49, scoring fourth place with a 3.4/9
for the week and losing to ABC's 3.9/11. Still, baseball brings in male viewers
for Fox, which won the week in men 18 through 49, 18 through 34 and 25 through
The WB Television Network continued its surprising fall season, last week
achieving its best-ever weekly rating in adults 18 through 34 with a 2.7/8, good
enough for fourth place in the demo ahead of Fox and UPN.
The WB increased its total viewers last week 20 percent to 5.2 million
viewers over the same time period last year. The network also jumped 29 percent
in adults 18 through 34 over last year, 17 percent in persons 12 through 34 (The
WB's key demo) and 11 percent in teens.
UPN, meanwhile, remained in last place across the board, with a 2.6/4 in
households for the week, a 1.7/5 in adults 18 through 49 and a 1.8/6 in adults
18 through 34.