Originally created 11/07/02

CBS, NBC in close race as November sweeps begin



NEW YORK -- Who owns Thursday nights? The answer will go a long way to determining whether CBS or NBC can declare itself the No. 1 network on television.

CBS narrowly beat NBC in the Nielsen Media Research rankings for all of last week, in the beginning of the November "sweeps" period, when ratings are closely monitored to set local advertising rates.

CBS also owns a slight edge this season, and it's even closer on Thursdays - a night NBC once owned.

For the three prime-time hours on Thursday, CBS averages 21.9 million viewers this season, NBC 21.5 million. Of the top 14 shows in Nielsen's household rankings last week, seven were aired by CBS or NBC on Thursday. NBC's "Good Morning Miami," which also airs Thursday, ranked No. 20.

CBS' "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" has become TV's most-watched show, drawing 28.9 million viewers last week. Second-place "Friends," on NBC, had 24.5 million.

Executives at Fox, meanwhile, were relieved by the strong season premieres last week of "24," which had its biggest audience ever, and "The Simpsons," with its best season start in five years.

For the week, CBS averaged 12.8 million viewers (8.4 rating, 14 share), NBC had 12.4 million (8.3, 13), ABC 10.4 million (6.5, 11), Fox 9 million (5.5, 9), the WB 4.3 million (2.7, 4), UPN 4 million (2.5, 4) and Pax TV 1.4 million (0.9, 1).

NBC's "Nightly News" won the evening news ratings race, averaging 11 million viewers (7.9 rating, 15 share). ABC's "World News Tonight" averaged 10.8 million viewers (7.6, 15) and the "CBS Evening News" had 8.8 million (6.3, 12).

A ratings point represents 1,067,000 households, or 1 percent of the nation's estimated 106.7 million TV homes. The share is the percentage of in-use televisions tuned to a given show.

Prime-time ratings compiled by Nielsen Media Research for Oct. 28-Nov. 3. Top 20 listings include the week's ranking, with rating for the week and season-to-date rankings in parentheses.

An "X" in parentheses denotes a one-time-only presentation. The rating is the percentage of the nation's estimated 106.7 million TV homes. Each ratings point represents 1,067,000 households.

1. (1) "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," CBS, 17.3, 18.4 million homes.

2. (2) "Friends," NBC, 15.6, 16.6 million homes.

3. (3) "ER," NBC, 15.3, 16.3 million homes.

4. (5) "Law & Order," NBC, 13.5, 14.3 million homes.

5. (4) "Everybody Loves Raymond," CBS, 12.7, 13.5 million homes.

6. (5) "CSI: Miami," CBS, 12.2, 12.9 million homes.

7. (9) "Scrubs," NBC, 11.4, 12.1 million homes.

8. (13) "Law & Order: SVU," NBC, 10.9, 11.6 million homes.

8. (10) "NFL Monday Night Football: NY Giants at Philadelphia," ABC, 10.9, 11.6 million homes.

8. (7) "Will & Grace," NBC, 10.9, 11.5 million homes.

11. (8) "Survivor: Thailand," CBS, 10.7, 11.4 million homes.

12. (16) "JAG," CBS, 10.6, 11.3 million homes.

12. (11) "The West Wing," NBC, 10.6, 11.2 million homes.

14. (15) "Without a Trace," CBS, 10.3, 10.9 million homes.

15. (12) "Still Standing," CBS, 10.2, 10.8 million homes.

16. (14) "Judging Amy," CBS, 10.0, 10.6 million homes.

16. (18) "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," NBC, 10.0, 10.7 million homes.

18. (25) "The Bachelor," ABC, 9.9, 10.5 million homes.

19. (20) "Yes, Dear," CBS, 9.7, 10.3 million homes.

20. (16) "Good Morning Miami," NBC, 9.5, 10.1 million homes.

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21. "King of Queens," CBS, 9.4

