CBS rules Wed., starting with 'King of Queens'

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NEW YORK -- Even with repeats of its two hourlong dramas, CBS won in both key measures in a Wednesday primetime that opened with the return of "The King of Queens."

Despite facing original programming on several other networks, CBS won the night in viewership by almost 4 million viewers and in the adults 18-49 demographic by a half a rating point, according to preliminary estimates released Thursday by Nielsen Media Research. The night's top show in viewership was a "Criminal Minds" repeat (14.1 million, 3.9/10) but "The Biggest Loser" squeaked by it in the demo. It was followed by a "CSI: NY" repeat that averaged 12.4 million viewers and a 3.8/11.

The only other program to crack 10 million viewers for the night was a second episode of "King of Queens" (10.2 million, 3.6/10) at 8:30 p.m. that followed the season premiere that delivered 9.5 million viewers and a 3.2/9 in the demo at 8 p.m. It was a mixture of good and bad news for CBS on "King of Queens," which was down 11% in viewers and the demo from when it premiered on a Monday in September 2005. But it was still first.

"America's Next Top Model" finished up its seventh cycle, the first on The CW. It averaged 6.3 million viewers and a 3.0/9 in the demo, winning its hour in adults 18-34 and other demos. At 8 p.m. it finished ahead of ABC's "Show Me The Money" (7.1 million, 1.9/6) and Fox's "Bones" (6.4 million, 2.1/6) as well as NBC's "The Biggest Loser" clip show (6.9 million, 2.6/7). It also powered The CW to its biggest night so far in adults 18-34 and women 18-34.

NBC's fortunes improved at 9 p.m., where "The Biggest Loser" (9.4 million, 4.0/11) won the hour in the demo and was its best demo and viewership since Nov. 29, 2005. "Daybreak" (4.4 million, 1.7/5) continued its fall, dropping from last week's 1.8/5 (as well as its 3.6/9 premiere). Both "Bones" and "One Tree Hill" were repeats at 9 p.m.

A "CSI: NY" repeat had no problem dispatching both a new episode of "Medium" (8.6 million, 3.1/9) and ABC's "Primetime: Basic Instinct" (6.6 million, 2.7/8).

Nightly averages: ABC (6.1 million, 2.1/6); CBS (12.1 million, 3.7/10); NBC (8.3 million, 3.2/9); Fox (6.3 million, 2.0/6); and The CW (5.2 million, 2.4/7).
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