"30 Rock" earned a Nielsen preliminary 3.9/9 rating among 18-49 viewers--its second-best rating, helped by special guest Oprah Winfrey. A week before, "30 Rock" had its best outing with a 4.1/10.
But it was the steadiest of CBS shows that won the night overall.
Still, it left NBC at about the same level as a week ago. It earned a 3.3/8 on Thursday night compared with a 3.4/9 the week before, landing in third place among all networks.
NBC's big Thursday show "The Office" took a 4.2/10, down from a 4.8/12 a week ago. "My Name is Earl" rose to a 2.6/7, up from a 2.4/7. Its new half-hour "Kath & Kim" landed a 2.4/6, the same as the week before. "ER," at a 3.3/9, was down a tick from a 3.4/9.
In the battle of the 9 p.m. heavyweights, ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" was the top show of the night with a 6.0/14--up from a 5.7/14. "Grey's" bested CBS rival "CSI," which came in at a 5.1/12 versus the week before.
In the 10 p.m. slot, two new shows from ABC and CBS went head to head again with CBS' "Eleventh Hour" just besting ABC's "Life on Mars"--with a 3.1/8 versus a 3.0/8. NBC's "ER" won the time period with a 3.3/9.
Earlier in the evening, it was all CBS. "Survivor: Gabon" easily won at 8 p.m. with a 3.9/10. ABC's "Ugly Betty" was in a distant second place, with a 2.7/7.
CBS earned a 4.1/10 for its Thursday average, and ABC was at a 3.9/10.
Fox came in at fourth place after NBC with a 2.1/5--better than its 1.6/4 a week ago, when it aired a double-episode dose of "Kitchen Nightmares."
CW saw improvement with "Smallville" to a 2.0/5, from a 1.7/5 the week before. "Supernatural" also inched up to a 1.6/4 from a 1.5/4. CW earned a 1.8/4 among 18-49s, tying Univision. With 18-34 viewers, CW had a 1.8/5 to Univision's 1.9/5.
ABC won the night among younger viewers 18-34 with a 3.6/10; NBC was second at a 3.4/9.