Originally created 12/25/02

"Survivor" finale leads CBS to easy victory in the ratings



NEW YORK -- It's no longer a phenomenon, but "Survivor" has turned into a very dependable performer for CBS.

The finale of "Survivor: Thailand," the game's fifth edition, drew 24 million viewers last Thursday. The one-hour reunion that followed had 20 million people watching, making bothe shows the most popular of the week, according to Nielsen Media Research.

That was less than half the 51 million people who saw Richard Hatch win the first $1 million prize in August 2000. Used car salesman Brian Heidik, judging from the blistering comments by fellow contestants during the final tribal council, may be the show's most villainous champion since Hatch.

While it may not be discussed over every water-cooler, "Survivor: Thailand" was a consistent Top 10 performer for CBS.

And the final episode led CBS to an easy ratings win for the week among all viewers, and for the first time this season with the 18-to-49-year-old demographic that advertisers seek.

NBC's "Providence," which may - or may not - have aired its last episode last week, just missed the Top 10 with 13.3 million viewers. NBC has canceled the show, but its executives have admitted to second-guessing that decision.

A repeat "Friends" was NBC's most popular show, underscoring the importance of the surprise deal last weekend to bring the show back for 18 episodes next season.

For the week, CBS averaged 12.7 million viewers (8.2 rating, 14 share). NBC had 9.2 million viewers (6.2, 10), ABC had 9.1 million (5.9, 10), Fox 6.4 million (4.0, 7), UPN 3.8 million (2.3, 4), the WB 3.4 million (2.1, 3) and Pax TV 1.4 million (0.9, 2).

"NBC Nightly News" won the evening news race, averaging 10.9 million viewers (7.6 rating, 15 share). ABC's "World News Tonight" had 10.2 million viewers (7.1, 14) and "The CBS Evening News" 8.6 million (6.1, 12).

Prime-time ratings compiled by Nielsen Media Research for Dec. 16-22. 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 105.5 million TV homes. Each ratings point represents 1,055,000 households.

1. (7) "Survivor: Thailand," CBS, 13.5, 14.4 million homes.

2. (1) "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: Miami," CBS, 11.9, 12.7 million homes.

3. (X) "Survivor: Thai Reunion," CBS, 11.6, 12.4 million homes.

4. (4) "Everybody Loves Raymond," CBS, 11.3, 12.1 million homes.

5. (9) "NFL Monday Night Football: New England at Tennessee," ABC, 11.2, 12.0 million homes.

6. (2) "Friends," NBC, 10.6, 11.4 million homes.

7. (15) "Judging Amy," CBS, 10.1, 10.8 million homes.

8. (6) "Law & Order," NBC, 9.7, 10.3 million homes.

9. (13) "Still Standing," CBS, 9.5, 10.2 million homes.

10. (20) "JAG," CBS, 9.2, 9.8 million homes.

11. (35) "Providence," NBC, 9.0, 9.6 million homes.

12. (18) "60 Minutes," CBS, 8.9, 9.5 million homes.

13. (23) "NFL Monday Showcase," ABC, 8.6, 9.2 million homes.

13. (5) "Will & Grace," NBC, 8.6, 9.1 million homes.

15. (10) "Scrubs," NBC, 8.5, 9.1 million homes.

16. (X) "Barbara Walters Presents: 10 Most Fascinating People '02," ABC, 8.4, 9.0 million homes.

16. (22) "Yes, Dear," CBS, 8.4, 9.0 million homes.

18. (23) "King Of Queens," CBS, 8.2, 8.8 million homes.

19. (23) "The Guardian," CBS, 7.9, 8.5 million homes.

20. (30) "According to Jim," ABC, 7.8, 8.3 million homes.

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21. "Law & Order: Special Victim's Unit," NBC, 7.6

