Primetime Ratings: Fox Wins But Gap Narrows

'Survivor' and 'CSI' help boost CBS

Fox won the ratings battle again Thursday night with a one-hour episode of American Idol in the early 8 p.m. time slot, though the margin of victory was smaller than the network's usual dominance on nights when Idol is programmed.

American Idol beat out CBS's Survivor in the 8 p.m. hour, pulling a 7.0/19 compared to Survivor's 3.9/11. The 21.9 million average viewers Fox drew in the 8:30-9:00 p.m. half-hour was tops for the night. ABC was third at 8 with a 1.9/5 for Ugly Betty. NBC earned a fourth-place 1.5/4 for the hour with Secrets of the Furious Five (1.4/4) at 8 and Kath & Kim (1.5/4) at 8:30. The CW aired a re-run of Smallville for a 0.7/2.

At 9 p.m. CBS rose to tie Fox for first place, both networks delivered a 4.3/11 for CSI and Hell's Kitchen, respectively. CSI drew 17.8 million viewers for the hour, tops of any non-Idol program. NBC was third at 2.6/7, programming half-hour blocks of an Office re-run (2.4/6) and a new episode of 30 Rock (2.9/7). ABC ran a Grey's Anatomy re-run, finishing fourth on the hour at 2.2/6. The CW's re-run of Supernatural came in fifth with a 0.8/2.

NBC took first place at 10 p.m. with ER delivering 3.3/9. CBS was second at 2.9/8 with Eleventh Hour (first in total viewers for the hour at 11.7 million). A re-run of Private Practice on ABC drew a 1.5/4 for third place.

Overall for the night Fox earned a 5.7/15 in the 18-49 demo, two rating points ahead of CBS at 3.7/10. Fox was also first in total viewers (15.3 million) but CBS was less than 1.5 million viewers behind (13.9 million). NBC finished third with a 2.5/7; ABC was fourth pulling a 1.9/5; and the CW finished fifth at 0.7/2.