CBS tops night with 'Brother,' Bush speech


NEW YORK -- CBS won Thursday night's primetime, which was cut in half by President Bush's address to the nation on Iraq and the Democratic response.

CBS' "Big Brother" (8.8 million, 3.2 rating/10 share in adults 18-49) was the night's top show in the key adults 18-49 demographic, according to preliminary estimates released Friday by Nielsen Media Research. It faced mostly repeats with the exception of Fox's "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?" (7.7 million, 2.1/7), which started slow but picked up steam after 8:30 p.m.

Reliable estimates for the president's speech won't occur until later Friday. Although it was carried by the Big Four as well as the cable news channels, CBS seemed to bring in the most viewers, with its telecast averaging 6.9 million viewers to ABC's 5 million, Fox's 4.5 million and NBC's 4.3 million. Cable estimates weren't immediately available.

The half-hour speech and Democratic response threw off the rest of the schedule, though "CSI" (estimated 8.5 million, 2.3/6) pulled out a win at 9:30 p.m. against "Don't Forget the Lyrics" (5 million, 1.7/5) plus repeats. The first half-hour of "Without a Trace" (9 million, 2.4/7) prevailed against repeats of ABC's "Men in Trees" (3.5 million, 1.2/4) and NBC's "ER" (3.5 million, 1.4/4).

Thursday averages: CBS (8.4 million, 2.5/8); ABC (4.3 million, 1.4/4); NBC (4 million, 1.6/5); Fox (6.3 million, 1.9/6); and the CW (2.3 million, 0.9/3).