CSI Beats Trump; NBC Beats CBS

In a battle of titans on Thursday night, an original CSI: Crime Scene Investigation trumped The Apprentice, beating the Donald Trump reality show in households, viewers, adults 18-49 and adults 25-54.

The numbers are approximate because of The Apprentice’s 8:44 p.m. start.

According to Nielsen preliminary affiliate-based ratings, CSI beat The Donald in viewers, 29.6 million to 18 million. In adults 18-49, CSI triumphed with a 10.7 rating/25 share vs. Apprentice’s 9.2/22.

The good news for NBC, however, is that The Apprentice’s ratings remained stable even against an original CSI. Even with the one-two punch of Survivor: All-Stars and CSI, CBS couldn’t beat NBC in the key 18-49 demographic for the night; NBC also featured a super-sized Friends episode.

Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.