ABC's Grey's Anatomy was the top-rated show of the night in the 18-49 demo with a 7.4 rating/18 share, according to overnight Nielsen Media Research numbers, but CBS' lineup of Survivor (4.4/13), CSI (6.3/16), and Without a Trace (3.8/11) was able to eke out a nightly win with a 4.9 rating/13 share in the demo compared with ABC's 4.8/13.
In what is becoming a pattern for some big-ticket shows, both Grey's Anatomy and CSI were down from their premieres the week before, when Grey's recorded an 8.7/21 and CSIan 8/19.
Viewing was down sharply in the 10 p.m. hour, as well, with Trace having recorded a 4.8 rating the week before to nip ABC's Big Shots at a 4.7. Big Shots fell to a 3.7 Thursday night.
But with advertisers increasingly looking to the time-shifted digital-video-recorder ratings that won't be available for more than one week, close races in essence remain too close to call.
NBC was third for the night with a 3.8/10, led by The Office at a 4.5/11. The network was touting the season premiere of 30 Rock, a bubble show last year that it decided to stick with. It set a series record in the 18-49 demo with a 3.4/9.
Fox averaged a 2.1/5. Smarter than a Fifth Grader averaged a 2.3/7, but Don't Forget the Lyrics had a forgettable 1.8/4 outing against Grey's and CSI from 9 p.m.-10 p.m.
The CW was fifth with a 1.5/4, led by Smallville (1.8/5).