New Thursday Must-See: 'Celebrity Apprentice'

With repeats and soft-rated reality shows, NBC gained ground with "Celebrity Apprentice," as the highest-rated show on Thursday.

NBC earned a 3.7 Nielsen preliminary rating with "Apprentice" at 9 p.m. Still, NBC came up a bit short for the night overall, earning a 3.1 rating/8 share, just behind Fox's 3.2 rating/9 share.

Fox spent most of prime-time--two hours worth--with a special "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?," featuring the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders. That show's 3.2/9 share proved to be the winning formula for the night--up 28% over its season-to-date average of 2.5.

NBC could not compete against "Smarter" at 8 p.m. with an original episode of "Chuck," earning a 2.7. Neither could ABC, which came in second with "Ugly Betty" and a 2.9 rating.

At 9 p.m., Fox and CBS tied for second at 3.3--Fox with its second hour of "Smarter" and CBS for a repeat of "CSI." ABC had a 2.5 for a repeat of "Grey's Anatomy." Univision was fifth with a 1.7 for "Pasion," and CW followed with a 0.7 for a "Supernatural" repeat.

At 10 p.m., NBC came back with another original episode of "Chuck," which was enough to win the time period--although it competed against a CBS repeat of "Without a Trace," which earned a 2.8. ABC was third with a 1.9 for "Big Shots," and Univision fourth with a 1.4 for "Amas de Casa Desesperadas."

After Fox and NBC, CBS was third on the night at 2.6/7. ABC was next at 2.4/7; Univision, 1.7/5; and CW last at 0.7/2.



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