CBS ends NBC's winning streak with strong `CSI' performance

Tuesday, October 30th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

NEW YORK (AP) _ CBS became the first network to beat NBC in the weekly Nielsen Media Research ratings this season, propelled by the best-ever showing of its sophomore drama, ``CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.''

The hit drew 24.7 million viewers last Thursday night, dominating NBC comedies ``Will & Grace'' (16.2 million) and ``Just Shoot Me'' (14.3 million).

CBS also had strong performances by ``Judging Amy'' and ``JAG.'' ``The Guardian,'' the CBS drama about a lawyer forced to perform public service, was the top-rated new show of the week. ``Survivor'' bounced back slightly last week with 20.4 million viewers.

NBC wasn't far behind. The Thursday night perennials, ``ER'' and ``Friends,'' were the two most popular programs last week.

ABC's ``Primetime Thursday'' was rewarded for beating CBS in a behind-the-scenes competition to snare an interview with Carmen bin Laden, the sister-in-law of terrorism suspect Osama bin Laden. The interview had 15.1 million viewers.

For the week, CBS averaged 12.8 million viewers (8.7 rating, 14 share), NBC had 12.7 million viewers (8.6, 14), Fox had 10.9 million viewers (7.1, 11), ABC had 10 million viewers (6.6, 11), UPN had 4.9 million (3.0, 5), the WB had 4.4 million (2.9, 4), and Pax TV had 1.2 million (0.9, 1).

NBC's ``Nightly News'' narrowly won the evening news ratings race with 10.6 million viewers (7.7 rating, 15 share). ABC's ``World News Tonight'' had 10.5 million viewers (7.7, 16) and the ``CBS Evening News'' had 9.4 million (6.8, 13).

A ratings point represents 1,055,000 households, or 1 percent of the nation's estimated 105.5 million TV homes. The share is the percentage of in-use televisions tuned to a given show.

For the week of Oct. 22-28, the top 10 shows, their networks and ratings were ``ER,'' NBC, 17.3; ``Friends,'' NBC, 16.1; ``CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,'' CBS, 15.7; World Series Game 2: N.Y. Yankees at Arizona, Fox, 15.0; ``Law and Order,'' NBC, 14.4; ``The West Wing,'' NBC, 14.1; ``Everybody Loves Raymond,'' CBS, 13.7; ``Judging Amy,'' CBS, 12.1; ``Survivor,'' CBS, 12.1; ``JAG,'' CBS, 11.9.