'Survivor' starts slow Thurs.


CBS won Thursday's primetime with the premiere of "Survivor: China," which dominated but was down sharply to the lowest opening in the landmark reality series' history.

"Survivor: China" still was the top program on broadcast TV on Thursday, averaging 15.3 million viewers and a 5.0 rating/15 share between 8-9 p.m., according to preliminary estimates released Friday by Nielsen Media Research.

But "Survivor" dropped in adults 18-49 compared with last year's "Survivor: Cook Islands" (18 million, 6.5/20) as well as the spring's "Survivor: Fiji" (16.4 million, 5.7/15).

It still was enough for CBS to land in first place for the night in the key demographics, while Fox came in second with "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?" (8.3 million, 2.4/7) at 8 p.m. That beat an hourlong repeat of NBC's "My Name Is Earl" (5.4 million, 2.2/7) as well as a repeat "Ugly Betty" (4.6 million, 1.4/4) on ABC.

CBS remained on top at 9 p.m. with "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" (14.1 million, 4.0/11), which bested Fox's "Don't Forget the Lyrics" (8.3 million, 2.8/8) as well as repeats of ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" (5.5 million, 1.9/5) and NBC's "The Office" (4.8 million, 2.4/7). "Lyrics" grew from its lead-in and was up in adults 18-34 and in viewership compared with the season premiere two weeks ago.

A repeat of CBS' "Without a Trace" (11.3 million, 2.9/8) won at 10 p.m. against repeats "ER" (3.9 million, 1.6/5) on NBC and "Men in Trees" (4.3 million, 1.4/4) on ABC.

CBS (13.6 million, 3.9/11) led overall in viewers, followed by Fox (8.3 million, 2.6/7), ABC (4.8 million, 1.5/4), NBC (4.7 million, 2.1/6) and the CW (1.8 million, 0.8/2).