22. "8 Simple Rules," ABC, 7.5

22. "ER," NBC, 7.5

24. "The West Wing," NBC, 7.2

25. (X) "Frasier-Tuesday," NBC, 7.1

26. "CBS Sunday Movie: A Town Without Christmas," CBS, 7.0

26. "Good Morning Miami," NBC, 7.0

28. "Dateline NBC-Tuesday," NBC, 6.8

28. "Life With Bonnie," ABC, 6.8

30. "60 Minutes II," CBS, 6.7

30. "The Amazing Race: 3," CBS, 6.7

30. (X) "Becker" CBS, 6.7

30. "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," NBC, 6.7

30. (X) "SNL Xmas '02," NBC, 6.7

35. "Wonderful World Of Disney: I'll be Home For Christmas," ABC, 6.6

36. "Ed," NBC, 6.5

36. "My Wife and Kids," ABC, 6.5

38. "20/20-Friday," ABC, 6.4

39. "Becker," CBS, 6.2

39. "Fear Factor," NBC, 6.2

39. "Primetime Thursday," ABC, 6.2

42. (X) "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: Miami," CBS, 6.1

42. (X) "Extreme Makeover," ABC, 6.1

44. "America's Funniest Home Videos," ABC, 6.0

45. "The George Lopez Show," ABC, 5.9

45. "Less Than Perfect," ABC, 5.9

45. "NYPD Blue," ABC, 5.9

48. "Crossing Jordan," NBC, 5.8

48. "The Simpsons," Fox, 5.8

50. "24," Fox, 5.6

50. "Boston Public," Fox, 5.6

52. "The Agency," CBS, 5.4

52. "The Practice," ABC, 5.4

52. "Third Watch," NBC, 5.4

55. "King Of the Hill," Fox, 5.3

56. "That '70s Show," Fox, 5.2

57. "The District," CBS, 5.1

58. "America's Most Wanted: America Fights Back," Fox, 5.0

58. "Hack," CBS, 5.0

60. "Cops 2," Fox, 4.9

61. "Malcolm in the Middle," Fox, 4.8

61. "Touched By an Angel," CBS, 4.8

63. "Cedric the Entertainer Presents," Fox, 4.6

63. "Cops," Fox, 4.6

65. "Monk," ABC, 4.3

66. "The Bernie Mac Show," Fox, 4.2

66. "Boomtown," NBC, 4.2

66. (X) "Instant Classic Bloopers," ABC, 4.2

69. (X) "Andy Richter Controls the Universe-Tuesday," Fox, 4.0

69. "Fastlane," Fox, 4.0

69. "Whose Line Is It Anyway?," ABC, 4.0

72. (X) "King Of the Hill," Fox, 3.9

73. "Alias," ABC, 3.7

73. (X) "America Greatest Xmas Decorations," NBC, 3.7

75. "7th Heaven," WB, 3.6

75. "American Dreams," NBC, 3.6

77. "ABC Saturday Night at the Movies: Saturday Night Fever," ABC, 3.5

77. (X) "Greatest Christmas Moments," Fox, 3.5

79. "Andy Richter Controls the Universe," Fox, 3.4

79. (X) "A Home For the Holidays" CBS, 3.4

81. "The Drew Carey Show," ABC, 3.3

81. "World Wrestling Entertainment Smackdown!" UPN, 3.3

83. "Enterprise," UPN, 3.0

83. "Girlfriends," UPN, 3.0

83. "One on One," UPN, 3.0

86. "Everwood," WB, 2.8

86. "The Parkers," UPN, 2.8

88. "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," UPN, 2.7

88. "Dinotopia," ABC, 2.7

88. "Firefly," Fox, 2.7

88. "Half and Half," UPN, 2.7

92. "Futurama," Fox, 2.6

93. (X) "Fat Albert Xmas Special," NBC, 2.5

94. "Gilmore Girls," WB, 2.3

95. (X) "Fox Movie Special: Down to You," Fox, 2.2

95. "Smallville," WB, 2.2

97. (X) "Freezerburnt Christmas," NBC, 2.1

97. (X) "Jack Frost," WB, 2.1

97. "Reba," WB, 2.1

100. (X) "Faith Hill: When Lites Go," NBC, 2.0

101. "Birds Of Prey," WB, 1.8

101. "Dawson's Creek," WB, 1.8

103. "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch," WB, 1.7

103. (X) "Scooby Doo Xmas," WB, 1.7

103. "What I Like About You," WB, 1.7

106. "Greetings From Tucson," WB, 1.6

106. (X) "The Twilight Zone-Tuesday," UPN, 1.6

108. "Family Affair," WB, 1.5

109. "Diagnosis Murder-Friday," PAX, 1.4

109. "Diagnosis Murder-Thursday," PAX, 1.4

111. "Diagnosis Murder-Wednesday," PAX, 1.3

111. "Do Over," WB, 1.3

111. "Jamie Kennedy," WB, 1.3

111. "Jamie Kennedy-9:30," WB, 1.3

111. (X) "US Snowboard Grand Prix," NBC, 1.3

116. "The Twilight Zone," UPN, 1.2

117. "Diagnosis Murder-Tuesday," PAX, 1.1

117. (X) "Mary Higgins Clark: He Sees You Sleeping," PAX, 1.1

117. "UPN's Movie Friday: Star Trek V: The Final Frontier," UPN, 1.1

120. "Candid Camera-Wednesday," PAX, 1.0

120. "Diagnosis Murder-Monday," PAX, 1.0

120. "Doc-Sunday," PAX, 1.0

120. "Friday Night Flix: Twice Upon a Christmas," PAX, 1.0

120. (X) "Santa Trap-Monday," PAX, 1.0

125. "Doc-Wednesday," PAX, 0.9

126. "It's a Miracle," PAX, 0.8

127. "The Weakest Link," PAX, 0.7

128. "Candid Camera-Sunday," PAX, 0.6

129. "America's Favorite Movies: The Sunshine Boys," PAX, 0.5

129. "Narrow Escapes," PAX, 0.5

131. "It's a Miracle-Saturday," PAX, 0.4

On the Net:

Nielsen Media Research Web site: http://www.nielsenmedia.com