'Idol'-free Thurs. hits lower note


NEW YORK -- After two nights of "American Idol" this week, Thursday's primetime settled back to a relatively quiet pattern.

Thursday's top show in the adults 18-49 demographic was "Celebrity Apprentice" (9 million, 3.9 rating/10 share), while the most-watched was a repeat "CSI" (14.1 million, 3.5/9), according to preliminary estimates released Friday by Nielsen Media Research.

While "CSI," "Celebrity Apprentice" and "Don't Forget the Lyrics" (8.8 million, 3.4/9) were all tied at 9 p.m., "Celebrity Apprentice" rose 23% at 9:30 p.m. to win the entire hour.

Fox's "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?" (11.5 million, 3.7/10) won at 8 p.m. over, among other things, ABC's "Ugly Betty" (9.5 million, 3.0/8). The 10 p.m. winner in 18-49 was NBC's "ER" (9 million, 3.5/9) while CBS's "Without a Trace" (13.2 million, 3.3/9) easily won in viewership. ABC's "Big Shots" (4.8 million, 1.8/5) was anything but.

For the night, Fox (10.1 million, 3.5/9) won in 18-49 against ABC (7.3 million, 2.5/7); CBS (12.1 million, 2.9/8); NBC (7.7 million, 3.2/9); and the CW (2.5 million, 1.0/3).