CBS wins the weekly ratings race. Amid reruns and new reality shows, NBC climbs out of the basement to second place

To the extent that anyone was watching TV last week, they were watching the premieres of new summer reality shows. Sure, CBS won the week as usual (averaging 8.4 million viewers), filling the top 10 with reruns of scripted favorites (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation was the most-watched show, with 14.2 million viewers, with CSI: Miami, Without a Trace, and Two and a Half Men close behind). But the No. 2 show was ABC’s new Dancing with the Stars (13.5 million). Other new reality shows that did well, by their respective networks’ standards, were NBC’s Hit Me Baby One More Time, Fox’s Hell’s Kitchen, and the WB’s Beauty and the Geek.

In a week otherwise marked by reruns, NBC climbed out of the ratings basement to second place, averaging 7.1 million viewers, thanks in part to such specials as the Miss Universe pageant (9.2 million) and an Eagles concert (8.4 million). ABC was able to ride Dancing‘s tuxedo tails only to third place, with 6.5 million. Fox claimed victory among teens and the 18-to-34 set but placed fourth in overall viewers with 5.2 million.

Over on UPN, Britney & Kevin: Chaotic fell to a seasonal low of 2.51 million, thought that was slightly above average for the network as a whole, which drew 2.47 million for the week. That was still better than the WB, with 2.34 million.