Old Favorites Dominate New Season

As CBS and NBC continued their battle for supremacy in the second week of the new season, the old standby shows prevailed in the ratings.

The two networks split the top 10 shows equally, with 5 shows each, taking the focus off all other networks almost entirely. Fox is slow to start the new season with the baseball playoffs running in prime time. ABC actually has a couple of new hits with its Tuesday night comedies - 8 Simple Rules and Life with Bonnie - and The Practice on Sunday, but those shows ranked nowhere near the top 10.

NBC's Friends was the top show, pulling in a 28 share/17.6 household with 18.8 million households and 29 million viewers tuning in last week. E.R., Will & Grace, Law and Order and Scrubs also made the top 10 for NBC. CBS scored big with CSI, Everybody Loves Raymond, the new hit CSI: Miami, Survivor and another new winner, Still Standing.



CBS edged NBC in the prime ratings with a 15 share/8.8 household to NBC's 14/8.4. ABC (10/6.2) and Fox (9/5.5) trailed. For adults 18-49, NBC was first with 14/5.1 to CBS's 11/4.2, ABC's 10/3.7 and Fox's 8/3.

Football continues to dominate the cable and sports categories. ESPN's NFL football and NFL Prime Time led the cable category, with football earning a 6.2 household with 9.3 million viewers. The other cable leaders were WWE Entertainment (TNN) and Spongebob (Nick). ABC's Monday Night Football led the sports category with CBS NFL and Fox NFL following. MNF scored a 21 share/12.5 household with 13.3 million households. The other sports leader was Kansas City 400 on NBC.

Syndicated winners were Wheel of Fortune, Friends, Everybody Loves Raymond, the Oprah Winfrey Show and Seinfeld.

Two weeks into the new season come reports that Everwood (WB) has been picked up for a full season of 22 episodes. ABC's 8 Simple Rules and Bonnie will also run for full seasons. ABC's Push Nevada isn't faring as well, ranking near the bottom in its Thursday time slot, with talk of cancellation.

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