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TV Ratings: Barbara's special fascinates, while 'CSI' wins the night

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Barbarawalters_l

Thursdays are back! After nearly every Thursday show took last week off to side-step the viewership nosedive that comes with Thanksgiving (people are too busy in tryptophan trances!), last night was filled with new episodes on ABC, CBS, and NBC.

But before I talk Grey’s, The Office, and Survivor, let’s get to Barbara Walters, who premiered her annual 10 Most Fascinating People special on ABC. The hour drew 13.2 million viewers to win the 10 p.m. timeslot and increased viewership by 17 percent over last year’s outing. It’s no surprise that her buzzy picks — Barack Obama, Sarah Palin, Tina Fey, and Miley Cyrus, to name a few — helped Walters pull in the third-best viewership of the evening behind Grey’s Anatomy and CSI.

CBS’s Survivor easily won the 8 p.m. hour with an episode that topped last week’s recap episode by 4.3 million viewers. See what I mean about Thanksgiving killing off viewers? The rest of the hour was rather typical: ABC’s Ugly Betty nabbed 8.5 million viewers, a 200K bump from the previous new episode; NBC’s My Name Is Earl (6.1 million) and Kath & Kim (4.9 million) held steady compared to previous weeks; and Fox’s Kitchen Nightmares (3.7 million) and the CW’s Smallville (2.3 million) were in repeats.

addCredit(“Steve Fenn/ABC”)

Thursday night’s big battle-zone hour of 9 p.m. saw CBS’s CSI

trounce the competition by pulling in an evening-winning 17.3 million

viewers, which is 2.1 million more viewers than the sagging Grey’s Anatomy managed

(15.2 million). Maybe viewers aren’t loving the return

of Denny as much as ABC execs thought? Over on NBC, The Office hit the same mark — 8.3 million viewers — as it did two weeks ago with its last new episode and — what do you know? — so did 30 Rock,

which drew 7.1 million viewers. Talk about a devoted, but not so

growing, audience. Another double-whammy of repeats on Fox and the CW — Kitchen Nightmares again (4.1 million) and Supernatural (2 million) — naturally did not wow.

As for the rest of the competition against Barbara at 10 p.m., CBS’s Eleventh Hour topped its previous outing by 300K, pulling a solid 10.9 million viewers. And the soon-to-end ER actually dropped by 700K viewers from two weeks ago, drawing just 8.2 million gawkers.

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Thursday night’s big battle-zone hour of 9 p.m. saw CBS’s CSItrounce the competition by pulling in an evening-winning 17.3 millionviewers, which is 2.1 million more viewers than the sagging Grey’s Anatomy managed(15.2 million). Maybe viewers aren’t loving the returnof Denny as much as ABC execs thought? Over on NBC, The Office hit the same mark — 8.3 million viewers — as it did two weeks ago with its last new episode and — what do you know? — so did 30 Rock,which drew 7.1 million viewers. Talk about a devoted, but not sogrowing, audience. Another double-whammy of repeats on Fox and the CW — Kitchen Nightmares again (4.1 million) and Supernatural (2 million) — naturally did not wow.

As for the rest of the competition against Barbara at 10 p.m., CBS’s Eleventh Hour topped its previous outing by 300K, pulling a solid 10.9 million viewers. And the soon-to-end ER actually dropped by 700K viewers from two weeks ago, drawing just 8.2 million gawkers.

More TV News:
TV Recaps: Thursday’s best
Ausiello Files: A Very Brady Samantha Who?
TV’s Most (and Least) Stylish Characters of 2008
25 Smartest People in Television
Ugly Betty Bites: Christina quips!

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