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Ratings report: CBS is still dominant

October 14, 2008 |  1:42 pm

Oct9_k7zc6xnc_250 It’s still early in the TV season, but CBS is shaping up as the network to beat. For the second straight week, the network won the prime-time ratings race in total viewers and in the advertiser-friendly young-adult demographics.

For the week ending Sunday, CBS was No. 1 on five nights, according to figures published Tuesday by Nielsen Media Research. The network had half of the top 10 shows, including the most-watched program with Thursday’s Season 9 premiere of “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” (23.5 million viewers). “CSI” also beat ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” among young adults (18-to-49-year-olds) for the first time since the programs began head-to-head competition two years ago.

Overall, CBS led with a prime-time average of 11 million viewers, trailed by ABC (9.6 million), Fox (7.9 million) and NBC (7 million).

ABC drew strength from “Dancing With the Stars,” but its new Thursday sci-fi cop drama “Life on Mars” (11.3 million) had to split the audience with CBS’ similarly themed “Eleventh Hour” (11.4 million).

NBC continued to struggle for traction, although a small dollop of good news came from the comedy premiere of “Kath & Kim” (7.5 million), which built on the (low) numbers for “My Name Is Earl.” Fox’s numbers were aided by a Sunday football overrun.

On basic cable, ESPN led the way with Monday’s matchup between the Vikings and the Saints (11 million), which would have put it 18th for the week among programs on the broadcast networks.

-- Scott Collins

(Photo "CSI" courtesy Robert Voets /CBS)