ABC on a roll in 18-49, total viewers


NEW YORK -- With five weeks in the new season already in the record books, ABC captured another victory in the adults 18-49 demographic with four of the top five shows in the demo, including top-rated "Grey's Anatomy," and a 5% margin between it and second-place CBS and Fox.

That has all been done without "Monday Night Football," which moved over to a record-breaking cable run on ESPN. Even without the "MNF" boost, ABC is up week-to-week in viewers and the demo and has been every week so far this season. CBS kept its own streak alive winning the week in viewership and adults 25-54.

"Grey's" was the week's top show in both viewers and the adults 18-49 demographic, according to data released Tuesday by Nielsen Media Research. The 9 p.m. Thursday drama averaged 22 million viewers and a 9.6 rating/23 share in adults 18-49, once again overpowering rival "CSI" (20.5 million, 6.9/16), which came in third for the week in both measures. ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" (21.2 million, 6.0/16) came in between "Grey's" and "CSI" in viewership while "Desperate Housewives" (19.7 million, 8.1/18) took second place in the demo.

Rounding out the top five in the demo was "Lost" (16.3 million, 6.6/16), while the top 10 included Game 2 of the World Series (18.2 million, 5.9/15), "CSI: Miami" (18.1 million, 5.8/15) and two NBC shows, "Heroes" (13 million, 5.7/13) and "ER" (13.7 million, 5.6/15). The 10th spot was held by Thursday's thrilling Game 7 of the St. Louis Cardinals-New York Mets NLCS, delivering 16.5 million viewers and a 5.4/15. That was ahead of Saturday's Game 1 of the World Series (12.8 million, 3.6/12), the lowest-rated Game 1 in World Series history but also such reliable performers as "Survivor: Cook Islands" (15 million, 5.3/14), Monday's "Deal or No Deal" (17.5 million, 5.2/14) and "CSI: NY" (16 million, 5.2/14).

The CW had brighter news with the move to Mondays of its comedy lineup, which had fallen back when they were running Sunday. "America's Next Top Model" was in second in the time period in women 18-34, while "Friday Night SmackDown!" tied for its largest adults 18-34 rating to date on the CW.

Meanwhile, ABC's "World News" won the week in the evening newscasts with a 2.3 rating in adults 25-54 to the 2.2 for "NBC Nightly News" and a 2.1 for the "CBS Evening News." NBC still won the week in viewership, with 8.6 million viewers to ABC's 8.5 million and CBS' 7.5 million. It was the closest ABC had been to NBC in three months, and it was also the fourth week in a row that CBS had been in third place in viewership.

Weekly averages: ABC (11.2 million , 4.0/11); CBS (12.6 million, 3.8/10); Fox (11.9 million, 3.8/11); NBC (8.9 million3.2/9); the CW (3.6 million, 1.5/4).