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CBS, ''CSI'' top Nielsen ratings

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Even without NCAA basketball, CBS easily won the weekly ratings battle. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation returned to its familiar perch as the week’s most watched show (27.5 million viewers, according to Nielsen). Top-10 finishes for fellow Thursday stalwarts Survivor: Palau and Without a Trace, as well as for CSI: Miami helped CBS average 12.2 million viewers for the week.

Fox was a distant second, with an average audience of 9.7 million, thanks largely to Tuesday and Wednesday’s American Idol episodes (each drawing about 25 million) and new hit House (17.8 million). NBC averaged 8.7 million viewers, thanks to some heavenly help for new miniseries Revelations, which managed to pull 15.6 million viewers opposite Wednesday’s Idol and helped push Law & Order back into the top 10 (16.9 million). On Sunday, ABC drew 25.6 million viewers to Desperate Housewives (No. 3) and 19.1 million to follow-up Grey’s Anatomy, but the network mustered an average for the week of just 7.96 million. UPN averaged 3.2 million to the WB’s 2.9 million.