CBS Leads The Way

CBS's CSI ranked third in this week's Nielsen rankings and led the way for the network, which topped NBC for the first time this season.

Actually, it was a virtual tie with both networks getting a 14 share. CBS had a slight edge in the household rating, 8.7 to 8.6.

Among the other top CBS shows for the week of Oct. 22-28 were Everybody Loves Raymond, Judging Amy, Survivor: Africa and Jag, which ranked seventh to 10th. E.R. and Friends were the top two shows, with Law and Order and West Wing fifth and sixth for NBC.

ABC was again left out of the top 10. Its two best shows were Primetime Thursday and Monday Night Football, ranked 15th and 19th. Primetime Thursday ranked high because of an interview with Carmen bin Laden, sister-in-law of Osama. ABC had an 11 share and a 6.6 household.

CSI drew nearly 25 million viewers, beating out NBC's Will & Grace and Just Shoot Me on Thursday night.

Cable ratings for the week of Oct. 15-21 showed VH1's Concert for New York City ranked third, behind two episodes of WWF (TNN). The other leaders were NFL football on ESPN, Strong Medicine on Lifetime, Spongebob on Nick and Dragonball on Toon.

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Some other TV news:

* CBS dropped Wolf Lake for next Wednesday in favor of an edited version of the Concert for New York City.

* CBS's The Education of Max Bickford, the new drama that ranked high early in the season, is struggling with lower ratings now. In response, the two creators of the show stepped down.

* Smallville, WB's young Superman series, was a big hit in its premiere last week, and was picked up for a full season.

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