NBC Takes Monday Night, CBS In Close Pursuit

NBC's rookie hit show "Heroes" has climbed to even better numbers this season--the highest for all new broadcast network programs.

The network's show moved up another 10% on Monday to a new record high, a Nielsen preliminary 6.2 rating among 18-49 viewers.

Coupled with another steady performance from "Deal or No Deal," NBC eked out a Monday night overall victory: a 4.6 rating/12 share over CBS' 4.5/11. This was NBC's fifth Monday victory in six weeks.

Still, for the second week in a row, "Heroes" didn't do much for "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip," which lost almost half of "Heroes" viewers. The good news for the network is that "Studio 60" isn't losing any more audience. "Studio 60" settled for a 3.2 rating.

CBS' big gun, "CSI: Miami," dominated the 10 p.m. time period with a 5.9; NBC followed in a distant second with "Studio 60." ABC's "What about Brian" trailed in third with a 2.7. ABC's best showing of the evening was "The Bachelor: Rome," which at 9 p.m. pulled in a 3.2 for third place.



All this put ABC in third place, at a 2.9/7. Fox was in fourth at 2.6/7, folowed by Univision at 1.6/4, and the CW at 1.2/3.

Of concern, say program analysts, are the continuing low numbers for Fox's "Prison Break," which came in at a 3.2. Last year, the show posted regular 5-plus ratings among 18-49 viewers.

"It was up there with "House" and "24," says Brad Adgate, senior vice president and corporate research director for Horizon Media. "But it's a different story line. It's now "The Fugitive." This may have had an impact."

"Fox is notoriously slow in the fourth quarter," says Adgate. "And it's a long season. I would be very surprised, if ratings don't improve, that Fox doesn't do something."

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