'CSI,' 'Anatomy' share Thurs. crowns

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"CSI" reclaimed its place on top Thursday night's viewership and came within a rating point of victory against rival "Grey's Anatomy" as ABC and CBS tied for the primetime lead in the adults 18-49 demographic.

In its second week prevailing over "Grey's Anatomy" in viewership, "CSI" widened its lead by almost 3 million viewers and the two shows are the closest they've been in adults 18-49 since ABC moved "Grey's" to Thursday this fall. "CSI" averaged 23.8 million viewers and a 7.9 rating/19 share in adults 18-49, according to preliminary estimates released Friday by Nielsen Media Research.

"Grey's Anatomy," however, remained atop the demo race with 20.9 million viewers and an 8.8/21 in adults 18-49.

CBS took the 8 p.m. hour with "Survivor: Cook Islands" (15.5 million viewers, 5.4/15) for another week against ABC's "Ugly Betty" (13 million, 3.9/11), which hit a series low in the demo.

The 10 p.m. hour was split between "ER" (12.4 million, 5.5/15) which was overwhelmingly in the lead in the demo and "Shark" (15.3 million, 4.2/12), which was the winner in viewership. A Barbara Walters special on ABC in place of "Six Degrees" averaged 13.1 million viewers and a 4.9/13.

NBC's schedule between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. were highlighted by extended versions of "My Name Is Earl" (9 million, 3.9/11), "The Office" (8.6 million, 4.3/11) and "30 Rock" (5 million, 2.3/6). Fox averaged 4.5 million viewers and a 1.8/5 for an original "Til Death" and slightly more for a repeat; it was beaten in the hour by The CW's "Supernatural" (4.8 million, 2.0/5). "The OC" (3.8 million, 1.7/4) was its highest so far this season -- still low, however -- and just ahead of The CW's "Supernatural" (3.2 million, 1.3/3).

Nightly averages: ABC (15.7 million, 5.9/15); CBS (18.2 million, 5.9/15); NBC (9.1 million, 4.2/11); Fox (4.2 million, 1.8/5); and The CW (4 million, 1.7/4).
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