NBC Regains Ratings Footing

Feb 17, 2006  •  Post A Comment

After losing two consecutive nights to Fox in the adults 18 to 49 demographic and in total viewers, NBC was once again the winner in both demos Thursday, thanks to its seventh day of Winter Olympics coverage. But the highest-rated program of the night was not footage from the games in Turin, Italy, but a repeat of CBS’s 9 p.m. (ET) procedural drama “CSI.”

“CSI” scored a 6.4 in adults 18 to 49, a number that includes live-plus-same-day viewing, according to Nielsen Media Research. The No. 2 show for the night was CBS’s 8 p.m. reality series “Survivor: Panama-Exile Island” (6.3), followed by NBC’s Olympics coverage (6.1), and ABC’s 90-minute reality competition “Dancing With the Stars” (5.4).

NBC’s Olympics coverage, which began at 8:30 p.m. and featured the men’s figure skating and men’s snowboard cross finals, placed third in the 8:30 half-hour and second during the 9 p.m. hour. During the 10 p.m. hour, the games beat the second half of a “Grey’s Anatomy” repeat (3.6) and a half-hour version of “Primetime” (2.6) on ABC and CBS’s “Without a Trace” (4.5).

Without “American Idol” and relying on the third run of the feature “Legally Blonde,” Fox was no longer the dominant player it had been earlier in the week. The WB’s “Smallville,” which featured the introduction of the DC Comics character Cyborg, came in fourth in the 8 p.m. time period with a 2.8, beating out Fox’s “Blonde” performance in the hour (1.9).

NBC was tops for the night in adults 18 to 49 with a 6.2, followed by CBS (5.7), ABC (4.2), The WB (2.5) and UPN (1.2).