TCA: CBS Takes Top Spot in 18-49 Demo

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CBS executives touted what even they expect is a temporary move into the lead in the adult 18-49 demo ratings race Thursday at the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, Calif.

"We are fighting," said CBS scheduling chief Kelly Kahl. "A lot of people still write ‘The older-skewing CBS,’ and we have the chance to point out we are number one in 18-49, we are going to do that."

But even with football’s AFC title game and Super Bowl and the Grammy Awards coming up, CBS execs acknowledged the lead is temporary and that Fox will program as many hours of American Idol as it needs to win the 18-49 season crown.

"I would do the same thing," laughed Nancy Tellem, president of the CBS Paramount Network Television Entertainment Group.

CBS plans on keeping its schedule virtually untouched the remainder of the season. The February 5 debut of comedy Rules of Engagement is the only scripted show currently slated to launch for the rest of the season, though Kahl said there are some reality projects that could debut.

Other highlights from the CBS press tour session:

· CBS once again reiterated its stance that it will not add a fourth hour of the CSI franchise.

· Clips of CBS shows on You Tube are attracting approximately one million views per day.

· CBS is still looking at bringing back another version of music reality show Rock Star.