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Oct 4, 2002  •  Post A Comment

Posted Friday, October 4

‘Survivor: Thailand’ tightens Thursday race

CBS continued to ratchet up the stakes Thursday night, narrowing NBC’s hold on the evening in adults 18 to 49 and total viewers for the second time in the new season.

Backed by strong second-week ratings for “Survivor: Thailand” and solid year-to-year growth for the 10 p.m. (ET) drama “Without A Trace,” CBS’s 21.4 million total viewer average narrowed NBC’s lead to 6 percent in head count (22.6 million). According to final national Nielsen Media Research data, CBS’s growth in total viewers year to year is a startling 65 percent. It should be noted, however, that at this time last year “Survivor: Africa” had only aired its debut episode-a preview clip show-while this year, new episodes of “Survivor: Thailand” have been airing for three weeks.

The 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. time period last night heated up as “Survivor: Thailand ” posted a second-ranked 8.9 rating/22 share among adults 18 to 49, which represented a 3 percent improvement over its week-ago score (8.6/21). Building on a historical trend, “Survivor: Thailand” improved by 34 percent from its first to second half-hour frames in adults 18 to 49 (7.6/20 vs. 10.2/25) . “Survivor: Thailand” grew by 22 percent in total viewers in the same spans (19.0 million vs. 23.9 million).

NBC’s “Friends” opened the 8 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. frame with a typically top-ranked 14.6/38 score in adults 18 to 49, although that marked an expected 12 percent decrease from last week’s season opener (16.6/41). Like last week, viewer migration to “Survivor 5” had it holding a 5 percent margin over NBC’s 8:30 p.m. lead-out “Scrubs” (9.7/24), which also dropped 11 percent week to week in adults 18 to 49.

Similar to last week, “Scrubs” maintained 66 percent of “Friends'” adult 18 to 49 demos. NBC is said by network sources to be concerned if retention falls below 60 percent in coming weeks. For the same week last year, NBC’s departed “Inside Schwartz” had 70 percent retention out of “Friends” in adults 18 to 49 (10.3/26 vs. 14.7/41).

Also during the 8 p.m. hour last night, ABC’s second-week, repurposed run of “Monk” (from USA Network) posted an optimistic 23 jump week to week in adults 18 to 49 (2.1/6 vs. 1.7/4). The “defective detective” Adrian Monk, played by Tony Shalhoub, moved up 7 percent week to week (7.5 million vs. 7.0 million)-despite the heavyweight NBC and CBS competition.

For the 9 p.m. hour, CBS’s second week of “CSI” settled down 7 percent week to week with a winning adults 18 to 49 score from its previous season opener (10.7/25 vs. 11.5/26). NBC’s “Will & Grace” won the 9 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. frame in adults 18 to 49 (11.2/26), improving 2 percent from last week’s season opener (11.0/25). But NBC’s 8:30 p.m. freshman lead-out comedy, “Good Morning, Miami” dropped 7 percent week to week in adults 18 to 49 (8.3/20 vs. 8.9/20) while retaining 74 percent of “Will & Grace’s” lead-in (down from 81 percent retention last week).

ABC’s “Push, Nevada” appeared on the endangered list in posting a 1.5/5 in adults 18 to 49, although it was up 15 percent from last week’s miniscule 1.3/3 average at 9 p.m. Among total viewers, “Push” was actually down by 2 percent week to week (4.35 million vs. 4.45 million), however.

At 10 p.m. to 11 p.m., CBS’s “Without A Trace” was down 10 percent against last week’s series premiere in adults 18 to 49 (5.2/13 vs. 5.8/14), but its latest score still marked 62 percent improvement over year-ago week’s airing of “The Agency” (3.2/8). NBC’s “ER” still won the hour in adults 18 to 49 (12.1/20) and total viewers (25.5 million), although it was down by more than 7 percent week to week in both measures. ABC’s “Primetime Thursday” was up 16 percent week to week among adults 18 to 49 (2.2/5 vs. 1.9/5).

For the overall Thursday race, NBC led all comers in adults 18 to 49 (11.4/28), but was down 8 percent from week-prior (12.4/29) and 5 percent from the year-ago week (12.0/30). CBS’s second-ranked 8.3/20 score in adults 18 to 49 was down 4 percent from last week (8.7/21), but up a healthy 80 percent from last year (4.6/12). ABC’s fourth-ranked 1.9/5 was up 18 percent from the previous Thursday (1.6/4), but off 24 percent from the year-ago “Millionaire”-led lineup (2.5/6).

Fox’s entertainment lineup was preempted for game two of National League divisional playoff between the San Francisco Giants and Atlanta Braves, which posted third-ranked score adults 18 to 49 (2.0/5) and total viewers (6.6 million).