NBC Wins Thursday-Night Ratings Race


NBC won Thursday night across the key categories with Friends, a 90-minute edition of The Apprentice, the new midseason reality show where competitors vie for a job with Donald Trump, and ER.

CBS was second with a repeat and an original episode of CSI and Without A Trace. The first half-hour of Apprentice beat the CSI repeat, but up against an original CSI from 9 to 10 p.m., Apprentice was second in most of the key categories (exception: adults 18-34, where it was first).

Everybody else fell into the also-ran department. UPN was a distant third among adults 18-34 and tied ABC for distant third among adults 18-49 with wrestling, according to the Nielsen Fast Affiliate ratings. ABC aired Threat Matrix, Extreme Makeover and Primetime Thursday. Fox was fifth in both adults 18-34 and 18-49 (ahead of only The WB) with Tru Calling and two Simple Life repeats. The WB picked up the rear with Steve Harvey, All About the Andersons, Jamie Kennedy and Run of the House.

For the night, the Nielsen fast affiliate averages, viewers: NBC, 21.3 million; CBS, 20.7 million; ABC, 6.8 million; UPN, 5.4 million; Fox, 4 million; The WB, 2.8 million.