Return of 'Grey’s Anatomy' and 'CSI' Top Thursday
September 28, 2007 11:23 AM
ABC’s top-rated “Grey’s Anatomy” returned with the highest-rated premiere of the new season, but the network’s Thursday-night lineup endured time-period declines that allowed CBS to edge out a victory for the night.
Having shed two of its regular cast members this season, “Grey’s” came back to an 8.7 preliminary rating among adults 18 to 49. “Grey’s” was the highest-rated show of the evening, though down 21 percent compared to last year. Lead-in “Ugly Betty” was down 24 percent, earning a 3.8. Freshman premiere “Big Shots” earned a 4.7, placing it in the upper echelon of new series premieres, but the show lost a precarious 46 percent of its lead in and fell 26 percent in its second half hour.
Though ABC had the highest-rated show, CBS was taking a victory lap this morning. After getting beat up in the press all week for declines on returning veteran series, executives were relieved their lineup’s performance came back strong despite heavy competition.
Resolving a cliffhanger from May, “CSI” returned to an 8.0 rating, up 4 percent from last year. At 8 p.m., “Survivor: China” won its hour with a 4.6 and fell only 8 percent from last week’s premiere. At 10 p.m., “Without a Trace” matched last year’s 4.8.
Unlike Wednesday, when a 9 p.m. time-period struggle resulted in a ratings battlefield littered with casualties, last night three major shows managed to post top-shelf returns during a heavily contested hour.: Despite going up against "Grey's" and "CSI," NBC's one-hour version of "The Office" at 9 p.m. matched the show's series high with a 5.1 and was up 19 percent over its 8:30 p.m. debut last year.
Overall, NBC was in third place for the night. The premiere of “My Name Is Earl” earned a 3.7, down just a tick from last year. The return of “ER” was a disaster, falling 40 percent to 4.1, and finishing last in the hour.
With all the competition, Fox’s game show lineup was pummeled. “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader” posted a 2.0 and “Don’t Forget the Lyrics” had a 1.8.
The premiere of The CW’s “Smallville” was down slightly from last year to a 1.9. A “Reaper” encore at 9 p.m. had a 1.0—pretty good considering the lethal time period and that the Tuesday premiere only got a 1.5.