''Raymond,'' ''Big Brother'' drive CBS ratings win. The once-again happy Barone family sitcom scores a rare victory over ''CSI'' as the week's top show

By Gary Susman
September 03, 2003 at 12:00 PM EDT

Further proof that there’s no such thing as bad publicity comes with the ratings victory this week of ”Everybody Loves Raymond.” Despite all the news about the bitter salary dispute (now resolved) between supporting actor Brad Garrett and the producers, the sitcom was the week’s most watched show, according to Nielsen, drawing about 12 million viewers. ”CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” the usual winner, settled for second, with 11.7 million viewers.

It was a good week for CBS, which was the most-watched network, averaging 8 million viewers. Besides ”Raymond,” ”CSI,” and ”CSI: Miami” (No. 3 for the week), CBS had seven shows in the top 10, including the top reality show, last Wednesday’s episode of ”Big Brother” (No. 8). Second-place NBC (7 million) also scored with reality, as the winding-down ”For Love or Money” landed at No. 10.

ABC, whose lone top-10 entry was a preseason NFL matchup between Denver and Indianapolis last Monday (No. 4), finished third for the week, averaging 6.3 million viewers. Fox, which continued to do well with new drama ”The O.C.” (No. 18) but tempted few viewers to watch the season premiere of ”Temptation Island,” finished fourth among the networks (5.2 million). The WB averaged 2.4 million, and UPN drew 2.2 million.