'CSI’ Leads Spike TV Surge

Spike TV notched its best- ever total-day programming ratings on Labor Day with a CSI: Crime Scene Investigation marathon. Spike continued that programming strategy throughout the bulk of last week as a prelude to moving the syndicated version of TV’s highest-rated show into a new time slot.

Under the “shared-network window” deal predecessor TNN inked with fellow Viacom Inc. company King World Productions for $1.6 million per episode, Spike had aired CSI on Monday nights following Raw at 11:05 p.m. and on Fridays at 11 p.m. over the last six months.

Beginning Sept. 13, Spike will begin stripping the forensics series weeknights at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Running CSI installments from 9 a.m. on Labor Day to 3 a.m. the following morning — other than WWE Raw between 9 and 11:05 p.m. — Spike averaged a 1.9 household rating and 2.29 million viewers over the span, according to Nielsen Media Research data. Network officials said that’s 44% higher than the network’s previous one-day high: a 1.32 household mark then-TNN racked up with Star Trek films and Raw on Labor Day 2001.

The CSI marathon also merited note among Spike’s target audience of males 18 to 49, drawing 690,000 of those viewers, up 9% versus the same day in 2001. In the time span, Spike ranked first with that demo among basic-cable networks. The average male audience for the day was some 1.2 million.

Among adults 18 to 49, Spike gained 29% versus Labor Day 2001 as the CSI stunt attracted 1.3 million of those viewers to finish first that day in cable, a feat it matched among persons 18 to 34.

On Sept. 6, CSI ranked first in its upcoming 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. time slots among adults 18 to 49 and males 18 to 49 for all of basic cable.