Peacock Pecks Away at CBS


CBS won the Nielsen Media Research overnight prime-time ratings Thursday night in the advertiser-friendly 18-49 demo, but thanks to a new ER on NBC, its string of sweeping every half-hour daypart was ended after three weeks.

NBC closed the gap considerably between first and second on the night. Last week, CBS averaged a 7.6/21 to NBC's 4.0/11. This week, it was CBS 6.8/19, NBC 5.6/15.

CBS built strongly every half-hour from 8 to 10, including a 9.5/24 for a CSI episode that looked suspiciously like the pilot for yet another spin-off: CSI: L.A. (a show star paid a visit to L.A. to solve a crime with the help of investigators there, the same scenario that launched CSI: NY, though a CBS spokesman says that isn't the case here).

Fox was third with a 2.5/7. Its top show was The O.C., with a 3.1/9, tied for second at 8-9, up from its 2.7/8 the week before.

UPN was fourth with a 1.9/5, beating ABC for the second week in a row with its WWE Smackdown wrestling. ABC averaged a 1.7/5, with Prime Time its top show, as it was last Thursday night, at a 2.2/6.

The WB was sixth with a 1.1/3 for Blue Collar TV.