ABC Wins for Losing

ABC can't get too much of a good thing. It won Wednesday night with a two-hour dose of hit drama Lost, and they were repeats at that.

ABC won the Nielsen prime time ratings race in the 18-49 demo, according to overnight early returns, with a 4.1 rating/11 share average, primarily on the strength of two repeats of  Lost, its reality-like scripted drama, but with a solid outing from reality show Wife Swap at 10, which was second in the time period with a 3.8/10.

CBS was second for the night in the demo with a 3.6/10 for 60 Minutes (1.9/5); King of Queens (3.8/10), Center of the Universe (3.4/9) and franchise player, CSI: NY, which brought up the average considerably and won its time period handily with a 5.3/14.

NBC was third with a 3.4/9 for a repeat of its sweeps Seinfeld special (2.5/7), a new West Wing (3.9/11), and a repeat of Law & Order (3.7/10).

Fox was fourth with a 2.9/8 for That 70's Show (3.0/9), Quintuplets (2.3/6), and Nanny 911 (3.1/8).

UPN was fifth, with a strong 2.1/6 on the strength of its top show, America's Next Top Model, which averaged a 2.7/8 at 8-9, good enough for fourth place ahead of both The WB and Fox in the time period. Kevin Hill at 9-10 avearged a 1.4/4.

The WB was in sixth with a 1.2/3 for repeats of Smallville and the debut of reality show, Big Man on Campus, which at a 1.1/3 did not quite live up to his name.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.