The Eye Has It

Just call it "Must-Eye" Thursday

CBS won the night handily on the strength of its crack crew of crime-scene investigators and Survivor. Meanwhile, ABC continued its hot/cold streak, with powerhouse nights like Sunday (Desperate Housewives, The Practice) and Wednesday (Lost) balanced by Thursday, where it barely recorded a blip on the radar with a 1.6 rating/4 share.

CSI averaged a whopping 10.6/26 Thursday night at 9-10 to lead CBS to a Nielsen ratings win in the key 18-49 demo with an 8.2/21 average.

CBS started off the night strong at 8, with survivor averaging a 7.6/21 to dominate the competition. It was a contentious hour, with ABC's Makeover getting smacked down by UPN wrestling and grandma getting run over by a reindeer, plus all the other networks, and with not a lot of eyewitnesses. NBC's Joey came in second for the hour, with a 4.1/11, followed by The O.C. on Fox (2.8/8), WWE Smackdown (1.8/5), ABC's Extreme Makeover (1.9/5) and WB's Christmas special, Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer (1.1/3).

NBC came in second for the night with a 6.7/17 average in 18-49's for a combination of Joey; The Apprentice, which tied in rating for the night's second-highest-rated show with a 7.6/21; and ER, which won its time period convincingly with an 8.4/22 at 10 p.m.

Fox was third with a 2.3/6 for O.C. and North Shore, and UPN muscled its way into fourth thanks to the turnbuckling, canvas-stomping crew at WWE. ABC was in fifth, unable to generate much of an audience for Makeover, teen angst/sex drama Life As We know It, and news mag Prime Time.

The network is hoping to change its luck come January, when it will switch time periods for Makeover (from 8 to 9) and Life (from 9 to 8), hoping makeover is a better lead-in to the older skewing news mag.

The WB brought up the rear with a .9/2 for Grandma, and the Family Friendly Awards, which  ironically was watched by the fewest families of any show on the night with a .7/2.

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.