22. "NYPD Blue," ABC, 9.3

23. "60 Minutes," CBS, 9.0

23. "The Practice," ABC, 9.0

25. "The Guardian," CBS, 8.9

26. "The Simpsons," Fox, 8.8

27. "Frasier," NBC, 8.3

27. "NFL Monday Showcase," ABC, 8.3

29. "Dateline NBC-Friday," NBC, 8.2

30. "8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter," ABC, 8.1

31. "24," Fox, 8.0

31. "According to Jim," ABC, 8.0

31. "Third Watch," NBC, 8.0

34. "My Wife and Kids," ABC, 7.9

35. "Providence," NBC, 7.6

36. "Fear Factor," NBC, 7.5

37. "48 Hours Investigates," CBS, 7.4

37. "American Dreams," NBC, 7.4

39. "Becker," CBS, 7.1

39. "The District," CBS, 7.1

39. (X) "The Simpsons," Fox, 7.1

42. "60 Minutes II," CBS, 7.0

42. "King of the Hill," Fox, 7.0

42. "The Wonderful World of Disney: Home Alone 4," ABC, 7.0

45. "George Lopez," ABC, 6.9

46. "Boomtown," NBC, 6.8

46. "Ed," NBC, 6.8

48. (X) "That '70s Show," Fox, 6.7

49. "Boston Public," Fox, 6.6

50. "The Agency," CBS, 6.5

50. "CBS Sunday Movie: The World Is Not Enough," CBS, 6.5

50. "Malcolm in the Middle," Fox, 6.5

53. "Life With Bonnie," ABC, 6.4

54. "Alias," ABC, 6.2

54. "Dateline NBC-Tuesday," NBC, 6.2

54. "Hack," CBS, 6.2

57. "Less Than Perfect," ABC, 6.1

58. "Hidden Hills," NBC, 6.0

59. "America's Funniest Home Videos," ABC, 5.9

60. "That '70s Show," Fox, 5.8

61. "Touched By an Angel," CBS, 5.7

62. "Dateline NBC-Sunday," NBC, 5.6

63. (X) "Malcolm in the Middle," Fox, 5.5

64. "The Bernie Mac Show," Fox, 5.4

64. "Presidio Med," CBS, 5.4

66. "Monk," ABC, 5.1

67. "ABC Friday Night Movie: Gladiator, Part 1," ABC, 5.0

67. "Cedric The Entertainer Presents," Fox, 5.0

69. "Amazing Race: 3," CBS, 4.9

69. "Just Shoot Me," NBC, 4.9

69. "Primetime Thursday," ABC, 4.9

72. "In-laws," NBC, 4.8

72. "NBC Saturday Night Movies: The Bone Collector," NBC 4.8

74. (X) "Cops 2: Naked Cops," Fox, 4.7

74. "Robbery Homicide Division," CBS, 4.7

76. "Fastlane," Fox, 4.5

76. "MDs," ABC, 4.5

76. "Smallville," WB, 4.5

79. "America's Most Wanted: America Fights Back," Fox, 4.4

80. (X) "Cops: Shots Fired," Fox, 4.3

81. "ABC Saturday Night at the Movies: Gladiator, Part 2," ABC, 4.2

81. (X) "World's Greatest Bloopers," ABC, 4.2

83. (X) "Funniest Wedding Outakes," Fox, 4.0

84. "Everwood," WB, 3.8

84. "John Doe," Fox, 3.8

86. "7th Heaven," WB, 3.7

86. "Forensic Files-Sunday," NBC, 3.7

86. "Gilmore Girls," WB, 3.7

89. "Enterprise," UPN, 3.6

90. "girls club," Fox, 3.4

91. "Girlfriends," UPN, 3.3

91. "One on One," UPN, 3.3

91. "World Wrestling Entertainment: Smackdown!," UPN, 3.3

94. "The Drew Carey Show," ABC, 3.2

94. "The Parkers," UPN, 3.2

94. "Reba," WB, 3.2

94. "Whose Line is it Anyway?," ABC, 3.2

98. "Half and Half," UPN, 3.0

99. "30 Seconds to Fame," Fox, 2.9

99. "Charmed," WB, 2.9

101. "Firefly," Fox, 2.8

102. (X) "30 Seconds to Fame," Fox, 2.7

102. "Dawson's Creek," WB, 2.7

104. "Birds of Prey," WB, 2.6

105. "Greetings From Tucson," WB, 2.4

106. "Angel," WB, 2.2

107. "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," UPN, 1.9

107. "Gilmore Girls-Beginnings," WB, 1.9

107. "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch," WB, 1.9

107. "The Twilight Zone," UPN, 1.9

107. "UPN's Friday Movie: Eraser," 1.9

107. "What I Like About You," WB, 1.9

113. "Doc-Sunday," Pax, 1.6

114. "Do Over," WB, 1.4

114. "Family Affair," WB, 1.4

114. "Sue Thomas, F.B. Eye," Pax, 1.4

117. "The Jamie Kennedy Experiment," WB, 1.3

117. "Off Centre," WB, 1.3

119. "Just Cause-Sunday," Pax, 1.2

120. "Diagnosis Murder-Monday," Pax, 1.1

120. "Diagnosis Murder-Thursday," Pax, 1.1

120. "Diagnosis Murder-Tuesday," Pax, 1.1

120. "Diagnosis Murder-Wednesday," Pax, 1.1

120. "Haunted," UPN, 1.1

125. "Diagnosis Murder-Friday," Pax, 1.0

125. "Doc-Wednesday," Pax, 1.0

127. "Candid Camera-Sunday," Pax, 0.9

127. "Friday Night Flix: Wildfire 7: The Inferno," Pax, 0.9

127. "Sue Thomas, F.B. Eye-Monday," Pax, 0.9

127. "Weakest Link," Pax, 0.9

131. "Candid Camera-Wednesday," Pax, 0.8

131. "It's a Miracle," Pax, 0.8

133. "Body and Soul-Tuesday," Pax, 0.5

134. "America's Favorite Movies: The Candidate," Pax, 0.3

134. "It's a Miracle-Sunday," Pax, 0.3

On the Net:

Nielsen Media Research Web site:

http://www.nielsenmedia.com