'Grey's Anatomy' leads ABC to win


NEW YORK -- ABC carried Thursday’s primetime in the key adults 18-49 demographic with ratings improvement in all three hours.

“Grey’s Anatomy” averaged an 18.6 million viewers and a 7.7 rating/18 share in adults 18-49, according to preliminary estimates released Friday by Nielsen Media Research. That’s up slightly week-to-week, enough to win the hour and the night in the demo ahead of the viewership winner, CBS’s “CSI” (19.6 million, 6.0/14). “CSI” dropped 6% in adults 18-49 compared to last week. NBC’s hourlong “The Office” (8.9 million, 4.7/11) was up slightly.

All three 9 p.m. shows dripped into the next hour, with “Grey’s” going until 10:02 p.m. and the other two stopping at 10:01 p.m. Pending final ratings later today, it looked like freshman “Big Shots” (9.3 million, 3.9/11) was going beat both CBS’s “Without a Trace” (13.6 million, 3.6/10) and NBC’s “ER” (8.4 million, 3.4/9). But it was a potentially ugly win, since Nielsen estimated that “Big Shots” was beaten at 10:30 p.m. by both rivals and it dropped 3 million viewers in a half hour. But “Big Shots” was up 8% week-to-week.

CBS still won at 8 p.m. with “Survivor: China” (14 million, 4.5/13), which stayed even with last week. ABC’s “Ugly Betty” (10.3 million, 3.5/10) was up 3% compared to last week. NBC’s “My Name is Earl” (7.7 million, 3.1/9) dropped 6% while “30 Rock” (6.6 million, 3.0/8) fell 11% after a record from last week’s Jerry Seinfeld guest role.

Fox’s “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?” (8.1 million, 2.3/7) and “Don’t Forget The Lyrics” (5.6 million, 1.8/4) were down slightly week-to-week.

ABC (12.7 million, 5.0/13) led primetime in adults 18-49 followed by CBS (15.7 million, 4.7/12); NBC (8.2 million, 3.7/10); Fox (6.9 million, 2.1/5); and Te CW (4 million, 1.5/4).