CBS, ABC Top Thursday Night

Apr 27, 2007  •  Post A Comment

The May sweeps began with CBS winning Thursday night in total viewers, ABC winning the night in the 18-to-49 demographic that brings top advertising dollars, and NBC and Fox eating dust in both categories.

The CBS lineup of “Survivor: Fiji,” “CSI” and “Shark” won each half hour in total viewers to add up to an average of 16 million viewers for the night, according to early national data from Nielsen Media Research. CBS finished second in the 18-49 demo for the night with an average 4.8 rating. “Survivor” posted a 4.5 demo rating to beat ABC’s “Ugly Betty,” which averaged a 3.1 rating in the demo.

ABC won the 18-49 crown for the rest of the night on the strength of “Grey’s Anatomy” (8.2 demo rating, 19.8 million total viewers) and “October Road,” which has more youth appeal (4.2 demo rating) than big overall draw. In total viewers, “October Road” finished third with 9.35 million viewers behind NBC’s veteran “ER” (3.39 million viewers).

Still, “ER” was the strongest performer for NBC, which once owned Thursday nights in total viewers and young viewers, averaged a 3.2 demo rating and 7.2 million viewers from 8 to 11 p.m. “30 Rock,” which has been renewed for a sophomore season, finished its freshman season Thursday with a 2.4 in the demo and 4.8 million viewers.

Fox started the night with “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader” (3.4 in the demo, 10 million viewers) but was dragged down to a 2.8 in the demo and a 7.6 in the demo for the night by an episode of “Trading Spouses.”

The CW’s combo of “Smallville” and “Supernatural” added up to a 1.4 in the demo and 3.6 million total viewers for the night.