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CBS Storms to Victory

CBS won the Wednesday prime-time Nielsen Media Research ratings in the key 18-49 demo on the strength of death and destruction. It was another case of scripted drama beating reality.

The network averaged a 5.5 rating/14 share for the night thanks to part two of its disaster movie, Category 6 and the forensic who-dunnit, CSI: NY.

CBS's movie about a confluence of killer storms was no match for ABC's Lost, which won the 8-9 time period handily with a 6.7/18 to Category 6's 4.1/11.

At 9-10, however, the CBS storms grew in intensity, averaging a 6.0/15 in its second hour to win from 9 to 10, with NBC in second place with a 3.9/9 for West Wing.

ABC was second for the night in the demo with a 4.9/13 for Lost, The Bachelor and Wife Swap.

NBC was tied for third with Fox with a 3.4/9 for the night, hurt by the performance of LAX, which hardly got off the runway with a 2.0/5 to place it dead last in the time period behind the other Big Four nets and both netlets. Law & Order barely edged ABC's Wife Swap for third at 10-11.

Fox got its 3.4/9 with That '70s Show, a Simple Life special and Nanny 911.

UPN took fifth place with a 1.9/5 for America's Top Model, which averaged a 2.3/6, and Kevin Hill, with a 1.5/4. The WB was sixth with a 1.8/5 for Smallville and Jack & Bobby, which lost in its head-to-head battle with the UPN drama.