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NBC Wins Thursday Battle, CBS Wins War

NBC’s ER beat out CBS’ Without a Trace in Thursday’s prime time among 18- to 49-year-old viewers, the demographic prized by advertisers. The shows have been slugging it out in the 10-11 p.m. slot since the start of the fall season.

ER averaged a 6.7 rating/18 share in the demo, according to Nielsen national data for Nov. 10. Trace posted a 6.3/7, losing more than half a rating point in its second half hour. (ER gained momentum, ticking up slightly in its last half.)

While NBC may have won this week’s battle, CBS won this week’s war, notching an average 7.8/21 during prime time. At 4.9/13, NBC was in second place. Fox (2.2/6) was next, followed by ABC and The WB (tied at 1.8/5) and UPN (1.3/3).

CBS’ Survivor (6.9/19) won the 8-9 p.m. slot handily, beating the other hour-long entrants: Fox’s The O.C. (2.7/7); The WB’s Smallville (2.3/6); and ABC’s Alias (2.1/6). NBC sitcom Joey scored a 3.1/9 from 8-8:30, beating UPN's flagging Everybody Hates Chris (2.0/6) in another much-touted prime time slugfest.

CBS scooped up the 9 o’clock hour, as well. CSI cracked double-digits with its 10.2/25 average from 9-10 p.m., while NBC’s Donald Trump version of The Apprentice (4.8/12) was the only other show in the slot to rise above a 2. ABC’s Night Stalker (1.4/3) continued to sputter, while Fox aired Reunion (1.8/5); The WB aired Everwood (1.3/3); and UPN aired Love Inc. (1.1/3) and Eve (1.1/3).

Since fast national data is based on time-period estimates, performances are subject to change when final ratings are released.