NBC won the Nielsen Media Research ratings battle Thursday night, and the
only serious competitor among the six networks was CBS.
Roughly one-half of the viewers in the key adult demos (18 through 34, 18 through 49
and 25 through 54) were tuned to NBC or CBS throughout the night.
NBC got off to huge start at 8 p.m. with the premiere of Friends, which
scored a 20.1 household rating and a 31 share of audience and averaged a 40
share among the key demos.
From 8 p.m. to 9 p.m., CBS averaged about a 20 share in key adult demos with
ABC premiered Monk at 8 p.m. and it placed a distant third or fourth in the
key demos. But with ABC, everything is relative, and Monk's household
rating was 31 percent higher than the premiere of Whose Line Is It Anyway a year ago.
CBS won the 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. hour with CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, beating
the combination of Will & Grace and Good Morning Miami
overall across most of the key ratings categories, although Will &
Grace had slightly better adult-18-through-49 numbers and way better 18-through-34 numbers.
Push, Nevada on ABC was down 43 percent in households from the prior
week, to a 5.1/8, and it was fourth in the key demos.
ER dominated at 10 p.m., although Without a Trace on CBS put up solid
second-place numbers. The rest of the pack were also-rans. Fox was the only
network not airing original fare -- it repeated the movie Rush Hour,
which averaged 2-plus ratings in the key demos, good enough to beat ABC in the 8 p.m.
to 10 p.m. time period.
The Nielsen fast affiliate household numbers for the night: NBC 15.6/24,
CBS 13.7/21, Fox 4.2/6 and ABC 4.1/6.
Adults 18 through 49: NBC 12.3/29, CBS 8.5/20, Fox 2.5/6 and ABC 1.6/4.
Adults 25 through 54: NBC 12.6/27, CBS 10.2/22, Fox 2.2/5 and ABC 1.9/4.
Adults 18 through 34: NBC 12.7/33, CBS 6.8/17, Fox 2.8/7 and ABC 1.3/3.
Meanwhile, in Nielsen's metered markets, UPN averaged a 4.1/6 with the young-male-skewing SmackDown! wrestling show.
The WB Television Network's comedy block (Family Affair, Do Over, Jamie Kennedy
Project and Off Centre) averaged a 2.2/3.