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'CSI' Holds Off 'Housewives' in Season's First Week

(Posted September 27, 2005 by Leah Yoakum)

LOS ANGELES ( ABC's two big hits from last year showed no signs of a sophomore slump in the first week of the 2005-06 season, but they weren't quite enough to push the network past CBS in the Nielsens.

With its usual array of crime shows and a football-fueled "60 Minutes," CBS started the '05-'06 on top, averaging an 8.3 rating/13 share among households and 12.85 million viewers per night last week. ABC (8.0/13, 12.29 million viewers) wasn't far behind in second, while NBC (6.6/11, 9.9 million) took third with a week of decidedly mixed results.

FOX finished a distant fourth at 4.1/6 and 6.48 million viewers -- which was substantially better than the network's throwaway lineup did this time last year. UPN, thanks largely to "Everybody Hates Chris," took fifth with a 2.7/4 household mark and 4.15 million viewers. The WB (2.2/3, 3.28 million) trailed.

ABC, however, captured the top spot in the all-important adults 18-49 ratings. The network, which had four of the top five shows in the demographic advertisers covet, averaged a 4.7 rating for the week -- its first season-opening 18-49 win in a decade. CBS finished second at 4.1. NBC was third at 3.4, followed by FOX, 2.8; UPN, 1.8; and The WB, 1.4.

CBS' "CSI" was the most-watched show of the week with just over 29 million viewers, beating out the season premiere of "Desperate Housewives" (28.36 million) on ABC, although the two tied for the lead in households (17.3/26 for "CSI," 17.3/25 for "Housewives"). ABC's "Lost" and "Grey's Anatomy" also came back in a big way, finishing third and sixth overall.

CBS also got a strong performance from a special preview of "Criminal Minds" on Thursday, which came in fourth at 12.5/20. But because it was classified as a special ("Criminal Minds" moves to its regular Wednesday home this week), ABC can lay claim to the "No. 1 new show of the season," as its promos say, with "Invasion" (10.2/16) which was 12th overall.

NBC had a somewhat schizophrenic week. Its Monday shows -- "Surface," "Las Vegas" and "Medium" -- all finished in the top 30, and its well-reviewed new Tuesday comedy "My Name Is Earl" (9.4/14) cracked the top 20 along with the season premiere of "Law & Order: SVU" (11.1/18).

The rest of the week, though, was something of a flop. Only "ER," 9.3/15, and "Law & Order," 8.9/14, managed to break into the top 20 among NBC's offerings on Wednesday and Thursday, which the network used to own. Both editions of "The Apprentice" struggled, neither one reaching 10 million viewers.

The other big story of the week was the premiere of "Everybody Hates Chris" on UPN, which drew the third-biggest premiere audience (7.78 million viewers) in UPN's history and beat NBC's "Joey" and FOX's "The O.C." in its half-hour.

FOX couldn't break into the top 20 for the week, although "House" (8.5/13) came close, tying for 24th in households. On the other end of the spectrum, the network also made the season's first cancellation after "Head Cases" posted a dismal 2.1/3 in its second airing.

"Gilmore Girls" led the way for The WB with a 3.8/6, taking over the network's top spot from "7th Heaven," 3.7/6.

Source: Zap2it

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