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Overnight Ratings: Grey's and October Road Put ABC in First Place

ABC won the prime time Nielsen overnight ratings in the 18-49 demo Thursday night with a 5.2 rating/14 share for Grey's Anatomy and a strong performance from the season finale of new drama October Road.

The rest of the networks were pretty evenly spread out with near-perfect numerological symmetry--at least on the ratings side. For the night, CBS averaged a 4.8/13,  NBC at a 3.2/9, Fox with a 2.8/8, and The CW at a 1.4/4.

CBS was led by CSI, which averaged a 5.8/15 at 9-10 p.m. CBS also got a time period-winning performance out of Survivor, with a 4.5/13 at 8-9 p.m.

NBC was third for the night with a 3.2/9, a good rating for NBC these days. Its top show was ER at 10 p.m. with a 3.7/10, but the medical drama's ratings are generally down from 4-5 rating range earlier in the season.

Fox was fourth with a 2.8/8. Fox's top show of the night, Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?, gave out half a million dollars at 8 p.m., a tactic good enough for third place at a 3.4/10.

The CW averaged a 1.4/4. led by Smallville at a 1.5/4 at 8-9.

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.