It was a steady climb for CBS to the top of the Nielsen Media Research ratings chart Monday night in the key 18-49 sales demo (the network was tops in households throughout the night).
That's according to the early returns from Nielsen overnight affiliate ratings.
CBS wasn't that much of a factor at 8-9 p.m., beginning the night in third place with an average 3.0/8 for sitcoms Still Standing and Listen Up. NBC was first with Fear Factor (4.6/13), followed by ABC's The Benefactor (3.4/10).
CBS moved up to number two at 9-10 p.m. with Everybody Loves Raymond (5.3/13) and Two & a Half Men (6.0/14), behind ABC's first hour of Monday Night Football, which scored a 6.6/15 (those numbers will likely change when the West Coast ratings are tallied in). NBC was third with a 4.1 for the Radio Music Awards.
CBS moved into first with a vengeance at 10 p.m., scoring an 8.0/20 for a Halloween-themed CSI:Miami featuring a jury field trip, a brutal stabbing murder and a cleaver to the head of a philandering Florida baseball slugger.
ABC was second with a 6.5/16 for football and NBC third with a 3/8 for the second hour of its music awards show.
Fox came in fourth for the night in 18-49s with a 2.5/10. The debut of The Swan took something of a dive at 8-9 p.m., beaten solidly by The WB's Seventh Heaven, before recovering at 9-10 p.m. to beat that netlet's Everwood.
The good news for Fox is that the show built every half-hour, beginning with a 2.0/6 at 8-8:30 p.m. and finishing with a 3.2/7 at 9:30-10.
The WB came in fifth with a 2.3/6, while UPN came in sixth with a 1.6/4 number for its numbers heavy, at least in the titles, One On One, Half and Half,Girl Friends and Second Time Around.
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