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James Hibberd

'CSI,' 'Without a Trace' Crossover Solves Ratings Mystery

November 9, 2007 10:38 AM

CSI (CBS)Two of CBS’s tough-talking, middle-aged, sunglass-wearing crime fighters teamed up last night to overthrow ABC’s Thursday-night lineup, despite “Grey’s Anatomy” once again scoring the highest series rating.

Back-to-back crossover episodes of “CSI” and “Without a Trace” teamed William Petersen and Anthony LaPaglia’s lead characters for the first time and helped give the network the nightly ratings trophy among adults 18 to 49.

Not that CBS’ 8 p.m. was any slouch. “Survivor” was down a tick from last week but continues to win the hour (with a 4.8 preliminary rating in 18 to 49). “CSI” had the highest rating since its premiere (6.4) and “Without a Trace” had its best since March 2006. The real mystery is whether “Trace” will see a ratings bump from the crossover next week.

ABC was second, with “Ugly Betty” up a notch from last week (3.5), “Grey’s” down slightly against “CSI” (7.9) and “Big Shots” (3.6). “Shots” was down two pegs from its preliminary rating last week, which is a more accurate comparison than the nationals because ABC once again pushed seven minutes of “Grey’s” into the hour. Last week the show dropped from 3.6 in the prelims to 3.1 when adjusted for the time shift.

The first hour of NBC’s comedy block was on par, with “My Name Is Earl” (3.3) and “30 Rock” (3.1), but “The Office” (4.3) and “Scrubs” (3.2) had their lowest rating of the season up against the crime crossover. “ER” matched its low (3.5).

Fox, coming in fourth, had “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader,” flat from last week’s two-hour edition (2.6), and “Don’t Forget the Lyrics,” up 21 percent from its most recent original last month (2.3).

The CW’s “Smallville” (1.8) and “Supernatural” (1.2) were on par among adults 18 to 49, but down a tad in their key demos.


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Comments (6)


Smallville: I think viewers are tired of the love story crap....they ought to do what they do best...Action.


Are you happy? Your CSI beat out my Grey's!!


Susan Mattison:

I watch "Without a Trace" and don't watch "CSI" so this stunt programming went on without me. I just skipped "Trace" this week.

Hey CBS! I'd like to see "NCIS" crossover with "Criminal Minds" ---

Hey CBS! I'd like to see "NCIS" crossover with "Criminal Minds" ---

Apres Ski:

Hey, CBS, I'd like to see Ghost Whisperer & Without a Trace on the CBS website so I could watch the full shows when my VCR goes on the fritz.

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