Halloween viewing scary for nets' ratings

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NEW YORK -- It was mostly trick and not treat for the networks on Halloween night, where many shows got ratings scares amid lower viewing overall.

"Private Practice" was the night's top show in adults 18-49 with 11.2 million viewers and a 3.8 rating/10 share in the demo, according to preliminary estimates released Thursday by Nielsen Media Research. But "Practice" fell to its lowest demo rating ever, dropping 19% from a year ago. CBS' "Criminal Minds" (14.7 million, 3.5/9) tied its lowest rating so far this season.

It was even worse for critical fave "Pushing Daisies" (8.5 million, 2.6/8), which dropped 30% from its season average. CBS' "Kid Nation" (6.9 million, 2.0/6) was also low.

NBC averaged 6.4 million viewers and a 2.3/7 in adults 18-49 for a two-hour special "Phenomenon" that took the 9 p.m. slot of "Bionic Woman." Fox was in repeats all night because of the World Series running shorter than hoped, as was the CW.

"CSI: NY" (13.5 million, 3.6/10) won at 10 p.m. against ABC's "Dirty Sexy Money" (8.4 million, 2.9/8) and NBC's "Life" (5.7 million, 1.9/5). All were season lows.

CBS (11.7 million, 3.1/9) and ABC (9.4 million, 3.1/9) led primetime in adults 18-49 compared with NBC (6 million, 2.2/6); Fox (4.4 million, 1.7/5); and the CW (2.4 million, 1.1/3).
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