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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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.